NVIDIA Tegra tablet with Windows

It’s been a year since Microsoft announced that Windows 8 would run on devices with ARM-based processors as well as computers with x86 chips. But while a Windows 8 developer preview has been available for months, it currently only runs on x86 chips.

Today NVIDIA showed off a tablet with a Tegra 3 quad-core processor running Windows 8. We didn’t get to see the tablet actually do very much. But we did get a look at the lock screen, start screen, and Windows Store.

ARM-based Windows 8 devices won’t be able to run apps written specifically for the x86 platform, which means that hundreds of thousands of Windows apps that are already on the market won’t run on Windows. But Microsoft is working to attract developers to the new platform, and apps written for the full-screen Windows 8 Metro user interface will be able to run on devices with both ARM and x86 processors.

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8 replies on “NVIDIA shows Windows 8 running on a Tegra-based tablet – video”

  1. Nice, BUT!! I did not see a full desktop, nor did i hear mention of x86/x64 application support. These things are ESSENTIAL to a Windows OS. If i wanted only metro, or only ARM support, i would stick with an Android Tablet.

    1. I think you’ll probably be sticking with an Android tablet then. I’ve seen few indications that ARM-based tablets will have a traditional desktop mode. 

    2. They’re likely going to offer both Windows 8 and Android on the same devices to help it appeal to as wide a consumer base as they can manage.

      While they’re focusing on the creation of cross platform apps.  So it’s mainly the legacy programs that won’t be available for ARM.  Though existing solutions like Citrix, Remote Desktop, etc can still apply for work around solutions.

      Mind Windows 8 for ARM may be delayed to as late as mid 2013.  So only x86 hardware systems will be able to use Windows 8 when it comes out near the end of the year.  So they still got time to make changes and perhaps reconsider some choices as more advanced ARM based systems start coming out in 2013.

      The problem is the next gen ARM chips coming out in the later half of this year only really rival Intel ATOM CPU performance.  So they are only just getting to the performance range needed to run a desktop OS properly and running VM, etc, even with hardware acceleration, can impose quite a performance hit and that’s likely one of the consideration when they consider what to actually port to ARM.

      Meanwhile, Intel will be making major advances in its efforts to get into the Mobile market during 2013.  So it’s possible to have some Intel alternatives to ARM devices around then that would make having to make a choice moot.

  2. This is what I’m interested in. Of course, 3rd party software vendors will make or brake Windows on ARM.

    1. The point of Microsoft bringing in all this Metro stuff is so that they can leverage the popularity of Metro on the desktop (and therefor the production of Metro applications) so that they can create a strong ecosystem to bootstrap their mobile/ARM platforms. Two birds with one stone.

      1. From what I’ve read so far, the current WinRT API for Metro apps has some restrictions for ARM that don’t exist for x86. This could prevent vendors from making universal Metro software and just target x86.

        1. I read that too but supposedly those restrictions are going to be removed. Too bad it still doesn’t mean major venders will adopt the Metro UI quickly.

          It’s probably going to be like the Android and Apple app stores. Mostly simple apps that may get abandoned by the dev within a year.

          1. This is what I’m afraid of. If the Metro app store is going to be like Android’s and Apple’s app store where the majority of the apps are crap and hard to search through or sudden dev abandonment is common then I’d just stick with desktop software.

            I really hope major vendors invest into the Metro UI.

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