Desktops and Notebooks: Microsoft Shows ARM-Based Windows, Surface 2, New Laptops at CES
Microsoft Shows ARM-Based Windows, Surface 2, New Laptops at CES
by Nicholas Kolakowski
The Big Reveal
Steven Sinofsky, president of Windows and Windows Live Division, took the stage at a CES 2011 press conference to announce that the next Windows version will support SoC architecture, in particular ARM-based systems.
Sinofsky detailed how the hardware requirements for various Windows versions had increased over the years, only to level off somewhat with Windows 7.
Mobile Hardware Requirements
Sinofsky also traced the rising hardware capabilities of smartphones such as the Apple iPhone and Android-based devices.
He then suggested a convergence between the hardware capabilities of traditional PCs, mobile devices such as smartphones, and tablets.
System on a Chip
Microsoft is choosing to embrace SoC architectures because they offer, among other things, lower power consumption and the possibility of installing software on smaller form factors.
Sinofsky then showed off a "traditional" motherboard, suggesting that a SoC architecture consolidates all of its functionality onto a much smaller design.
Sinofsky showed off the small size of a system-on-a-chip.
Microsoft is working with its partners to install Windows 7 on increasingly slim and light form factors, including these laptops due to hit the market in the next few months.
This upcoming laptop from Acer features two touch screens in place of the traditional screen and hard keyboard. The lower touch screen can display a virtual keyboard for typing.
Microsoft worked with Samsung on Surface 2, the next version of its table-size touch screen due later this year. It features Windows 7 powered by AMD.
Surface 2 includes a pane of Gorilla Glass, which Microsoft claims is the largest piece of that ultra-tough material ever bonded to an LCD. Microsoft is marketing the device toward commercial enterprises such as banks and restaurants.
Microsoft executives used part of the conference to demonstrate that ARM could power Windows with little slowdown.