Microsoft is biting back at an Intel executive’s comments about the next version of Windows.
“Intel’s statements during yesterday’s Intel investor meeting about Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading,” Mark Martin, a Microsoft spokesperson, wrote in a May 19 statement. “From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage.”
As such, the statement concluded, “We have no further details or information at this time.”
Other media venues also published that statement from Microsoft.
During the Intel company investor meeting May 18, Renee James, senior vice president and general manager of Intel’s Software and Services Group, told those assembled that the next version of Windows for Intel chips will run programs designed for previous versions of the operating system, while ARM-based versions will not. Intel will apparently offer its own Windows-supporting architecture for mobile devices such as tablets.
Rumors suggest that Microsoft will release the next version of Windows sometime in 2012. Sinofsky announced during this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January that the next-generation platform will support SoC (system-on-a-chip) architecture, in particular ARM-based systems from partners such as Qualcomm, Nvidia and Texas Instruments. That would give Microsoft the ability to port the next Windows-dubbed “Windows 8” by some in the media, although no official name has been announced-onto tablets and other mobile form factors powered by ARM offerings.
“Under the hood there are a ton of differences that need to be worked through,” Sinofsky told the audience during his CES presentation. Nonetheless, he added, “Windows has proven remarkably flexible at this under-the-hood sort of stuff.”
Microsoft’s most recent statement doesn’t cite specific examples to counter Intel’s claims. However, it’s easy to see how an inability to run legacy applications could hobble ARM-based Windows adoption among businesses and consumers.
In the past, Microsoft has worked to ensure the operability of legacy applications. Windows 7 was designed to sidestep some “last ditch” compatibility issues with certain Windows XP applications via Windows XP mode, which ran those applications in a virtual environment.
Microsoft is keeping details of the next Windows firmly under wraps. In April, bloggers Rafael Rivera and Paul Thurrott dissected various features of what they called an early operating-system build on Rivera’s Within Windows blog. According to those postings, the next version of Windows could incorporate an Office-style ribbon interface into Windows Explorer, complete with tools for viewing libraries and manipulating images. The bloggers also included a screenshot of an early device-unlock window, done in the “Metro” design style already present in Windows Phone.
Editor’s Note: This story was updated with an original quote from a Microsoft spokesperson.