Microsoft Shows ARM-Based Windows, Surface 2, New Laptops at CES

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Microsoft Shows ARM-Based Windows, Surface 2, New Laptops at CES

by Nicholas Kolakowski

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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.

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Windows Requirements

Sinofsky detailed how the hardware requirements for various Windows versions had increased over the years, only to level off somewhat with Windows 7.

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Mobile Hardware Requirements

Sinofsky also traced the rising hardware capabilities of smartphones such as the Apple iPhone and Android-based devices.

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He then suggested a convergence between the hardware capabilities of traditional PCs, mobile devices such as smartphones, and tablets.

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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.

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Traditional Motherboard

Sinofsky then showed off a "traditional" motherboard, suggesting that a SoC architecture consolidates all of its functionality onto a much smaller design.

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Tiny SoC

Sinofsky showed off the small size of a system-on-a-chip.

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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.

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Acer Dual-Touch

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.

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Surface 2

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.

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Gorilla Glass

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.

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ARM-Based Windows

Microsoft executives used part of the conference to demonstrate that ARM could power Windows with little slowdown.

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