When information about Windows on ARM (WOA) was released last week, one important detail was overlooked -- in essence, each WOA device will require its own customized version, including drivers and firmware, unlike the Windows on PCs. While it may seem as if this might lead to fragmentation as on Android, that won't happen with WOA.
Steven Sinofsky revealed details about WOA last week on the Building Windows 8 blog. Among other things, he had this to say:
With WOA you can look forward to integrated, end-to-end products—hardware, firmware and WOA software, all built from the ground up. Building WOA has been an ongoing engineering effort involving Microsoft, ARM licensees, PC makers, and developers of components and peripherals. These efforts spanned a wide array of subsystems that have been newly created or substantially re-architected for WOA. Partners will provide WOA PCs as integrated, end-to-end products that include hardware, firmware, and Windows on ARM software.
So the WOA running on a Samsung tablet, for example, won't be an exact duplicate of the WOA running on an Acer tablet. Unlike with traditional Windows, consumers won't be able to simply install a generic version of Windows on a tablet.