Consumers are a large driver of the technology market today. As evidenced by the trend known as "the consumerization of IT," long battery life and always-connected and media-rich experiences are important to all technology customers.
To enable the best experience for devices with long battery life, Microsoft is bringing the Windows 8 OS to systems built on the low-powered ARM processor, which powers most mobile devices today. In this article, I'll discuss details about the Microsoft .NET Framework and the ARM processor, what you as a .NET developer should keep in mind and what we at Microsoft (where I'm a program manager on the CLR team) had to do to bring .NET over to ARM.
As a .NET developer, you can imagine that writing apps to run on a variety of different processors would pose a bit of a quandary. The ARM processor's instruction set architecture (ISA) is incompatible with the x86 processor's ISA. Apps built to run natively on x86 run well on x64 because the x64 processor's ISA is a superset of the x86 ISA. But the same isn't true of native x86 apps running on ARM—they need to be recompiled to execute on the incompatible architecture. Being able to choose from a range of different devices is great for consumers, but it brings some complexity to the developer story.