Thinking about RISC with Windows 8

2011-Jul-28 | Tags: amdintelx86

Windows on ARMAs Microsoft expands the CPU platform support from x86/x64 families into ARM territory with the addition of ARM CPU chips, there are many questions that will be raised for enterprise systems planners and designers. Some of the arguments will go back two decades in terms of the theoretical design differences between CPUs, but in more practical views, the actual impact of two CPU device families supported by Windows needs to be thought through. In the short term, nothing needs to be done; in the long term, deeper questions arise.


The ARM family of processors is popular because they use little power, yet can perform a lot of work. ARM are members of a class of CPUs known as Reduced Instruction Set/RISC chips. We've been using Complex Instruction Set family chips made by Intel, AMD, VIA, and others that have been around for thirty years. Microsoft has only experimentally tried to port Windows onto other chipset families before; the results were good but the endeavors were unsuccessful.

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT