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Microsoft Windows Technology

ARM, Microsoft Collaborating On 64-bit Windows Version 93

Posted by Soulskill
from the champing-at-the-bit dept.
angry tapir writes "ARM is working with Microsoft to tune the Windows OS to work on processors based on ARM's 64-bit architecture. Ian Forsyth, program manager at ARM, could not comment on a specific release date for the 64-bit version of Windows for ARM processors, but said ARM is continuously working with software partners to add 64-bit support."
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ARM, Microsoft Collaborating On 64-bit Windows Version

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  • Totally to be expected days after the AMD annoucement.
    • by symbolset (646467) *
      They don't want to miss ARM servers like they missed mobile.
      • by Desler (1608317)

        No, they just missed modernizing their mobile platform. They've been doing mobile on ARM for 15 years.

  • So, the next MIPS? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TWX (665546) on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:34PM (#41857077)
    So, is this the next MIPS, or other non-Intel architecture flavor of the day, to fade into obscurity in a few years?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Yup. Once Intel gets its power consumption in line with ARM, that'll be it. Good bye (again) ARM, say hi to Itanium, MIPS, ALPHA, and for all intensive purposes PPC and SPARC.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:44PM (#41857245)

        intensive purposes

        OMG, kill me now.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Irregardless, you should of known about common word usage.

        • by TeknoHog (164938)
          For all intestinal purposes, this thread makes me [sic].
      • WTF? ARM has massive penetration in mobile devices. Beyond that, ARM's huge advantage is custom SOC, which, along with low power consumption, is another reason ARM has become such a monster platform. As much as anything else, ARM is a philosophy.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:47PM (#41857305)

      I hope this is a joke. ARM has a vastly stronger market foothold than anything related to MIPS ever had. In terms of supported software, there is just as much, if not more stuff supporting ARM than x86/Intel, so what reason would hardware makers have to go back to Intel?

      I'm pretty sure ARM is here to stay for a long time.

    • by Chibi Merrow (226057) <mrmerrow@monkeST ... .net minus berry> on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:47PM (#41857307) Homepage Journal

      No, because as the desktop becomes less and less relevant and people do more on mobile devices, backwards compatibility with software written for a 80386 just stops mattering. Even if Intel chips had exactly the same power usage as ARM (highly unlikely), what's the benefit of having an Intel chip in your mobile device?

      • by Desler (1608317)

        The benefit is the fact that all that x86 software will still be relevant despite what you claim.

        • How is x86 software relevant on a mobile device?

        • by mikael (484)

          You can get DOSbox for a mobile phone now. So all those x86 DOS games run on mobile phones without a need for an Intel chip.

          • DOSBox is an emulator, which adds a substantial overhead in slowdown (especially on older phones and tablets) and in battery consumption.
      • by bemymonkey (1244086) on Friday November 02, 2012 @04:13PM (#41857731)

        Have you been keeping an eye on Cloverfield? The CPU performance pretty much kills the fastest ARM tablet chips, and power usage is similarly impressive - The first early adopters are reporting 10h+ battery life on the Samsung ATIV Smart PC, which seems to be right up there with all the ARM based tablets.

      • by AcidPenguin9873 (911493) on Friday November 02, 2012 @04:17PM (#41857785)

        Even if Intel chips had exactly the same power usage as ARM (highly unlikely), what's the benefit of having an Intel chip in your mobile device?

        Why do you think this is unlikely? On the contrary, Intel has a massive fab/manufacturing advantage over any ARM chipmaker - they are at least 1 process shrink (node) ahead of any other foundry, not to mention their process at any given node is better than all competitors (TSMC, GloFo, Samsung). This fab advantage directly translates to lower power usage, and by all accounts, Intel's advantage there is only getting larger - ask AMD how it feels to be on the receiving end of this advantage. Intel needs to put out a microarchitecture which targets about the same performance range that ARM Cortex-A9 (or maybe A15 [1]) does, and in all likelihood, Intel's chip will be lower power because it will be manufactured on either one shrink ahead of any ARM equivalent, or the same node but using Intel's superior process at that node. In fact, Intel is doing just that - the next-gen Atom chip (Silvermont/Valleyview) is targeting right around where A15 is in terms of performance, area, and power.

        ARM isn't magic; there is nothing in the ARM ISA that makes it inherently lower power than x86. Yes, I'm counting all the decode hardware and microcode that x86 chips need to support legacy ISA. There just isn't much power burned there compared to modern cache sizes, execution resources, and queue/buffer depths which all high-performance cores need regardless of ISA. If you have an x86 processor that targets A9 performance levels, it will burn A9 power (or less if Intel makes it, given Intel's manufacturing advantage). If you have a ARM processor that targets Sandy Bridge performance levels, it will burn Sandy Bridge (or more) power.

        [1] I say maybe A15, because from Anandtech's latest review here [anandtech.com], Samsung's Exynos 5250 using A15 cores does not have a prayer of getting into smartphones using 5W at load. Your smartphone will be dead in an hour of web browsing with that kind of power draw. Yeah yeah, Exynos 5250 is on a 32nm process and the 28nm A15's are right around the corner, which should be lower power. But still.

        • by Pulzar (81031)

          I say maybe A15, because from Anandtech's latest review here, Samsung's Exynos 5250 using A15 cores does not have a prayer of getting into smartphones using 5W at load. Your smartphone will be dead in an hour of web browsing with that kind of power draw.

          The maximum load is just that, something that the CPU can output when maximum processing is needed, which certainly isn't web browsing. These CPUs scale down both the voltage and frequency when "simple" tasks are needed of them. On top of that, you're goin

        • Why do you think this is unlikely? On the contrary, Intel has a massive fab/manufacturing advantage over any ARM chipmaker

          Okay, then why don't they license ARM and use that fab advantage to beat the other manufacturers at their own game. Nothing in your comment offers up any advantage offered by x86, just Intel's fabs.
          I have no interest in running any legacy x86 software on any tablet or smartphone device, but now I do have a vested interest in running "legacy" ARM apps I have purchased for those devices fo

          • Nothing in your comment offers up any advantage offered by x86, just Intel's fabs.

            Intel's fabs are the advantage offered by x86. x86 processors are the only processors that can be made by Intel's fabs. If that changes, or if other fabs catch up, then great - use whatever is the best.

            now I do have a vested interest in running "legacy" ARM apps I have purchased for those devices for the foreseeable future

            Android apps are almost all Java - they run on any platform that has a Java runtime, which certainly includes x86. If your apps make calls into native code, that native code is shipped by the phone OEM, and you can already buy x86-based Android phones (Motorola sells one using some Intel Atom chip), so it

            • Intel's fabs are the advantage offered by x86. x86 processors are the only processors that can be made by Intel's fabs. If that changes, or if other fabs catch up, then great - use whatever is the best.

              I guess I don't remember this as well as I thought I did, but I have been out of school for a while... And hardware never was my thing... I thought chips were burned onto silicon via some sort of lithography process? High intensity light etching the transistors onto a silicon wafer from a VHDL-type specificat

              • What would prevent Intel from burning a 28nm ARM design in their fab?

                Oh absolutely nothing technical, just Intel's refusal to give any ISA other than x86 (since Intel only makes x86 chips, unless you know something I don't) its fab advantage. Intel could easily make ARM stuff in its fab, but why would it bother if it could put out a superior x86 chip?

                ...native ARM code...

                Alright, I was mistaken about the extent of native ARM in Android. But what makes it different than the WinTel ecosystem that dominated PCs is that PC ISA lock-in involved the OS. Android, including all of its libraries, GUI

                • Oh absolutely nothing technical, just Intel's refusal to give any ISA other than x86 (since Intel only makes x86 chips, unless you know something I don't) its fab advantage. Intel could easily make ARM stuff in its fab, but why would it bother if it could put out a superior x86 chip?

                  Because Apple might go all ARM in the near future? We're focusing on Android in this thread (my fault), but iOS devices are ARM-based, have a significant chunk of the market, and ONLY run native code. Lots of rumors flying that

                  • Sigh, this thread is getting old and stale. Which one of us will give up first and let the other have the last word? I was going to be that party, but then another rabid pro-ARM article got posted today which made me revisit this thread.

                    Because Apple might go all ARM in the near future? We're focusing on Android in this thread (my fault), but iOS devices are ARM-based, have a significant chunk of the market, and ONLY run native code. Lots of rumors flying that Apple is considering using ARM in their laptops and desktops going forward, which could make a lot of sense in the next few years for them.

                    Apple has shown that it is certainly willing to change ISA at the drop of a hat when it makes sense for them to do so. Apple now has in-house ARM designs, so this wouldn't surprise me at all. But there's nothing Intel can do about Apples in-house ARM designs other than c

    • Do you mean ARM 64 bit, or ARM in general? The latter has at least got itself deployed more widely than I am aware of MIPS ever getting. The former ... well, I hope it takes off.

    • by tlhIngan (30335) <slashdot@wor f . n et> on Friday November 02, 2012 @04:01PM (#41857517)

      So, is this the next MIPS, or other non-Intel architecture flavor of the day, to fade into obscurity in a few years?

      Well, given that ARM is probably the #1 shipped architecture out there, probably not. I'm fairly certain for every x86 CPU Intel ships, several ARM SoCs are shipped, probably a few in said PC (WiFi, Bluetooth, drive controllers (optical, SSD, spinning rust), network cards, etc).

      Intel rules only on one aspect - high power computing. ARM has pretty much taken over the low end embedded side - the processors and controllers needed for everything else to get that big beefy Intel fed.

    • Windows RT is even worse. With MIPS, Alpha and PowerPC you could just cross compile your application and it would run, though of course no one actually bothered due to the low market share (it was essentially zero) of RISC Windows boxes.

      With Windows RT aka Windows ARM there's no support for Win32 applications for third parties - all apps need to be WinRT and distributed via their store, unlike Windows x86 which allows for both legacy Win32 apps and WinRT ones. So if WinRT fails there won't be any applicatio

  • by cryfreedomlove (929828) on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:37PM (#41857121)
    I know lots of corporate desktop police still subjugate their users by forcing them to still use IE6.
    • by hendridm (302246)

      You know, if they would just ditch the desktop in favor of the typewriter, they could save SO much money. I suppose NCSA Mosaic could be a compromise, though, so you could still get your random vacation notifications from coworkers that you don't know via OWA.

    • by corychristison (951993) on Friday November 02, 2012 @03:56PM (#41857421)

      Tell them they are putting their company at risk by forcing IE6 and that you do not want to be the one to blame when shit hits the fan (assuming you are either the person performing the work or the guy in charge of the person doing the work).

      As a web developer I can tell you very few developers still cater to IE6. Many have even dropped IE7. Most now use conditional comments to display a "Upgrade your browser" or "use a standards compliant browser" error message.

      • by swb (14022)

        It really all boils down to some fat fuck in management or ownership and only gives a shit about how much cash he can wring out of the operation.

        They keep the browser at some old version because their application doesn't work in newer browsers and licensing a new version or doing the development on a new version would cost money.

        I see this all the time in consulting.

      • by Solandri (704621)

        Tell them they are putting their company at risk by forcing IE6
        [...]
        As a web developer I can tell you very few developers still cater to IE6. Many have even dropped IE7.

        The companies requiring IE6 don't require it because they take some perverse joy in forcing their employees to browse the web with a prehistoric browser. They require it because they have some custom in-house app which runs on a local intranet web server that works only with IE6. The expectation is that the employees will use IE6 to run

        • Tell them they are putting their company at risk by forcing IE6

          [...]

          As a web developer I can tell you very few developers still cater to IE6. Many have even dropped IE7.

          The companies requiring IE6 don't require it because they take some perverse joy in forcing their employees to browse the web with a prehistoric browser. They require it because they have some custom in-house app which runs on a local intranet web server that works only with IE6. The expectation is that the employees will use IE6 to run that app, nothing more. In such an environment, there is very little risk from using IE6.

          The problem comes about when employees want to surf the Internet and reach for the nearest browser. In most cases they're not even supposed to be surfing the Internet from that machine. Updating the web app to run on something newer than IE6 as you propose is not the only solution. Other possible (and likely cheaper) solutions include strict enforcement of the "no surfing" rules, or a more pragmatic approach which allows employees to surf the net using a different machine or a different approved browser.

          That will change very quickly. Clouds, Skydrive pro, Tablets for the executives, Salesforce.com, and business social media and even Office 2013 all integrate together. Many workers will be having vendor orders accessible by their salesforce.com page that will be HTML 5 with an ugly IE 8 min packport. Skydrive PRO is part of Office 2013, Windows 8 Enterprise, and Windows 9. Requires IE 9 (I think) or later.

          Cost accountants and owners looking at the internet as a cost and a toy rather than a tool are going to

          • Sticking with IE 6 in 2012 is a bad idea. Your employees need to use the internet to do their jobs and the demand will surge once their customers require them all to use websites and other tools like salesforce and probably other business social media sites.

            One of the benefits to IE6 from a corporate standpoint is that people can't use social media sites. They're supposed to be doing their TPS reports and until their eyes go all foggy and dull like the Gelflings in Dark Crystal who had their life essence sucked out, not frolicking on Facebook.

            Seriously IE6 means workers with dull eyes, a biddable temperament and TPS reports being filed on time and in sextuplicate.

            Firefox means social media usage, rebellion and a hostile takeover by Urskek Corp (NASDAQ: URSK).

      • Pffft lucky you.

        Many wont even talk to you unless you sign a sheet acknowledging the pre-reqs with IE 6 mentioned and asking if you can do this before the interview even starts! As a result managers have no clue webmasters wont do the work or even that it requires more work. After all everytime they put it out for the headhunters every person who was pre-screened agreed to to it. Since their intranet apps all work therefore it is not broken so why upgrade?

        I never heard of IE 6 being incompatible with standa

        • I understand where you are coming from, my primary point is that the IT people at the companies need to start sticking up to these moron execs. I can imagine the time being put into maintaining XP & IE6 is near thay breaking point where it would be better to upgrade to something compliant with standards (IE7+[sorta], Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc.)

          Security wise it is not safe to run IE6, especially since Microsoft abandonded it a very long time ago (and WinXP, for that matter). Thereare no securit

          • IE 7 still does not respect standards nor just works. Slashdot puts elements all over the place with IE 7. IE 8 will actually work and just be ugly. IE 7 needs to die too as MS plans to make IE an annual new release.

            • I've had decent success with IE7 simply using PIE.htc [css3pie.com] and littering my css with behavior: url('/files/PIE.htc');
              Also using
              <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="IE=EDGE"/>
              Helps in IE7/8/9 to force IE to not allow compatibility mode.
              PIE works in IE6 but IE6 is so old a lot of the css stuff simply doesn't work.

              I have done a few small custom intranet projects for local SMBs but always built on Standards compliance, so it should work in recent IE, FF, Chrome, etc. I develop on Linux as my main workst

            • Slashdot looks like ass on bleeding edge Chrome, Firefox and Opera too. Look at that damn header which is only half visible.

  • Mutated ARM processors to work with Windows just like Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn. It's about control of the market not advance in science. Looks like Microsoft is as evil as ever.

  • by faustoc4 (2766155)
    Whatever plans MS has for ARM computers is very clear from their public documents. They are pressuring OEMs to create a monopoly for them. An ARM computer in order to get the MS seal of approval must implement UEFI secure boot but manually adding keys or disabling secure boot will not be possible (Windows Hardware Certification Requirements: Client and Server Systems pages 121-122, different rules for x86/x64) So with only Windows RT key enabled in the UEFI, running anything but Windows RT will not be pos
  • They *can* and likely *will* make it happen. Microsoft is struggling for relevance in the changing markets. But here's the thing. Their one major force is the multitudes of developers ... WinTel developers. The reason alternative processor platforms failed was "lack of interest." First from developers and finally from Microsoft.

    Microsoft: Seriously. Learn your lessons!

    If you want to enter a new market, FORGET WINDOWS!!! Build something new or use what everyone else is using. It's an oportunity to s

    • by Yunzil (181064)

      The backward-bug-compatibility! Stop trying to turn DOS->Windows->NT->2000->XP->Vista->7->8 into the next tablet OS.

      Yeah, after all, who needs all their old apps to run when they upgrade their OS?

    • It's an oportunity to spend money on something entirely new and can get rid of the old stuff! The legacy stuff! The backward-bug-compatibility!

      Microsoft dropped compatibility with Windows Mobile Win32 applications in Windows Phone 7. And for Windows Phone 8 they completely rebooted their development environment - new apps are C++/WinRT instead of C#/XAML and Silverlight. Windows RT on ARM for tablets won't run Win32 applications either.

      Despite all that they've lost market share and lost ISV support. Which is not surprising really. If Windows Phone 7 won't run any old applications, why should people choose it over Android which has more application

  • Of course it's a trap. But once Autodesk will get their ass moving and make AutoCAD for ARM, it will be much easier for them to make AutoCAD for linux. This software is the only reason why my wife has a single non-linux workstation in whole family.

    Same goes for tons of other windows-exclusive software. Let's only hope that ARM will go mainstream, and then linux will possibly get a lot of commercial software ported. Along with steam effort, I see a bright future for linux - naturally only because I'm a linux

    • Autocad was the only major cad program that was a Windows and DOS exclusive when others were on Sun OS and Irix. I am shocked they even have a Mac version today! The beancounters that run that company only look at marketshare and how much money is worth the development cost.

      If they can't get back more in a linux port than the development effort then they wont make it. That simple. There maybe some assembler code from the DOS days still in there, but I bet most of the costs are proprietary Win32 api's. Autod

      • well if they have a Mac port then it isn't all win32 api's as Mac is lacking them unless it is using wine libraries internally that is. but assuming it is a complete Mac port not a wine cheat then a Linux port should be fairly straight forward.

        • It could still have x86 code in the rendering engine? I do wonder and I was shocked to see it on the mac last year. But even then there are no good opengl drivers for Linux. Nvidia is the only semi stable one and it is not professional grade like the Windows ones are. I doubt they want to support ATI users.

          I agree with Autodesk that Linux is not worth the effort. Not enough users and they do not pay for software.

          • It could still have x86 code in the rendering engine? I do wonder and I was shocked to see it on the mac last year. But even then there are no good opengl drivers for Linux. Nvidia is the only semi stable one and it is not professional grade like the Windows ones are. I doubt they want to support ATI users.

            I agree with Autodesk that Linux is not worth the effort. Not enough users and they do not pay for software.

            In my experience OpenGL is fine on Linux but then again I haven't tried anything on that level, but as to you comment on Linux users not paying for software Redhat Oracle and IBM would beg to differ with you on that, while it may be that they way in the consumer space but when it comes to business level stuff Linux users are generally pretty good on paying for software when its better then the open alternatives

  • I hope they make the Surface2 an x64 version that ships with more than 4GB of RAM. That would be pretty amazing.
  • Does Microsoft need help understanding the instruction set? ARM licenses technology. Does that mean Microsoft is licensing 64-bit ARM? More likely the news is that Microsoft means to develop software to ARM and that comes across as "working with" to indicate that Microsoft is "serious" about ARM. Never leave it up to chance that Microsoft is trying to get something proprietary into the the technology, which won't have an effect on others because others can choose not to implement it. Like an another poster
  • Remember when MS said that machines shipping Windows w/ SecureBoot (UEFI) must NOT have the ability to disable secure boot, or add user defined keys?

    I do. [pcworld.com]

    Part of the controversy this time around stems from the revelation that the Microsoft's requirements for ARM-based Windows 8 devices include a mandatory Secure Boot feature, effectively locking down such devices and preventing them from booting non-Windows OSes.

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