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Intel, ARM trade barbs over Windows 8, RT

Agam Shah | June 7, 2012
With the big release of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system fast approaching, the war of words between Intel and ARM has become more heated as the rivals gear up for the release of new touch-based devices with their processors.

Calling the legacy software issue "overblown," Segars said there are always levels of incompatibility with every new OS. But that issue is trumped by the low-power consumption and long battery life of tablets with ARM processors.

"If you've essentially got that in a Windows environment, and access to Office and ... everything else that Microsoft has, that's going to be compelling to a lot of people," Segars said. "There's a greater [developer] opportunity for new things to come from that. The most entrepreneurial companies will take advantage of that."

PC maker Acer is taking a pragmatic approach, saying Windows on Intel is well-established, while Windows RT on ARM is a beginner where opportunities have yet to be explored.

Acer has high hopes for Windows RT devices, said Jim Wong, corporate president of Acer, in an interview.

"We have to give it a try. Users who have no burden of the so-called legacy, they enjoy a brand new experience. Everything touch, everything's forward-looking with some new devices," Wong said.

Users are dumping legacy software and moving forward, and ARM will bring a low-power and long-battery life element to devices that Acer finds attractive, Wong said.

The ARM platform will also be cheaper overall compared to the x86 architecture, but whether it is successful has yet to be determined.

"This is not going to happen overnight. It is going to be good business. But this is good for the whole industry and there will be winners in the end," Wong said.

 

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