Updates to this story
The word on the strasse here at CeBIT is that Microsoft is putting its elbow behind getting Windows 8 to market by July this year. It finds itself between a rock and a hard place, under pressure not only from Google and Apple but from developers, from its own channel, and by enterprises that have bought into Windows 7 too. If it is July, Microsoft certainly has a lot to do before then.
And by Intel. The other word on the CeBIT strasse is that there is no real delay with Ivy Bridge but Microsoft consorting with ARM is a move that’s failed to win friends and has created some enmity in the charmed circle.
Following up from a keynote made by Kevin Turner this morning, Microsoft executives drip dripped some more information about the shape of Windows 8, and seemed particularly keen to re-assure enterprises that even if they were already moving to Windows 7, their investments would be protected.
Brad McCabe, a Microsoft product manager, said that Windows 8 will have the same hardware requirements as Windows 7. Even if you decided to invest in Windows for 8 tablets rather than Android or Apple based ones, you could still return to the good old Task Manager, as well as using keyboard and pointing devices, if that was your bag.
Microsoft is in a widespread push to persuade developers to work on so called Metro Apps – these are intended to be used on tablet versions that support Windows 8.
Microsoft refused to comment on how it will approach licensing for Windows 8, nor will it provide more information on ARM and how that will work.
However, the company claimed that even though Windows 7 is the most secure operating system in the known cosmos, it will introduce additional security features for enterprises, based on concepts such as Trusted Boot, smart cards, and signed operating systems.
Windows 8, said Microsoft, will support Windows 7 enterprise applications, but today’s presentation by McCabe begged more questions than the company cared to answer.
Large corporations are unlikely to be bumped by Microsoft into sacrificing the precious legacies of Office apps from the past, and it’s also unlikely that they will rush to embrace the “charms” offered on the tablet version of Windows 8. At the follow up press conference to Turner’s keynoting, Microsoft was insistent that its move to compete with Google and Apple was a value-add for the Seattle based company.
On the other hand, we’re not sure Intel feels the same, having been tarred with the Ivy Bridge “delay” brush recently. We’ll ask them, in a little while. The so-called “ecosystem” certainly doesn’t appear to be exactly ecstatic over these shenanigans. ARM really is the new AMD and Microsoft is leveraging it with all of its might No wonder.