Up till tardily last week Windows 8with ARM was a full mystery. We experience the product existed, thatit would release at few point in the future, and it would sport theMetro interface Microsoft has been displaying off for almost a yearnow.

The silence with only about everythingelse had guided many to wonder if Microsoft was further behind on theARM version than they were letting on, but this week they eventuallyopened up the information floodgates. That might sound as a bit of anexaggeration, but 9000 words is a bit more than we were expecting. Wehave acquired you covered.

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Microsoft has held its monopoly withthe desktop largely via the ability to introduce, although howeverholding backwards compatibility. On WOA (Windows on Arm), nothing youare running today will work, no exceptions. Few core Windowsfunctions such as Explorer will create the jump, but if you installedit yourself, or downloaded it from the web you will require an X86device to use it in Windows 8.

It is not all bad news mind you. Metroapplications bought via the Windows 8 store will run identically withboth x86 and ARM dependent devices, and can be installed with 5separate pieces of hardware at once. Developers will as well justrequire to write and compile their applications employing one set ofcode that works exactly with both x86 and ARM dependent devices. Thefact that this works is an amazing step forward, and possibly one ofthe single most important innovations in Windows 8.

We however do not have an exact releasedate for either version at this point, but what we do experience isthat both will ship at the same time earlier the end of 2012. Ofcourse Microsoft can ship the bits, but that does not intend you willbe able to purchase them, or more importantly, any hardware runningit. Microsoft’s hardware partners may be ready on devices with dayone, or they may not.

Microsoft claims that everything WOA -dependent systems will receive updates via traditional updating toolsbuilt into the OS, but we stay a bit skeptical. This is not an easypromise to create afforded how many variations there are of ARMhardware. As well Windows Phone 7 has begun to fragment as Microsoftstruggles to maintain a common set of features across dozens ofdifferent phone implementations. In the case of Windows Phone 7,Microsoft as well laid out strict hardware restrictions which shouldhave made updating easier, but turned out to be more difficult ascompare to originally intended.