Microsoft will reportedly announce an ARM-friendly version of its flagship Windows operating system at CES 2011 in January.
According to Bloomberg, the software has been specifically “tailored” for battery-powered devices, such as tablets and other handheld devices.
What’s that, you ask?
Has hell finally frozen over? Is the traditional Wintel alliance under threat?
Well, no and no.
Still, Redmond does appear to be hedging its bets – at least in the lucrative mobile sphere.
Indeed, as RBC Capital Markets analyst Robert Breza explains, a Windows operating system that is compatible with ARM chips would provide Microsoft with another route to “attack” the tablet and smartphone market – which is currently dominated by Apple (iOS) and Google (Android).
“They’ve [really] got to come back with a product that’s better than ‘me too’ and is equal if not better in features,” explained Breza.
“[Because] a lot of tablets today are [actually] inferior to PCs.”
He emphasized that a full-featured version of Windows for ARM chips was Microsoft’s best way of making a dent in the iPad’s formidable lead.
“While Windows is dominant in the personal-computer market, it hasn’t [managed to] parlay that into tablet success yet.
“[Still, Microsoft] may be able to win 10 percent to 20 percent of the as many as 50 million tablets that will be sold next year,” Breza added.