Windows 8 on ARM: late, buggy, analyst says

ARM running on WIndows 8 will not be impressive--at least initially said a Piper Jaffray analyst today.

Window 8 Metro interface.
Window 8 Metro interface. Microsoft

LAS VEGAS--Investment bank Piper Jaffray says Windows 8 running on ARM chips won't be anything to write home about. And neither will Intel's latest chip for smartphones.

Windows 8 is a milestone for Microsoft and the PC industry because it's the first mainstream Microsoft operating system to run on both ARM chips--typically found in smartphones and tablets--and Intel's X86 chip design.

"It is time once again for CES...we expect another dollop of hype and hyperbole coming out of CES this year," wrote analyst Gus Richard in a research note Monday morning.

Windows 8--not pretty on ARM, initially: Richard continued. "Windows due out in 2H:12," he said. "We believe this is a major re-write of the Windows operating system and, as such, we would expect it to be late and buggy...we would not expect Windows 8 to run well on an ARM-based PC."

And he believes Qualcomm (QCOM) will benefit more than Intel from the tablets. "We expect tablets to remain primarily ARM-based and [take market share from] PCs. We think QCOM benefits more from convergence than INTC (Intel), but the real battle likely doesn't start until CY13," he said.

Intel's Medfield chip lackluster: And he had tough words for Intel's Medfield chip--due to debut at CES on smartphones. "Intel will claim Medfield is a significant product introduction for mobile and QCOM will expect Windows 8 to drive ARM processors into PCs. We predict neither will happen in CY12."

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.


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