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Windows 8 may have an edge over Android on tablets, ARM CEO says

ARM's CEO Warren East believes that Windows 8 tablets may have a better shot at success than Android tablets did.

Warren East speaking during Tuesday's earnings conference call.
Warren East speaking during Tuesday's earnings conference call.

In the wake of a solid earnings report, ARM's CEO Warren East said Microsoft may have some potential advantages over Android in the tablet market.

ARM processors power the vast majority of tablets and smartphones sold globally.  And for the first time with Windows 8, a mainstream Windows operating system will run on both ARM and Intel chips.

Responding to an analyst's question about why consumers would buy Windows 8 tablets when Android tablet sales have been "disappointing," East cited Microsoft's brand recognition among consumers.

Microsoft's brand advantage: "Consumers are familiar with Microsoft and very familiar with Windows and they're less familiar with an Android environment. Microsoft has an awareness advantage with consumers that the Android folks didn't have," he said.

East continued. "It's up to Microsoft [and we'll see] how well they're going to exploit that advantage. But I think that's a fundamental difference."

Give Android more time: That said, East believes Android tablet sales will eventually take off. "Actually when Android phones were introduced, there was a lot of hype. And then, actually, they didn't take off in the sort of way that reflected that hype. Then a few years later--two years later--half a million units a day, 700,000 units a day. [Android phones now are] really...a very successful product," he said.

"I think we should give Android tablets a little bit more time," he added.

Intel has its work cut out for it in the smartphone market: East also made it clear that Intel has a big challenge on its hands as it tries to get traction in the smartphone and tablet market.

"One of the factors that--one of the hurdles--that they have to overcome is the fact that every day there's 700,000 Android phones activated around the ARM architecture and the application developers are working on creating applications that run on ARM," he said.

East continued. "So Intel [is] going to have...to compete with the 20 or so ARM licensees who are very actively supplying apps processors...This is really a question for Intel as to how well they think they're going to be able to overcome those hurdles."

The earnings conference call was streamed live on ARM's investor page.