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Intel CEO dings ARM's Windows 8 'legacy' vulnerability

Intel CEO Paul Otellini took an opportunity at the company's annual investor meeting to zero in on an expected drawback of Windows 8 on ARM chips.

Intel CEO speaks at Intel Investor day today.
Intel CEO speaks at Intel Investor day on Thursday.

Intel CEO Paul Otellini took aim at a vulnerability of the ARM chips running Windows 8 when he addressed investors today at a meeting at Intel headquarters in Santa Clara, Calif.

"There's been a lot of debate that [Windows 8] is going to be a real entree for the ARM camp into Windows for the first time," he said. "While at face value, that's true...[but] I think they have a big uphill fight," he said.

Intel showed off an ultrabook with a touch screen running Windows 8, demonstrating how easy it is to switch between the touch-centric Windows 8 Metro mode and the classic keyboard-mouse based Windows, so-called legacy mode.

"With one button you can get to legacy mode...this is critically important for CIOs who want to preserve all of their investments in software," he said, referring to "tens of millions" of programs built around Intel's x86 design.

"We have the advantage of the incumbency, advantage of the legacy support. Not just in terms of applications but devices."

Intel says 20 Windows 8 tablet designs are on the way based on the Clover Trail Atom chip.
Intel says 20 Windows 8 tablet designs are on the way based on the Clover Trail Atom chip. Intel

Windows RT -- referred to previously as Windows on ARM -- has been criticized recently for its lack of corporate enterprise readiness.

Suppliers of ARM chips include Qualcomm, Nvidia, and Texas Instruments.

Otellini also mentioned that Intel is ramping production of its newest mainstream PC processor Ivy Bridge, which is now shipping at a rate of two million units a week.

The event is being streamed live from Intel headquarters.