Windows 8 on ARM ‘WOA’ to support desktop mode, but it will not run older apps

On Thursday, Microsoft revealed more details on the development of Windows on ARM (WOA). This is a new version of the operating system that has been added to the Windows family, like Windows Server, Windows 7, or Windows Embedded, and PC builders should ship them at the same time as PCs designed for the x86/64 architecture chipsets.

Windows 8 on ARM-based CPUs will support the traditional Windows desktop experience, but old apps will not be supported (WOA doesn’t support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop apps). ARM-based devices will be focused on Metro-style apps, which are those built under WinRT — President of the Windows and Windows Live Division at Microsoft Steven Sinofsky explains. But not to be so worried, at first, WOA will include a built-in desktop version of the new Office 15 that will enable users to use Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. Also, Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer to access files, and other Windows desktop features that are commonly used will be supported at launch.

WOA will be a no-compromise product for people who want to have the full benefits of familiar Office productivity software and compatibility, an industry-leading hardware-accelerated web web browser, apps from Microsoft, and access to apps in the Windows Store. — Steven said.

Now, this is not going to be a piece of software that you will be able to buy. Microsoft has worked intensively with many of its manufacturing partners to build Windows on ARM, and it is only available for new devices. Even though the software maker didn’t make any announcements on which hardware will run WOA, they said that some hardware ARM-based, of course, will be available for developers at the upcoming Windows 8 ‘Consumer Preview’ event on February 29.

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In this video released by Microsoft, you can learn more details about WOA, plus you’ll get a glimpse of how Office 15 is looking so far. Moreover, as we reported earlier this week — Windows 8 ‘Consumer Preview’ preinstalled apps list revealed –, you can also get a sneak peek on the new Windows 8 Mail, Calendar, and Photo Metro style apps that will come preinstalled in the next milestone of Microsoft OS.

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