IDG News Service - Microsoft said Wednesday that the next version of its Windows PC operating system will run on ARM processors, part of an effort to adapt Windows to the fast-growing market for tablet computers, where Apple and Google have gained traction.
It's a big move for Microsoft, whose desktop OS has traditionally run only on x86-type processors from Intel and Advanced Micro Devices. Chips based on ARM designs use much less power and are dominant in smartphones like the BlackBerry and iPhone and in tablets like the Apple iPad.
Microsoft executives made the announcement during a press conference at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, where tablet computers are the hot topic. CEO Steve Ballmer is expected to talk further about the effort in his keynote address that opens the show Wednesday evening.
The move will bring Microsoft's operating system into the era of "system on chip" processors, such as the ARM chips made by Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, said Steven Sinofsky, president of Microsoft's Windows and Windows Live Division.
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