New ARM-powered Windows 8 won't run legacy apps

Did ya hear that Microsoft is building its next OS, Windows 8 with ARM support? No, it's not adding a body limb to its software. It's building a version of Windows for those mobile chips that are found in most powerful smartphones and tablets. Well, as powerful as those ARM chips are and Windows 8 will be, your old Windows apps won't work with it.

Windows 8 is going to be a little confusing when it lands because it'll ship with two types: an x86 and ARM editions. The x86 architecture (same as the ones used in today's desktops and notebooks) will remain fully compatible with most Windows apps, while the ARM one will not. So why even make an ARM version of Windows 8?

Well, ARM chips are exploding like crazy on the mobile front and Microsoft doesn't want to get left behind. ARM's system on a chip platforms offer better battery life and less cooling, which are two very important features that factor into deciding what type of mobile computer to get. It's one of the reasons why tablets are so thin, light and pack dual-cores now.

Because the architecture is different, it looks like all x86 or "legacy apps" will not run on ARM-based Windows 8. This is a big loss for consumers as they'll need to buy all their essential apps such as Microsoft Office all over again. But wait, there's hope!

Just don't buy the ARM-based Windows 8 and you'll be good to go. But that battery...well, you can't have it all right?

Via Engadget

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