Despite previous rumors, the Redmond, Washington-based software giant Microsoft has officially confirmed that its next-generation Windows 7 operating system will not provide consumers with support for ARM-based devices. According to the company, the upcoming Windows release, due out on October 22, will be enabled on x86 and x64 platforms and will not be available for the upcoming wave of ARM-based smartbooks, netbooks, notebooks and PCs. However, the company did not say anything about the potential of enabling ARM support for a future release of its operating system, leaving some hope for those who are looking to switch to one of the upcoming devices built on NVIDIA Tegra, Qualcomm's Snapdragon or other ARM-based chip.
In a recent statement, a company spokesperson put an end to rumors that Microsoft was planning Windows 7 as a potential ARM-supporting operating system. “At this time, Windows 7 does not support any ARM architecture. Currently, Windows works on both x86 and x64 platforms, which, thanks to the pervasive PC hardware standard, power the vast majority of the world’s laptops and desktops. In the specialized devices space, where ARM is well suited, we offer the Windows Embedded CE platform.” the statement noted.
The news doesn't come as a surprise, given Microsoft's long-time relationship with leading x86 chip makers, such as Intel and AMD. However, the prospect of having a Windows operating system that runs on ARM-based architecture is still pretty solid, as the company didn't say it would never design an ARM-ready Windows OS, but rather that there was no support for said architecture at the time.
Aside from confirming the “no Windows 7 for ARM” scenario, Microsoft also provided its feelings on the success rate of Android, Moblin or other new Linux-based operating systems for netbooks. According to the software giant, the lack of application support for these operating systems will be a limiting factor.