Could Microsoft be working on support for Windows 8 desktop apps on ARM devices? That would truly be a surprise.

Windows 8 desktop apps running on ARM devices

After the BUILD conference last week and Steven Sinofsky’s comments during the Financial Analyst meet last week, most of the industry was certain that there would be no ARM support for Windows 8 desktop apps built to run on x86. However, Microsoft veteran analyst Mary Jo-Foley has pitched in with an opposite opinion and the industry is again debating the issue.

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ARM Devices Running Windows 8 May Support Non-Metro Apps After All

Technically speaking, you cannot run x86 apps on anything non-x86 like ARM. They are different platforms. However, the debate that is raging right now is about whether Microsoft will provide a way for developers to port the so-called Desktop apps in to the Metro-only UI that has been designated for Windows 8 devices powered by ARM processors

Steve Sinofsky made it clear that ARM devices would be strictly Metro apps only. He also reaffirmed that Windows 7 apps would run on Windows 8 and all Windows 7 apps are x86. Hence, right now the only way to run a desktop app on ARM seems to be to port it to HTML5 and JavaScript. However, it is understood that only simple apps will have this options where as complex desktop business apps are still unsure of how to go about it.

Industry veteran Mary Jo-Foley recently stated her opinion on the subject saying that Microsoft will debut ARM Windows 8 devices with desktop app support. She has so far been quite accurate in her Windows 8 predictions and her experience has made industry experts reconsider their verdicts.

Microsoft Is Probably Working On A Solution Behind The Scenes

Microsoft’s tight-lipped responses regarding this crucial issue might be stemming from a crucial development stage that is going on in the background. When Steve Ballmer was directly asked about the appearance of a Metro version of Microsoft’s flagship product Office, he did not say a yes directly. Instead he said that if they had something to talk about, they would be letting everyone know. He added that they were of course working on Office.

Given the sensitive and strategically decisive nature of the new platform, it is obvious that Microsoft is seeking to under-promise and then over-deliver so that there are no disappointments within the developers.