Microsoft have revealed the first concrete details of how Windows 8 will work on ARM-based architecture, following last years announcement that the two will be compatible.
Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky has revealed that Windows on ARM (or WOA) will be treated as a separate, stand-alone Windows entity, as is Windows Embedded or Windows Phone, while still being a “seamless” part of the Windows 8 experience.
In terms of front-end, the WOA platform will look identical to a Intel or AMD x86 Windows 8 PC. You’ll get access to Metro style apps written for dual architectures, the full regular Windows style behind the tile interface, hardware accelerated HTML 5 and the usual raft of Office apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint will be compatible too.
However, third-party apps will all be for the new Metro interface when on an ARM-based machine, and Metro alone.
The public will get their first peek at Windows 8 on February 29th when the x86 Consumer Preview launches. An invitation-only Windows on ARM test will also roll out from now until the eventual launch of Windows 8.