LAS VEGAS--One of the hot topics at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system, the Redmond giant’s first to run on both the x86 and ARM platforms, able to scale from PCs to tablets, with the advantage of touch optimization.
With all the buzz centered on upcoming Windows 8 products, however, the big question is whether the demo builds at CES will be stable enough to enable hands-on experiences at the show.
Representatives from Intel have told press Microsoft has categorically forbidden ARM vendors to show working demos of devices running Windows 8, owing to instability issues. Representatives from Qualcomm and Texas Instruments have hotly denied the allegations, claiming they will indeed have working devices for attendees to play with on the show floor.
“We were told all ARM vendors will have to display their Windows 8 devices under glass casing,” an Intel rep said, adding that Intel, on the other hand, would be able to show its Win 8 devices off freely.
Remi El-Ouazzane, VP of TI's OMAP platform business said the allegations were unfounded and noted it was amusing Intel should make such claims when the firm shared the same graphics engine as many ARM partners – Imagination Technologies.
“Windows 8 is particularly graphics driven, relying heavily on graphics acceleration to run it seamlessly,” El-Ouazzane said. “We use exactly the same graphics core as Intel, so it’s strange they would be claiming better performance,” he added.
Texas Instruments said it did plan to show working product demos running Windows 8, but that the build would not be the final version of the operating system, as Microsoft wanted to reserve “some surprises” for launch.
An Intel representative responded that the issues he knew of were stability related, and that the orders for banning live WARM demos on the showfloor had come from Microsoft directly.
“It’s going to be messy if ARM vendors blatantly ignore directives from Microsoft,” he added.
Whether that turns out to be true, remains to be seen when the show floor opens on Tuesday.