Actually, WinCE ran on ARM and x86, but the x86 support (AFAIK) was only available for use during development so you could test on a PC, but not supported for deployment. At one point, Windows NT ran on PowerPC, but it was killed early. So it's not that M'soft can't do portable software, they've just never had a good reason to deploy on multiple platforms. Until ARM got "good enough" for the portable world; and now here we are.
I think the main question for me with win8 is not really in hte new features but more on hte legacy. It is a revolution in MS history to support 2 type of processor for their OS which has supported only x86 in the past. What will be the aditionnal cost in term of feature and processing to have capbility to run on ARM and x86. How will they manage the enormous windows x86 legacy. will an application created for win8 run on win7 for instance? looking at the mess in the past regarding stability due to complexity and testing of recent windows version we can be very worried with win8. What will be the environment given to developpers ? will they have to develop twice the application once for x86 and once for ARM? I strongly belive the problem is not in hte new gadget which can be added but more on the complete picture around win8 and support of x86 and ARM.
I a, not seing tablet repalcing laptops and smartphones. It just come in adition of this things. for sure looking at a video is more convenient on a tablet than a smartphone but when you move to programming doing real work meaning creating contant then the PC with big screen is the thing you need. Tablet for me is just a solution to extend the screen of a smartphone but if tomorrow I have capacity to have a large scrren when needed lock in the form factor of a smrtphone, I no longer need a tablet
Duane, Agreed! Yet when, if ever, will MS field a real high-quality Embedded OS in the same league as WindRiver and QNX (and I'm not talking about WinCE)? Why should I care, because too many times throughout my career I've been pressed by management to put "Windows" into an embedded system - not for any good technical reasons, simply because they can then say "We have Microsoft in our system". I've heard too many horror stories about WinCE to ever make the mistake of using it on my projects.
Re Win8 on embedded: Having some experience in WinCE, I'm skeptical. I'm not sure how much sense makes either. The needs of embedded systems are quite different than the needs of a general application platform such as the PC/Laptop/Tablet.
I really don't think it makes a lot of sense to take all of the overhead required for a consumerish PC and add it into an embedded system where real-time responsiveness and/or conservation of resources are paramount.
C'mon folks, where are the comments about how Windows 8 will serve the Embedded industry? This is EE Times, isn't it? Where is the concern about how this will impact the engineering world. The comments I see here are all about the "traditional" computing world of desktops, tablets, mobile devices, etc. This isn't PC Week people, this is EE Times! Are there any real engineers reading EE Times anymore?? I could not care less if Windows 8 can detect eye positions - if I need that functionality I'll develop it myself, where did all of the real engineers go????