Microsoft has revealed its is in the final stages of enabling the upcoming Windows 8 software release work on the ARM processor platform - a monumental shift for the company.
In a post to the Building Windows 8 blog, Microsoft Windows division vice president Steven Sinofski said while a number of core elements of the operating system had to be re-engineered, the company was aiming to make Windows on Arm (WOA) identical to its x86 counterpart.
"We have designed WOA to look and feel just like you would expect," he said.
"WOA enables creativity in PC design that, in combination with newly architected features of the OS, will bring to customers new no-compromise experiences."
In addition to support for the Windows 8 interface and its Metro application platform, Microsoft is also looking to offer ARM versions of its upcoming Office 15 suite.
The inclusion of ARM support has been seen as a key component in Microsoft's roadmap for Windows 8 and beyond.
With the company looking to meld its desktop operating system into the mobile space, support for the growing class of ARM-powered tablets and embedded devices was seen as a critical step by many in the industry.
Sinofski said that WOA would include support for mobile components such as GPS, accelerometers and Bluetooth connections, alongside support for the basic components of the platform.
The company said WOA will not be backwards compatible with legacy applications, but the platform fully compatible with Metro applications.
Developers who want to offer applications for both architectures are being advised to develop applications through Metro and the Web Services API platform.
Sinofski said that the company plans to ship the WOA version of Windows 8 later this year alongside the x86 version of the platform.
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