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Windows 8 will run on ARM natively

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Microsoft is taking notice of industry trends, and told attendees Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that the next version of Windows would run on ARM chips. The move is an acknowledgement of the changing face of consumer electronics -- that smart phones, tablets, and portable devices are indeed the future.

The move is also significant for another reason -- up until now, Microsoft on ARM was relegated to the stripped down versions of Windows, either Windows Mobile, CE, or Embedded. Having the capability to run a full version of the operating system natively on these mobile processors opens up more possibilities for manufacturers in developing compact devices, the Redmond company believes.

"We've reached a point in technology where everyone really does want everything from their computing experience," Windows chief Steven Sinfosky said in explaining the decision. "Today's demonstrations will highlight the work we have done on the architecture of Windows to enable the richness of the Windows platform to run natively on the ARM platform."

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