Microsoft slams Intel over Windows 8 "leak"

Microsoft has criticized Intel for leaking “misleading” information about the next version of Redmond’s flagship operating system.

Indeed, during a recent conference in Santa Clara, Intel exec Renee James claimed there would be at least four versions of Windows 8 for ARM-based SoC’s.

Renee also asserted that the ARM-friendly versions of the operating system would be incapable of running “legacy” programs coded for Windows 7, Vista and XP.

A Microsoft spokesperson, however, vehemently denied Intel’s claims, terming them “factually inaccurate.”

“Intel’s statements during [its] investor meeting about Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading,” Redmond clarified in an official statement. 

“From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time.”

Of course, it remains unclear if Microsoft is disputing Renee’s entire statement, or just specific points.

Personally, I doubt Microsoft is coding four separate versions of Windows 8 for ARM. I mean, why would Redmond do that, exactly?

A more likely scenario could be the creation of a single ARM iteration of the operating system, with various GUIs, “skins” and capabilities optimized for specific devices and form factors.

As for not being able to load legacy apps, well, chances are that Microsoft will offer an emulator for older programs which aren’t ported.  

Of course, running emulated software is likely to degrade performance (although how much is anyone’s guess), so it will be interesting to see how Redmond deals with the issue for those who simply can’t do without their old apps on newer tablets.