Thursday, July 28, 2011

Will Microsoft Abandon the PC as Windows 8 Moves to the Tablet Format?

There is a lot of speculation about the track thatWindows 8 will take. On the one hand Microsoft says it will be Windows 7 backwards compatible, but on the other it plans to develop the OS around ARM processors. And this leads to a conundrum. Will Microsoft abandon the PC as Windows 8 moves to the tablet format?
The question comes from the fact that the entire PC industry has been supplanted by the smaller is better mentality personified by the mobile/smart phone technology and the iPad/tablet technology. This will make the technology makers look at the products in a different light.
Microsoft has already shown that Windows 8 can run on ARM. That is a 32 bit RISC based architecture that uses less power than traditional Intel or AMD processors. Indeed, as far back as 2005 almost 98% of the mobile phones had at least one ARM processor running the device. Since then it has found a place in consumer electronics, including PDAs, mobile phones, digital media and music players, hand-held game consoles, calculators, and computer peripherals such as hard drives and routers.
Tailored Apps
The success of the tablets comes in part from the fact that each user can customize the tablet by an App. In this case, the App is like and unlike a software program on a PC. It is like a PC program because it will use the traditional CPU, memory, drivers, and hardware components to work. But it is unlike a PC program because the Apps doe one thing only in a compact way. In addition they are very inexpensive. Forget about spending $200.00 plus for a program, when you can spend .99 cents for a program that will do what you want.
In that regard, Microsoft will launch special development tools for developers so they can create “tailored apps” for Windows 8. What will be different from the current crop of Windows applications is that they will automatically take over the entire screen when launched. In this way the full screen take over will help create a different and immersive tablet computing experience.
So with that in mind, the question is, how long will the PC last? If Microsoft abandons this technology it will be doomed. A new generation of hardware may be in the making now.
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