Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer highlighted that the next version of Windows will be the first to run on ARM processors in his keynote address at the opening of the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
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Earlier in the day, Microsoft revealed that Windows 8 will support System on a Chip (SoC) architectures including ARM-based systems from partners NVIDIA, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments as well as x86 systems from Intel and AMD.
"This announcement is really all about enabling a new class of hardware and new silicon partners for Windows, to bring the widest possible range of form factors to the market," Ballmer said.
According to Ballmer, SoC support will help meet consumer demand for the full range of capability from any device, including long battery life and rich media experiences.
The reason for making the SoC announcement at CES 2011 when the next version of Windows is expected only in 2012, he said, was to all Microsoft partners time to build on the innovation.
Ballmer said Windows has the breadth, depth and flexibility to deliver the next generation of devices through the innovation of Microsoft's partners.
"Whatever device you use, now or in the future, Windows will be there," he said.