Microsoft's plans to use ARM processors for devices running on its upcoming Windows 8 operating system (OS) means businesses could face a two-year wait before being able to deploy its tablet devices.
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Speaking during a keynote at the 2011 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer said the next version of Windows will be the first to run on ARM processors.
Microsoft currently use Intel's x86 architecture systems for laptop devices.
Adam Leach, principal analyst at Ovum said the move to ARM's system-on-a-chip (SoC) has indicated Microsoft's commitment to developing tablet devices. "This is an important step. The penetration of ARM in mobile devices means the ARM chipset is essential [to Microsoft]," he said.
"Rather than wait for Moore's Law, Microsoft are making sure they are pushing forward and moving lower into smaller devices. They are being pro-active in targeting smaller devices," said Leach.
But Leach warned that businesses will have to wait to reap the benefits. "The lead time is quite long. For enterprise users to use the mobile chipset or operating system, they will have to wait for manufacturers and OEMs and software support. It will take two years to be productive to make sure the software is integrated and it's wrapped up in a product."