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By 19 May 2011 | Categories: news

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At a recent company presentation held in Santa Clara, California, Intel's head of software business, Renee James, stated that Microsoft's Windows 8 OS will have multiple versions, and that some versions won't be able to run older programs.

According to Bloomberg, James stated that Microsoft will release at least four versions of Windows 8 that works on new ARM chip technology, but that these versions won't be able to run “legacy” applications. Legacy software simply refers to programs created to run on an older OS (in this case, Windows 7).

“Our competitors (ARM chip makers) will not be running legacy applications. Not now. Not ever,” she stated. According to The Register, she also told attendees that a “Windows 8 traditional” option would be offered for x86 chips including a so-called “Windows 7 mode”, a compatibility mode allowing older programs to be run.

This means that mobile versions of the upcoming OS may not be able to support all the Windows software one would be able to run on a normal desktop version for example.

Yesterday however Microsoft challenged James' statements, although the Redmond company declined to say exactly what parts of her statements were faulty, indicating that it may contain some truths. “Intel’s statements during yesterday’s Intel Investor Meeting about Microsoft’s plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading.”

However many versions the upcoming Windows 8 (expected to be released next year) will have, one thing is for sure, and that is that Microsoft is pursuing the mobile market like never before. The new OS will support SoC (system-on-a-chip) architecture (like ARM), giving it the ability to be easily ported to tablets and other mobile devices.

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