Microsoft said earlier today that its future version of Windows will run on chips based on ARM’s chip architecture. In front of a huge crowd at the Consumer Electronics Show, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer showed once again that the software worked fine on test systems based on chips from Intel, Qualcomm (Snapdragon), Texas Instruments, and Nvidia (Tegra 2).

If these ARM-based rivals can succeed in the market with their chips, they could break Intel’s near-monopoly on Windows PCs. And if Microsoft can do it, Apple probably can too.

You can see the demo for yourself in the video. Each different chip has its advantages. The Nvidia chip, for instance, can display software with lots of rich graphics.

The significance of this can’t be understated. The demo shows that the future version of Windows is running, although there’s no telling when it will arrive. And the fact that it can run on both Intel and ARM hardware means that Microsoft stands poised to get its Windows software into PCs, phones, and tablet computers now.


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