Forget browser wars and welcome to the battle of the operating systems. Rumor has it that Microsoft is planning on demonstrating an entirely new version of Windows alongside its tablet device at next month's CES conference.
Out of the Ordinary
The OS is reportedly completely unrelated to the Windows Embedded CE family. Said to be specifically targeted at low-powered devices that run on chips based on designs from ARM Holdings, the operating system would be both a departure from the Microsoft norm and a valiant attempt to compete with the new breed of consumer tablets that Apple's iPad currently dominates.
These are necessary changes, if you ask us. Microsoft's operating systems for mobile and desktops have always been fundamentally different, making it impossible to adapt and grow with new technologies as quickly as modular offerings from competitors such as Apple and Google.
For example, the underlying base that powers Mac OS X also powers iOS, and because they're so closely related in this way, features between the two can be easily interchanged. Similarly, Google's Android is powered by the Linux kernel, which is known for modularity and its ability to run on virtually every kind of microprocessor.
It's (Not Really) Coming Soon
Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is scheduled to provide the keynote for the CES conference in January. Most expect that this will be the time for showcasing these new technologies, though an ARM compatible OS from Windows (Windows 8) is still at least 2 years away.
Microsoft has touted the developing lower-power microprocessors from Intel in the past, but many analysts and experts think a total overhaul of Windows is needed to compete in age of the mobile device.
After hearing Microsoft partner architect Marc Davis refer to mobile devices as nodes of the nervous system of the connected planet, we're inclined to agree.
What do you think?