Windows 7 not on ARM netbooks

With Windows 7, Microsoft have made a clear effort to include the netbook market with the OS’s smaller footprint, reduced hardware utilization and the recent removal of the 3 application limit. However, one area of the market that doesn’t look to be included is ARM-based netbooks, according to Microsoft’s announcement at this week’s Computex trade show.

What is ARM?

ARM (Acorn/Advanced RISC Machines) is a type of CPU first made in the 1980’s. These small processors are developed for low power consumption and so are found in most portable devices including mobile phones, PDAs & iPods as well as hard drives and routers.

It is believed that Microsoft’s long standing relationships with Intel & AMD are behind their decision not to support ARM with Windows 7, although they have also been working with ARM for 12 years on Windows CE & Windows Mobile-both of which sit on ARM processors.

Microsoft’s official statement was:

At this time, Windows 7 does not support any ARM architecture. Currently, Windows works on both x86 and x64 platforms, which, thanks to the pervasive PC hardware standard, power the vast majority of the world’s laptops and desktops. In the specialized devices space, where ARM is well suited, we offer the Windows Embedded CE platform

The first three words, “at this time”, could be significant; does that mean that an ARM compatible version is in the works? Perhaps it will make a surprise appearance before the General Availability date of October 22nd or possibly the early part of 2010; it would certainly be a mistake for Redmond to dismiss this growing section of the market-particularly with Google Android’s arrival on 6 new ARM netbooks!

Windows 7 Location Aware Printing

This is a Windows 7 feature I had forgotten about-Location Aware printing. Ever get it where you take your laptop into the office after a few days of working from home, hit print…then wonder when on earth it’s going to appear on the printer…then after a little while you realise you’ve printed it at home (or vice versa) and feel all daft?! Windows 7 Location Aware printing will stop all that :-)

You can set default printers for certain networks I.e Epson “whatever” at home, HP “thingamajig” at work etc and Windows 7 will know where it is and print accordingly…nice!

Location Aware

Windows 7 Presentation Mode

Windows 7 just keeps surprising me with it’s great new features; I’ve just seen Presentation Mode which I think is great. It really shows that MS have been listening to feedback and putting a lot of thought into how their OS is used.

Presentation Mode is found in the Mobility Centre (Windows Key + X) and lets you control your machine’s behaviour while you are giving presentations. You can:

  • Stop the Screensaver coming on
  • Set the volume level
  • Display a different wallpaper

A lot of us have wallpaper of our kids, wives/girlfriends/husbands/boyfriends etc but maybe don’t want to have everyone in the meeting/seminar room to see it for whatever reason, and this is a simple, easy way to do it.

Presentation mode - new

As I say, a great example of Microsoft listening to it’s users :-)

*Update* As Frederic points out in the comments-this isn’t actually a new feature of Windows 7…it’s there in Vista too! I’ve been using Vista pretty much since it came out and I’ve never come across Presentation Mode and I’ve never heard anyone talk about it; and I think that is a result of the differences between the two Operating Systems. People are just more excited about Windows 7 and that is definitely helping get word of these features out and about :-)