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Microsoft Pri0

Welcome to Microsoft Pri0: That's Microspeak for top priority, and that's the news and observations you'll find here from Seattle Times technology reporter Matt Day.

January 5, 2011 at 1:07 PM

CES 2011: Microsoft shows future Windows running on ARM chip

LAS VEGAS — Microsoft showed the next generation of Windows running on a different chip system today at the Consumer Electronics Show.

Steve Sinofsky, president of Windows division, gave a conceptual demonstration of Windows running on the ARM chip design, which is commonly used in the mobile computing world.

Sinofsky, speaking at a news conference at the show, did not show devices or provide dates or prices.

The ability of to run Windows on ARM chips means Windows could run on devices such as tablets at some point in the future. It also indicated a schism with Intel, the chip maker Microsoft has worked closely with throughout the history of Windows and the PC. ARM chip designs are now used in mobile phones and tablet devices.

“When you think of mobile devices and slates and what we think of as PCs, they’ve all converged” on the same hardware requirements, Sinofsky said, such as the amount of storage and processing power.

The mobile devices being shown so far this week have begun resembling PCs, such as a Motorola Atrix phone with a dual-core processor that AT&T announced this morning.

The Microsoft demonstration showed Word, PowerPoint and high definition video running on a prototype ARM chipset made by Texas Instruments, Nvidia.

“It’s part of our plans for the next generation of Windows. That’s all under the hood,” Sinofsky said.

He seemed to indicate that Microsoft will not expand Windows Phone 7 platform to run on slates.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer is expected to show similar demonstrations in his keynote tonight at 6:30.

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