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New moves from Microsoft at CES

posted 6 Jan 2011, 07:53 by Mpelembe   [ updated 6 Jan 2011, 07:56 ]
Microsoft announces its biggest step away from a long-standing alliance with Intel, teaming up with Britain's ARM Holdings to take on Apple in the tablet and smartphone arena.
USA-CONSUMER ELECTRONICS (Jan 06, 2011) - The Consumer Electronics Show is getting underway in Las Vegas with some big news about microchips which power some of our smallest, sleekest devices.

Microsoft has announced plans to design a Windows operating system compatible with chips designed by ARM, a move seen as significant given Microsoft's longtime close alliance with the world's top chipmaker Intel.

Microsoft's chief executive Steve Ballmer expanded on the rationale behind the move in his opening keynote speech.

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer saying:

"Only the imagination limits what can be done with PCs today. Write on them. Draw on them. Hang them on the wall. Touch them. Use a wireless key board. Play a game and much, much more. Earlier today for the first time we talked about the next version of Windows. We announced that the next version of Windows will support systems on a chip architectured from Intel, from AMD and from ARM."

High-powered, low-battery chips made by ARM dominate the smartphone and tablet markets, and are featured in Apple's iPhone and iPad.

Microsoft's operating software for mobile devices -- Phone 7 -- already supports ARM processors, but the new version of Windows would mark a shift in its core operating software for computing.

And on the topic of interesting moves, Ballmer trumpeted the success of the company's new motion-sensing game system Kinect.


"So everyone who is enjoying Kinect knows today that it listens to your voice and tracks your body. But what about your facial expressions? As you can see now Kinect can track features like your smile. Your laugh and even the raise of your eyebrows."

He said Kinect had sold more than 8 million units in its first two months on the market.

Matt Cowan, Reuters