Windows 8 ARM notebooks and tablets tipped for mid-2013 debut

Notebooks running Windows 8 on ARM processors rather than Intel or AMD x86 chips aren't expected to hit the market until June 2013, insider sources have suggested, indicating Microsoft's Windows on ARM project will lag considerably behind the mainstream build. The platform itself is tipped to go public at the end of 2012, DigiTimes' sources tell them, but with the first hardware not scheduled until midway through the following year, broad adoption isn't seen until 2014 at the earliest.

In fact, so the notebook players reckon, it won't be until 2015 until Windows on ARM hardware presents a significant, market-share grabbing challenge to Intel and AMD based hardware. Software support and notebook vendor reluctance are cited as the two main problems: apps written for Windows 8 on regular x86 processors will need to be reworked to run on ARM chipsets.

Nonetheless, producers of ARM chipsets – like NVIDIA and Qualcomm – are believed to be "aggressively cooperating" with firms like Lenovo and ASUS on potential implementations, with both notebooks and tablets on the agenda. The benefit of the ARM chips will be power frugality without sacrificing multimedia power, allowing Windows 8 slates to take on the iPad and Android tablets with lengthy runtimes.

However, Intel isn't expected to concede the processor market quietly, and will be pushing out Ivy Bridge in early 2012 and then Haswell in 2013. Both platforms are expected to dramatically cut power consumption, making them ideal for ultramobility implementations like tablets and ultrabooks.