ARM CEO: Microsoft doesn’t operate on the ‘wow’ end of the spectrum

by David Needle

March 1 2013

ARM CEO Warren East says he expects Microsoft to continue to improve Windows RT.
ARM CEO Warren East says he expects Microsoft to continue to improve Windows RT.

So much for the Microsoft commercials of all those excited folks flipping Surface tablets around like they couldn’t be happier. The CEO of ARM, which makes the processors for Windows RT tablets, said Microsoft is less about flash and more about products that ship in volume.

"They don't operate on the 'wow' end of the spectrum. Think about the volumes they ship," ARM CEO Warren East told the IDG News Service in an interview at the Mobile World Congress where his company had a small booth showing off prototype devices. ARM's processor designs are licensed by a broad range of mobile device makers.

East expressed confidence Microsoft is in it for the long haul with Windows RT, despite its slow start, and will make improvements.

"I'm well aware there is a perceived wisdom that RT hasn't been as successful as lots of people thought it was going be. Quite certainly I'm sanguine about it," he said.

No new Windows RT devices have been released since December, though Acer recently said it plans to release a Windows RT device later this year. After Surface RT, Microsoft finally got its Intel-based Surface Pro tablet out the door which, unlike RT, runs the full range of Windows software.

East also hinted a more powerful, 64-bit version of Windows RT will emerge, though the first chips based on ARM’s 64-bit architecture, called ARMv8, aren’t expected until next year and may not ship in volume until 2015.

"Companies like Microsoft, everybody in the technology space, when they look at ... ARM in the future are thinking about 64-bit," East said in the interview.

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