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Tablet OS hits ARM chips next month, says report

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Microsoft is set to unveil a new incarnation of Windows that runs on ARM chips, according to a report citing two people familiar with the company's plans.

Bloomberg reports that Redmond will announce an ARM-friendly version of Windows early next month at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. According to Bloomberg's unnamed sources, the new OS is designed for battery-powered devices, including tablets and other handhelds, and it will also run on Intel and AMD chips.

Microsoft declined to comment on the report. But this summer, the software giant signed a new pact with ARM Holdings to license the chip architecture. Microsoft has previously worked with ARM on other versions of Windows, including Window Phone and Windows Embedded. From the late 90s, ARM chips ran most Pocket PC handhelds as well as Windows CE-based netbooks and tablets.

Microsoft's latest embrace of the ARM, Bloomberg says, is an effort to challenge Apple and Google in both the phone and tablet markets. ARM chips drive the iPhone and the iPad, and Google originally built Android for the ARM chip, though others have ported it to other chips. Google has since ported Android to Intel's Atom chip as part of its Google TV project. ®

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