LAS VEGAS – Microsoft said Wednesday that the next version of Windows operating software is being crafted with smartphones and other mobile gadgets in mind.
For the first time ever, Windows software is being tailored for the kinds of ARM chips that power smartphones in a shift away from processors made by Intel.
"Customers are demanding a much tighter integration between software and hardware," Microsoft Windows vice president Steven Sinofsky said during a press briefing on the eve of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
"It's a natural evolution of hardware; more function in a smaller package."
Sinofsky sidestepped how much emphasis was being placed on crafting the coming generation of Windows for tablet computers, a booming market dominated by Apple's iPad devices.
He said Microsoft wanted to avoid its software being built into tablets before it is ready, a problem that befell Google when it developed a free mobile platform for smartphones that hardware makers put into tablets even though it was not ideally suited for larger screens.
Windows 7 cannot provide a tablet experience to rival iPads, according to analysts.
Sinofsky showed off next-generation Windows computers made with chip technology from NVIDIA, Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and AMD.
Windows 7 was released to computer makers in October 2009, and Microsoft was expected to wait 24 to 36 months before releasing the next version of the software.
"This new type of hardware requires us to work with a new set of partners," Sinofsky said of Microsoft, which has long been true to Intel chips.
"Slates, personal computers and mobile devices are converging in the same baseline operating environment."
He took a shot at Apple, describing a fellow airplane passenger who switched from an iPhone to an iPad to an iPod and then a MacBook laptop computer during the course of his flight to Las Vegas.
"I just know there is a better future than the guy next to me on the plane," Sinofsky said, noting that converging devices will be a theme for the next generation of Windows.
© AFP 2013