Earlier today, president of the Windows and Windows Live division, Steven Sinofsky wrote a lengthy article detailing Microsoft’s development of Windows 8 for the ARM architecture.
As I still go through the article (it’s so long that I printed a copy), there is a lot of information hidden in the 8,600 word article which I will share in subsequent posts. However, the biggest news is that viruses that affect Windows 7 (and even Windows 8) won’t be compatible with Windows on ARM. According to Sinofsky:
- WOA will not be able to run existing x86/x64 applications. In order to build applications for Windows on ARM, they will have to be developed using the WinRT architecture.
- Apps that have been developed for WOA, using WinRT, will be only available through the Windows App Marketplace. The marketplace will act as a checkpoint for rogue applications.
The two steps ensure that a WOA device (primarily tablets) will not be as easily affected by the plethora of viruses that exist today. Talking about the issue in the article Sinofsky says,
Our focus on delivering a new level of security for consumers using WOA is paramount. In one public event, we were asked if we would “make it easy for existing viruses and malware to run.” Now you can see the answer is decidedly, “no.”
I spoke with Windows hacker Rafael Rivera (of Within Windows fame) and he believes that unless a user roots his WOA device, his device is theoretically safe from virus infections. For Microsoft, Windows on ARM (WOA) is another version of Windows akin to Windows Server, Windows Phone or Windows Embedded. Microsoft is also expected to bundle their antivirus/antimalware tool–Security Essentials–with Windows 8.