Microsoft details Windows 8 for ARM (WOA), will have Office 15 apps

In a new Building Windows 8 blog post, Microsoft details Windows 8 on ARM, now known as WOA. As Microsoft explains, WOA is a new member of the Windows family that builds on the foundation of Windows. Best of all, it will have Office 15 apps integrated.

Early prototype of an ARM device running WOA

"We created WOA to enable a new class of PC with unique capabilities and form factors, supported by a new set of partners that expand the ecosystem of which Windows is part," Microsoft stated in a Building Windows 8 blog post. Windows on ARM, or WOA as the company refers to it, is a new member of the Windows family.

Microsoft mentions that WOA PC's are still under development and are expected to ship the same time as traditional x86/x64 PCs powered by Windows 8. For those who are not familiar, WOA will be running on computers built on innovative hardware platforms by NVIDIA, Qualcomm, and Texas Instruments. As Microsoft states, "PC manufacturers are hard at work on PCs designed from the ground up to be great and exclusively for WOA."

Developers can also design apps just for WOA by writing the code for the WinRT langauge, which is the API for building Metro apps, by using Visual Studio 11 and languages such as C#/VB/XAML and JavaScript/HTML5. Microsoft stresses that WOA will not support running, emulating, or porting of existing x86/x64 desktop apps.

WOA is expected to support all new Metro styled apps, such as those Microsoft will provide for mail, calendar, contacts, photos, and storage. WOA will also have support for hardware-accelerated HTML5 in Internet Explorer 10.

Office 15 will also be included in WOA. Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote will be created for both touch and minimized power and resource consumption.

WOA will also have File Explorer and Internet Explorer 10 for the desktop. These features have been designed for touch and to utilize minimal power and resources.

"Using WOA 'out of the box' will feel just like using Windows 8 on x86/64. You will sign in the same way. You will start and launch apps the same way. You will use the new Windows Store the same way. You will have access to the intrinsic capabilities of Windows, from the new Start screen and Metro style apps and Internet Explorer, to peripherals, and if you wish, the Windows desktop with tools like Windows File Explorer and desktop Internet Explorer. It will have the same fast and fluid experience. In other words, we’ve designed WOA to look and feel just like you would expect. WOA enables creativity in PC design that, in combination with newly architected features of the OS, will bring to customers new no-compromise experiences," Microsoft adds.

Microsoft plans on releasing a test build of WOA around the same time as the Community Preview of Windows 8, for a limited number of testers in a closed invite-only beta program.

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