by Rene Haas

Microsoft today painted a radical vision of computing’s future, demonstrating several Windows 8 features running on a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra-powered tablet.

Speaking at the company’s BUILD developer conference in Anaheim, Calif., Mike Angulio, Microsoft’s VP of Windows planning, demonstrated:

  • Windows 8 devices’ ability to instantly switch on and off
  • The new Windows 8 user interface, designed to work equally well with both touch-based tablets and keyboard/mouse-based PCs
  • New applications, mostly written in HTML5, which are always running in the background
  • Platform agnostic applications (running on both ARM and x86)
The NVIDIA quad-core “Project Kal-El”-powered
tablet is on the left.

The Windows 8 demos underscore how Microsoft is reimagining the PC experience to encompass portable, low-power devices that many believe represent the future of computing. Microsoft is embracing the future by supporting energy-efficient ARM processors like Tegra and the convergence of desktop and mobile devices.

We’ve supported Microsoft in their ARM ecosystem efforts by providing the world’s first quad-core ARM development platform, tools and deep engineering support. With more than 15 years of experience working with Windows, NVIDIA is the only semiconductor company with expertise in both Windows and ARM environments.

Windows 8 will take advantage of hardware
acceleration natively

In addition, Anguilo emphasized that all Windows 8 applications will feature hardware accelerated graphics. He said that developers will not need to do additional work to support hardware acceleration – they can just write the applications, and they will automatically take advantage of graphics on both ARM and x86 platforms.

NVIDIA and Microsoft are helping transform the industry. When Windows 8 is released, I expect to see radically new lightweight and affordable Windows 8 notebooks and tablets that offer days of battery life and stunning HD graphics thanks to their Tegra processor.

So get ready for a sea change in the PC industry. That’s good news for the global economy, and it’s great news for consumers.