At the Build conference, last week, once piece of technology that we heard very little about was Windows RT (not to be confused with WinRT). Many were left wondering if Microsoft was still committed to Windows RT especially given the new leadership. All OEMs with the exceptions of Microsoft (and Nokia) had abandoned the ARM hardware. The most prominent Windows ARM tablets are the Surface RT, Surface 2, and Nokia 2520. The Surface mini is also rumored to be based on ARM hardware. I still maintain that ARM is the future of Windows and the desktop will die, but that is a minority opinion and a lengthier philosophical discussion for another time.
Mary-Jo Foley got a chance to interview Terry Myerson who commented, among other things, about Windows RT:
ZDNET: What about Windows RT — not WinRT, the API (application programming interface) — but Windows RT, the Windows flavor on ARM? Does that have a future?
MYERSON: Windows ARM processors have a future, and there’s tremendous innovation in the ARM ecosystem. I think Intel has a fabulous future. There’s tremendous innovation going on with Intel.
We want to take advantage of the innovations in ARM. I think ARM chipsets have a bright, vibrant future, and Windows will run on those chipsets.
Myerson also confirmed “The Internet of Things” (IoT) is simply an evolution of Windows Embedded. The multiple embedded technologies are simply being unified into one:
We have a Windows Embedded product today that is a catchphrase for several different things. We have versions of full Windows, versions of Windows Phone, we have Win CE, we have .NET, versions of .NET. They’re all caught under this catchphrase, Windows Embedded.
We need to clarify this in the coming months for our customers. The classic Windows Embedded customer isn’t building a piano right now. What we’re talking about is an evolution of our Windows Embedded business, as well as our Windows Embedded offerings.
It’s quite exciting actually because these are our enterprise customers. Instead of like talking to them about their productivity desktops, (we are talking about) their products themselves. So it’s just exciting. We will see where it goes, but we (think we can ) help out our customers here with doing some really cool stuff.
During the rest of the interview Myerson gives non-answers for most of the questions. He does an impressive job sticking to the script and his message.