Microsoft's been very clear on one of its Windows 8 strategies: it will not follow the typical Wintel paradigm. The new operating system will work with a slew of ARM-powered devices, whether they be tablets or laptops. Certainly, that presents a new major threat for Intel, but a bit more about Chipzilla's Windows 8 competitive strategy is coming to light. According to Intel's Director of Product and Technology Media Relations Bill Kircos, the Atom Clover Trail platform and its Cloverview processor are being designed to work with Microsoft's forthcoming tile-adorned OS. The silicon platform is being timed with Windows 8 (or for the second half of 2012) and it will be a "nice one-two chip-software punch," says Kircos. He wouldn't give us an exact month or quarter timeframe on the duo (today there are rumors of a Windows 8 RTM happening in April 2012), but he was very clear that Intel would meet or beat Win 8, and that the x86 Atom architecture would power a slew of tablets, netbooks, slider devices, and more. We are hearing that the slider and convertible form factors will be pushed heavily with the new OS, which certainly makes sense given how it breeds a touch interface and a more classic Windows 7-like desktop.
Cloverview was first teased at IDF in April, and while we don't know any details on speeds and feeds, we do know it will be one of Intel's first Atom chips to be built on a 32nm manufacturing process. Additionally, like Oak Trail, it's intended for or aimed at tablets, but Kircos was very quick to highlight that the shrink will reduce power consumption and improve battery life. Of course, Cedar Trail (meant for netbooks) and Medfield (meant for phones and tablets) — both of which are also based on the 32nm process — should be arriving before the end of 2011. Yep, it's a lot of mobile silicon from Chipzilla, but is it enough to combat NVIDIA's quad-core Kal-El and ARM's Cortex A15, which may now hit as early as 2012? It's too early to say, but it's surely going to be one heck of an Intel / ARMs race.