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Intel CEO says Windows on ARM will struggle without legacy support

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Intel CEO Paul Otellini believes a lack of legacy support will result in ARM having an "uphill battle" in the Windows market.

Intel Ultrabook Prototype Crop
Intel Ultrabook Prototype Crop

During Intel's annual investor meeting today, CEO Paul Otellini wasted no time in emphasizing the major advantage x86 architecture support will offer when it comes to choosing between Windows 8 hardware powered by Intel chipsets or Windows RT devices featuring ARM processors. "I think they have a big uphill fight," said Otellini of the competition. "We have the advantage of the incumbency, advantage of the legacy support. Not just in terms of applications but devices."

Otellini paid particular focus to the enterprise market, boasting that business customers won't have to worry about investing in new software when Microsoft's upcoming OS ships, and that "tens of millions" of existing apps will be right at home on Intel-based machines. Combined with ARM's lack of enterprise manageability options, Otellini raises some valid points that are likely to weigh on the minds of those shopping for hardware in the coming months. On the consumer end of the spectrum, we get the sense that a fair number of people are looking forward to the fresh experience offered by Metro, so ARM's struggles may not be quite as drastic as Otellini hints. The investor meeting is scheduled to pick back up shortly and we'll be sure to share any other noteworthy exchanges.