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Windows 8 ARM edition will include built-in Office apps and access to the traditional desktop mode

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Windows 8 ARM will include a desktop mode and built-in Office.

TI Windows 8 tablet ARM
TI Windows 8 tablet ARM

Microsoft revealed today that Windows on ARM (WOA) PCs are still under development, but that PC makers should ship them at the same time as PCs designed for x86 / 64 chipsets. Windows 8 ARM will include a built-in version of Office 15 with access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote. These Office applications will be desktop ones, and Microsoft confirmed our earlier report that Office 15 is designed for ARM with touch and power consumption in mind.

The desktop mode on WOA will remain, giving Windows 8 tablet users access to the File Explorer, Internet Explorer 10 desktop, and other Windows desktop features. This is key to Microsoft's strategy of ensuring that Intel-based tablets are identical to their ARM-based counterparts, despite the obvious lack of desktop apps for WOA. Developers will have to build Metro style applications for ARM as Microsoft revealed today that WOA does not support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop apps.

Microsoft has worked closely with its partners to create Windows on ARM and the company plans to make it available exclusively with new devices for hardware makers, and not as a separate product. Although the company has not made any announcements on Windows 8 ARM hardware, it did reveal that some WOA hardware will be made available to developers at the next milestone release of Windows 8 on x86 / 64.