While Windows 8 will still find itself home in x86 and x64 desktops and laptops, it will be a major foray into the ARM-based device space. ARM chips are what power nearly all of today's major smartphones and tablets, and that's an area that Microsoft wants Windows to invade.
Windows 8 will most certainly be there, but it'll require a bit more effort on the part system designers.
"Windows 8 running on ARM will ultimately be available with ARM-based hardware that you can purchase," said Windows president Steven Sinofsky. "ARM requires a deeper level of integrated engineering between hardware and software, as each ARM device is unique, and Windows allows this uniqueness to shine through."
Regarding developer tools, Sinfosky added, "The new development tools enable you to start today to build Metro style applications that will seamlessly run on x86 (32 and 64 bit) or ARM architectures. Even if you use native C/C++ code, these tools will enable Metro style apps to target specific hardware if you choose. As new PCs become available for testing, PC manufacturers will develop seed programs for developers."
Impressively, everything Microsoft is showcasing at Build will also run on ARM-based Windows 8 systems. Microsoft appears to be making a big effort in delivering a cohesive Windows 8 experience regardless of platform.