New ARM Windows, Kinect, Win7: Microsoft Foretells 2011

Dennis Faas's picture

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer's highly-anticipated address at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2011 was focused on one major theme: catching up in the tablet market. But he also took time to discuss other big products entering the new year, Microsoft Kinect for the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone 7.

There's been a lot of talk in recent months about how Windows is going to fit into a very Apple-dominated tablet universe. Since its release last spring, the iPad has completely monopolized this market, with most Windows-based contenders, such as the ExoPC, are suffering from poor design and extremely short battery life.

In short, consumers have yet to put their eyes on anything close to the enthusiast levels of the iPad.

New MS Windows To Run on ARM Processors

Microsoft plans to change all the iPad hype with a new type of Windows that will run on ARM processors, a shift that Ballmer believes will allow his company to better compete with Apple and Google's Android system.

ARM, which uses considerably less power than other types of computer processors, will also help Microsoft better compete in the smartphone market. (Source: ARM is an acronym which stands for "Advanced RISC Machine"; RISC stands for "Advanced Reduced Instruction Set Computing," and was originally developed by UK-based Acorn Computers Ltd in Cambridge, England. (Source:

Microsoft Touts Success in 2010

For the most part, Ballmer's CES address was limited to a Microsoft highlight reel. He touted the Xbox 360 Kinect sales (which sold 8 million units in just sixty days), and the system's potential in a video game industry starving for innovation.

The Kinect, which is an add-on for the Xbox 360 console, allows gamers to control gameplay using only their body -- no controller needed. With Nintendo's Wii and Sony's PlayStation 3 Move continuing to use controllers for their motion-sensitive gameplay, Kinect's been a breath of fresh air, particularly for the aging Xbox 360. (Source:

Windows Phone 7, and Windows 7

Ballmer also pointed out Windows Phone 7's early success. Over 1.5 million Windows Phone 7 units have shipped to date, and while those numbers are hardly at par with iPhone sales, it's notably a decent start.

Finally, Ballmer and Microsoft estimate that the Windows 7 operating system will be pre-packaged and shipped with over 400 million PCs this year alone.

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