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Microsoft to Make a Few Versions of New Windows, Intel Says

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Microsoft to Make a Few Versions of New Windows
The ARM versions won’t run older programs. They will be tailored to mobile devices and tablet computers and there will also be a version for Intel chips to address that market. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

May 17 (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. will make multiple versions of its next Windows operating system, with four that work on ARM Holdings Plc technology, according to an Intel Corp. executive.

The version designed for Intel chips will run older Windows programs, Renee James, head of Intel’s software business, said today in a presentation at the company’s Santa Clara, California, headquarters. The ARM versions won’t run older programs, she said. They will be tailored to mobile devices and tablet computers and there will also be a version for Intel chips to address that market.

Microsoft, based in Redmond, Washington, is scrambling to introduce a version of Windows that does a better job of letting computer makers build rivals to Apple Inc.’s iPad. Microsoft said personal computer shipments to consumers fell last quarter partially because customers switched from cheap netbooks to tablet computers. That decline also was a factor in slumping sales for Microsoft’s Windows unit in the quarter.

The website WinRumors reported last month that the company appeared to be building multiple versions of the program for use on ARM-based chips.

Mark Martin, a Microsoft spokesman, declined to comment.

To contact the reporters on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at ianking@bloomberg.net; Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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