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Broadband and Mobility

Microsoft to Reveal New Version of Windows

MicrosoftMicrosoft Corp., feeling pressure from hit products like Apple Inc.'s iPad, is crafting a new operating system that deviates from the software giant's heavy reliance on chip technology pioneered by Intel Corp., according to people briefed on Microsoft's plans.

The company next month plans to demonstrate a new version of its widely used Windows operating system that targets low-power devices and adds support for chips based on designs from ARM Holdings PLC as well as the x86 chip technology offered by Intel and Advanced Micro Devices Inc., these people said. Microsoft will discuss the software at the Consumer Electronics Show in early January, though it isn't expected to be available for two years, they added.

According to two people close to Microsoft, the company has had a project for some time to create a version of Windows running on ARM-based microprocessors. One of those people said the effort is part of a broader push at Microsoft to make Windows more "modular" so that pieces of the operating system that are unnecessary for smaller, low-power devices like tablets can be easily stripped away to make the software perform snappily on the gadgets.

The strategy is similar to the one Apple has employed with iOS, the lightweight operating system for iPads, iPhones and other devices that is derived from Apple's full-blown Mac operating system for traditional computers.Microsoft's plans for the new operating system were reported earlier by Bloomberg.

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