With Windows 8 mobile/tablet on ARM can Server be around the corner?

There are rumors that Microsoft will announced Windows 8 at CES.

Windows 8 to introduce ARM; chip makers already on board

Todd Bishop on Tuesday, January 4, 2011, 8:51am PST

A demonstration of Windows running on ARM processors this week will double as the first public preview of Windows 8, the next major version of the operating system, and offer a glimpse of the new allies enlisted by Microsoft in a market defined thus far by Apple's iPad.

Sources familiar with Microsoft's plans confirm that the company tomorrow will show Windows running on the ARM architecture common in mobile devices and slate-style computers -- a landmark move intended to make the traditional PC operating system work on a broader array of machines.

Windows 8, it turns out, is the version that will introduce that capability. And Microsoft has lined up chip makers Nvidia, Qualcomm and Texas Instruments to make ARM processors for Windows 8 systems.

But, in the same way that Intel Atom was announced for energy efficiency, how long can it be before Windows 8 Server runs on ARM for energy efficient computing?

Windows Server used to ship for MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha.  How hard is it to ARM for Server?

In addition, most of the various RISC-based computers designed to run Windows NT used versions of the ARC boot console to boot NT. Among these computers were:

  • MIPS R4000-based systems such as the MIPS Magnum workstation
  • all Alpha-based machines with a PCI bus designed prior to the end of support for Windows NT Alpha in September 1999 (the Alpha ARC firmware was also known as AlphaBIOS)
  • most Windows NT-capable PowerPC computers (such as the IBM RS/6000 40P).