updated 04:15 pm EST, Wed February 29, 2012
Snapdragon S4, Tegra 3 coming to Win 8 devs
With Windows 8 Consumer Preview being released on Wednesday and the announcement it will support ARM mobile chips, Qualcomm revealed it will supply hardware for developers who make software for ARM-powered tablets. NVIDIA will have a similar program in place, with tablets using its quad-core Tegra 3 chips sent out to programmers. Qualcomm Snapdragon S4-based test devices will be distributed to developers at Qualcomm's discretion on an invite-only basis. The test machines will have the newest dual-core MSM8960 chips onboard.
Software written for older Windows operating systems cannot simply be ported to ARM-based Windows 8, as they will need to be modified to suit the new processor architecture.
The tablets will have GPS and 4G LTE radios onboard, in addition to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. They will not reflect the final hardware that's available to users when Windows 8 launches.
The test tablets will be part of Microsoft's Windows on ARM developer seed program. The first Windows 8 tablets will run on chips from TI, NVIDIA, Intel, and Qualcomm. Windows 8 ARM will be sold only paired with qualified hardware, unlike standalone x86 and x64 operating systems in the past.