A potential game changer for Microsoft

We know ARM tablets won’t run old Windows applications, right?

What if they did?

Not by actually running them.  They won’t be up to doing that – at least not well.

But MS keeps talking about its cloud play.  About SkyDrive and about Azure.  About all the new features of Remote Desktop.  About the VDI things they could do.

So what if your ARM tablet came with the ability to subscribe (cheaply – and probably with a free trial) to an online service which gave you a virtual windows PC?  A Virtual PC you could install all your old software on, and run the software on.  Imagine they linked this to a ‘Desktop’ icon.  For most people, most of the time, they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference.  All the documents could be synced by skydrive.  And you would get perfectly reasonable performance.

Could MS do this?  Why not?

Wouldn’t it create quite a stir when they announced it – especially if they managed to keep it secret right until the tablets were unveiled?  Your ARM tablet can run all your legacy software… but you won’t want to, because you’ll prefer to work with Metro.  And you’ll be able to run this software from any Windows computer… or Windows 8 Phone.

I’ve not heard any suggestion MS are thinking of doing this – but if they did, it would be the thing that would give them the greatest chance of winning the tablet wars.  A war in which, right now, they are not even considered a particularly important contender.

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