At Intel's investor day, VP of software and services at Intel - Renee James - said the following, as we reported yesterday: "On ARM, there'll be the new experience, which is very specifically around the mobile experience, specifically around tablet and some limited clamshell, with no legacy OS," said James. "Our competitors will not be running legacy applications. Not now. Not ever."
The point James seemed to want to be making is that Windows 8 on ARM won't be as good as Windows 8 on Intel. Considering how closely Microsoft and Intel have worked together over the years - hence the term Wintel - we figured Intel both knew what it was talking about and that it had the approval of Microsoft - which hasn't revealed much about Windows 8 - to speak on its behalf.
That doesn't seem to be the case, however. The Register - which provided the James quote above - got a statement from Microsoft that was pretty frosty, to say the least. "Intel's statements during yesterday's Intel Investor Meeting about Microsoft's plans for the next version of Windows were factually inaccurate and unfortunately misleading," said the statement.
"From the first demonstrations of Windows on SoC, we have been clear about our goals and have emphasized that we are at the technology demonstration stage. As such, we have no further details or information at this time."
There's clearly been some kind of breakdown in communications between the two tech giants on this one, but it could also be symptomatic of the strain their relationship has been under for some time, primarily due to the mobile device revolution.
Back at MWC 2010, Intel and Nokia surprised everyone by announcing they were going to develop a mobile platform - MeeGo - together. Microsoft also announced its new mobile platform at the same event, and presumably would have been expecting Intel to get involved to some extent, despite going with Qualcomm as its exclusive chip partner.
But Microsoft got its own back a year later with the announcement that Nokia was pretty much abandoning the MeeGo project and getting into bed with Microsoft instead. This made Intel look pretty silly and certainly poured water on any other announcements it had to make at MWC. Although, to be fair, Intel didn't have too much new to say.
At the recent investor day there were also mutterings from Intel about how it made a mistake counting on Nokia and there seemed to be a bit of a ‘we'll show them' siege mentality with regard to the mobile sector, which was inevitably the focus of much of the questioning the chip giant received from investors.
The irony is that Intel sought to gain advantage from the claim that it remains closer to Microsoft than the ARM ecosystem will be for some time, but in so doing annoyed its historic ally. This was probably symptomatic of a strategic decision within Intel to take the PR fight to ARM, but it wants to beware of whose feet it steps on on the way.