Originally Posted by AppleInsider
Apple has used SoC designs for several years, culminating in the iPad's custom A4 SoC in early 2010. The A4 has since made its way into the iPhone 4, the iPod touch and the Apple TV.
That's a very misleading way of stating the situation. Microsoft's previous software targeting portable devices, such as Windows CE, have been totally capable of running on a SoC for years as well -- namely, for as long as Windows CE has existed. That decision is totally up to the hardware manufacturer, which in the vast majority of cases, isn't Microsoft.
Originally Posted by knightlie
Porting Windows - full Windows - to a new architecture is hardly an "incremental" feature (I'm tempted to add ", Daniel." as this is plainly a DED article). This is a serious development.
You're right, this is absolutely not an "incremental" modification to Windows.
But, keep in mind that Microsoft designed the Windows NT kernel, from the ground up, to be portable to multiple processor architectures, with a "hardware abstraction layer" that isolates the Win32 API from the underlying CPU architecture. Windows NT was originally designed to target both 32-bit x86 as well as Intel's RISC-based i860. Development was initially done on the i860, and then ported back to the x86, specifically so that the engineers would be disciplined to avoid introducing any dependence on x86-specific features. When Intel's marketing of the i860 failed to stir up any significant amount of commercially released hardware, Microsoft abandoned the i860 port in favour of MIPS and Alpha ports; MIPS was complete in time for Windows NT's first commercial release, and Aplha followed shortly after due to DEC's delays in producing working Alpha silicon.
So far, commercial versions of the Windows NT kernel have been released, at various points in the product's history, for x86-32, MIPS, PowerPC, Alpha, Itanium, and x86-64. Now, they're adding ARM to the mix.