Should Apple Shake as Microsoft’s Stock Pops on Half a Million Downloads of Windows 8?

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) has reported that a preview version of Windows 8 has been downloaded 500k times since its initial debut. However, Microsoft is still working on a version that runs on ARM (NASDAQ:ARMH) chips.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is in a hurry to complete Windows 8 so that the operating system, which will be able to run thinner, lighter, battery powered machines can compete with Apple’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad. This need has also led to making this operating system compatible with ARM-based (NASDAQ:ARMH) chips, which run mobile gadgets such as smart phones, for the first time.

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“While it’s clear we have a long way to go still with Windows 8, we’ve been gratified by the reactions and the interest,” Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer said at a conference for developers. “One area needing more work: a Windows 8 version that runs on chips with technology from ARM Holdings Plc (NASDAQ:ARMH), which is ‘very, very important to us,'” Ballmer told Bloomberg. The preview version of Windows 8 currently runs on Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) chips.

Microsoft’s stock (NASDAQ:MSFT) is up 0.85% to $26.73 on the news. Shares are down 4.5% year to date. The stock has traded in a 52-week range between $23.65 and $29.46.

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