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Today I was reading that the Microsoft Surface RT is available for pre-order. (For the curious, click here.)

I know the version of Widows 8 that runs on x86 processors should be compatible already with Mathematica 8... but what about the version of Windows 8---called Windows 8 RT---designed for ARM processor devices, like Microsoft's Surface device?

Also, from what I've read there will also be an Intel version, called the Surface Pro, that will run Windows 8 Pro. (Note I'm not sure if this will be an ARM or x86 Intel processor.)

Summarizing my question(s): Will Mathematica run on the Surface RT or the Surface Pro?

Info about the Surface on Wikipedia here.

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Mathematica 8 does not list Windows 8 on their supported operating systems: Mathematica 9 hasn't been released and there are no details about it available. –  Searke Oct 16 '12 at 18:34
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I don't think hypothetical questions about products that are not yet released should be asked. –  rm -rf Oct 16 '12 at 18:41
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Mathematica 9 came out and it doesn't support ARM so I guess you can accept my answer now ;) –  Gerhard Burger Dec 3 '12 at 17:34
    
@burger.ga - cha-ching! (And FWIW, I've crashed v9 3 times already in the first couple of hours with it---all just clicking around in the documentation center.) –  telefunkenvf14 Dec 7 '12 at 12:03
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Mathematica 8 will only run on the Surface Pro since it has a x86 processor (Ivy Bridge Core i5) and runs Windows 8 Pro (which is the same as the desktop/laptop version). The Surface RT will have an ARM processor which means that if you want software to run on it, you should recompile it for ARM. Mathematica 8 is not compiled for ARM, so it will not run.

Most likely Mathematica 9 won't be compiled for ARM either. I say this because Mathematica needs quite a bit of computation power, usually not available on ARM machines, so I think it is not a very interesting market for Wolfram.

So I would go for the Surface Pro, since Mathematica 8 (and 9) will definitely run on that.

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On the other hand, Wolfram has been talking of a player for iPad, and they have already presented a beta on one of their events. Since the player has all the calculation capacity of the pro version, apparently they have developed all that was missing. So, you never know... –  P. Fonseca Oct 21 '12 at 12:37
    
From what I understand the Player app is only for presentations/demonstrations. To make the notebooks for Player you'll still need the normal version of Mathematica. Moreover, an i5 has a lot more computation than an ARM device, or an Ipad/Iphone for that matter. –  Gerhard Burger Oct 21 '12 at 18:32
    
I wonder how much is there in the full version kernel that's missing from the player. What can go in a CDF Manipulate is not really that restricted. –  Szabolcs Nov 19 '12 at 19:23
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