Qualcomm: First Windows 10 ARM PC coming in the fourth quarter

22 April, 2017, 02:06 | Author: Kristi Walker
  • Qualcomm says that the first Windows 10 ARM PCs will arrive in Q4

Let us know what you think about Microsoft and Qualcomm trying to make Snapdragon PCs a thing of the future and whether or not you would be interested in buying a cellular Windows PC.

"Our Snapdragon 835 is expanding into Mobile PC designs running Windows 10, which are scheduled to launch in the fourth calendar quarter this year", said Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf during the company's latest investor call.

Processors based on ARM architectures have achieved really good performance in recent years, and now we have the Snapdragon 835 which is more powerful than the processors found in some laptops and convertibles, such as Intel Core i5-6200U or Intel Core m3-7Y30. For these latest customers, Windows Server for ARM will be the software option that Microsoft has at hand.

There are also questions about the number of x86 applications that will be compatible with ARM PCs, a major issue with Windows RT. The main selling point here is efficiency - a PC powered by an ARM SoC could run for much longer, and the on-die support for cellular modems means it'll be easier for OEMs to include mobile data.

This feature has always been a cornerstone of the Windows 10 strategy, but because of the prevalence of ARM-based architectures on mobile devices, it has proved impossible to have a fully fluid transition between form factors. This demonstrates that this processor is more than enough capable of running office tasks with the complete Office suite, as well as edit images in Photoshop just as Microsoft demonstrated a few months ago, or play PC games. As we speculated at the time, the power efficiency of the chip (i.e. without the portable device's battery going flat way too quickly) would also play a key part. But such a move could mark the end of the dominance of the x86 architecture and the support of full Windows. Qualcomm's 48-core server chip called Centriq 2400 will start shipping later this year, and it'll compete with Intel's Xeon, which rules the server market.

Apple has claimed that Qualcomm used its dominant market position market to overcharge on chip licensing fees.

"We have an opportunity to disrupt the existing suppliers of the PC and the datacenter". Apple is Qualcomm's major customer, so the uncertainty around licensing fees is making it hard for the chipmaker to make revenue projections.

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