Microsoft and Qualcomm partner to build low-cost Windows-on-ARM PCs

Microsoft and Qualcomm partner to build low-cost Windows-on-ARM PCs

In an announcement made at the Windows Hardware Engineering (WinHEC) conference in Shenzhen, China, on Thursday morning, Microsoft said that it has partnered with Qualcomm to equip ARM devices with Windows 10 and Win32 apps.

The Microsoft-Qualcomm partnership will largely pave the way for new, low-priced PCs that would replace the Windows tablets developed around the Intel Atom chip, which has been essentially discontinued by the company.

According to the information disclosed by Microsoft and Qualcomm, the partnership between the two companies will chiefly involve collaborative efforts for emulating X86 instructions. It is only the X86 chips, not ARM chips, on which traditional Windows apps can run.

The chips which Microsoft and Qualcomm will develop in collaboration will have the capability to handle two potential growth segments in computer hardware --- low-cost PCs and two-in-one-devices. In addition, the new Qualcomm chips will also be capable of running apps like Photoshop, along with performing efficiently on battery, and shipping to consumer at affordable price points.

Going by a revelation by unidentified sources at Microsoft, the Microsoft-Qualcomm partnership is designed around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip, which is presently in production and is scheduled to ship in the 2017 first half. The first low-cost Windows-on-ARM PCs will likely become available by 2017 second half.