Microsoft and Qualcomm reportedly signed Windows exclusivity agreement on ARM

Windows on ARM is a mess, to say the least. Initiated in 2016, Microsoft’s latest attempt in this area was made in close partnership with Qualcomm, which is all in all logical given the weight and nationality of the chip designer. That there is an agreement between the two giants to guarantee one of the software adjustments and the other a right of inspection and customization on the chips seems quite natural.

On the other hand, we have just learned, thanks to XDA Developers, that the two giants would be linked by an exclusive agreement. The site was in fact unable to learn when this exclusivity would end.

A context of openness

In any case, it is interesting that this information comes out while Mediatek, whose recent conference was an opportunity to discover its new positioning, with resolutely high-end smartphone SoCs, partnerships as well, and a reaffirmed desire to tackle to Windows PCs. Remember that last April, Mediatek and Nvidia had already announced that they were working on an ARM SoC for PCs, equipped with RTX modules. But these chips seemed to be intended for Chromebooks first.

The situation could therefore change if the exclusivity agreement came to an end. Therefore, other players than Qualcomm could join in and enrich Windows’ proposal on ARM, so we think of Mediatek, but also of Samsung, which produces its Exynos chips, and has established a partnership with AMD.
Without forgetting of course, Microsoft itself which gives in to the fashion launched by its rival of always, Apple, and would have started to develop its own ARM chips, in particular in partnership with AMD, always.

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Because, if until now the PCs driven by a SoC ARM have not been really convincing, Apple has demonstrated, since last November, that it was quite possible to offer enduring and powerful machines, far from Intel. It would therefore be absurd for Microsoft to cut itself off from the potential of ARM chips for PCs, and not put its operating system closely associated with Intel into orbit.

And besides, to go further, let’s dream a little. If Windows ARM were to open up to other SoCs, which will require real adaptation work each time, why wouldn’t Windows run natively on Apple Silicon, M1 and later SoCs?
Since the abandonment of Intel processors, it is indeed necessary to be satisfied with virtualization to run the Microsoft operating system on Mac M1, Boot Camp is no longer relevant at all.

Paradoxically, this end of exclusivity could therefore be good news for Windows on ARM and for the PC world in general. When we see what Apple has managed to do with its own chips, we dream of laptops as powerful, silent and enduring. One thing is certain, Windows on ARM needs a new lease of life, and PCs deserve a new lease of life.

Source : XDA Developers

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