Qualcomm confirms the arrival of ARM powered Windows 10 laptops

Qualcomm confirms the arrival of ARM powered Windows 10 laptops

If you purposely missed the upgrade window for Windows 10, on your totally legit Windows 7, 8 or 8.1 machine, and now you are regretting the decision because Windows 10 is really the only way to go to keep your PC up-to-date, then there might be a little light at the end of the tunnel.

Qualcomm, in the earnings call, said that Apple suppliers - which acquire the licenses on behalf of the iPhone maker - owe about US$1 billion in licensing fees.

It is likely OEMs will take their time to shift from the classic Intel processors to the Qualcomm Snapdragon processors, but the first set of Windows 10 PCs powered by the Snapdragon 835 should be interesting to see as Microsoft's efforts to bring Windows to ARM processors didn't succeed in the past.

Today, Qualcomm's CEO Steve Mollenkopf confirmed that the first Windows 10 PCs powered b y ARM processors will be launching in Q4 of this year which is around October - December.

Other key features in the Snapdragon 835 include Qualcomm's Kryo 280 octa-core CPU, Adreno 540 GPU, the Snapdragon X16 LTE modem with one gigabit per second downloads and Bluetooth 5.0.

Microsoft revealed past year that it would start supporting ARM processors with Windows desktop apps, but it seems we've still got a while to wait until such devices arrive. The Windows RT tablets have been criticized and have been forgotten ever since.

Dell and HP have expressed interest in cellular PCs but need time to test them. Microsoft has seen less expensive devices like Chromebooks and iPads eat into sales of Windows laptops, and many of these devices run on ARM.

Support for Windows 10 on new Snapdragon processors should also boost Windows 10's appeal on smartphones, allowing handsets to run a full version of Windows and its apps.

Details are vague as to what else we can expect from upcoming Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 devices, but Qualcomm and Microsoft are touting upcoming devices as "cellular PCs", as they will - much like a smartphone - always been connected to a cellular network.

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. 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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