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posted by mrpg on Friday December 09 2016, @05:33PM   Printer-friendly
from the just-what-customers-have-been-demanding-for-years dept.

Cnet reports: Windows laptops in 2017 could act and feel more like a phone

Microsoft wants its computers to be more nimble.

To that goal, the Qualcomm announced at Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Community event on Wednesday that its Windows 10 devices will support the Snapdragon 835 processor, which you'll see in many top-tier phones next year. The chip will be able to provide Gigabit LTE connectivity, nearly double your battery life and pack it all into even smaller devices.

From the following story we get:

At its WinHEC hardware conference in Shenzhen today, Microsoft announced a range of hardware-driven initiatives to modernize the PC and address two big goals. The first is expanded support for mixed reality; the second is to produce a range of even more power-efficient, mobile, always-connected PCs powered by ARM processors.

[...] The second aspect of the push to modernize the PC is the desire for ever longer battery life, greater portability, and connectivity. To that end, Microsoft is bringing back something that it had before: Windows for ARM processors. Qualcomm-powered Windows 10 PCs will hit the market in 2017.

The truth is that Windows for ARM has never really gone away. The first Windows on ARM iteration was dubbed Windows RT, and it launched on the first Surface tablet. Although this system provided almost every part of Windows, just recompiled for 32-bit ARM processors, Microsoft locked it down using a certificate-based security scheme. Built-in desktop apps, such as Explorer and Calculator ran fine, as did the pre-installed version of Office, but third-party desktop apps built using the Win32 API were prohibited. The only third-party apps that were permitted were those built using the new WinRT API and distributed through the Windows Store.

With few such apps available, Windows RT and Surface didn't see much market success. Nonetheless, Microsoft continued to develop Windows on ARM, as it's an essential part of both the Windows 10 Internet of Things Core variant of the operating system and the Windows 10 Mobile version.

PCWorld offer the following:

Traditional Windows apps can only run on X86 chips, not ARM—thus, the failed Windows RT. To get around this, Qualcomm (and only Qualcomm) is working with Microsoft to emulate X86 instructions, the companies said. [...] Sources at Microsoft and Qualcomm say the partnership is designed around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, a chip that's in production now and is due to ship in the first half of 2017, according to Qualcomm. The first Windows-on-ARM PCs are expected by the second half of next year.


Original Submission

Related Stories

First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced 15 comments

Microsoft Windows is back on ARM:

Just shy of a year after announcing that Windows was once again going to be available on ARM systems, the first two systems were announced today: the Asus NovaGo 2-in-1 laptop, and the HP Envy x2 tablet.

[...] The Asus laptop boasts 22 hours of battery life or 30 days of standby, along with LTE that can run at gigabit speeds. HP's tablet offers a 12.3 inch, 1920×1280 screen, 20 hours battery life or 29 days of standby, and a removable keyboard-cover and stylus. Both systems use the Snapdragon 835 processor and X16 LTE modem, with HP offering up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage to go with it.

Lenovo is expected to announce a similar system in the coming weeks.

Also at The Verge, Engadget, and TechCrunch.

Previously: Big Changes Planned by Microsoft - Windows 10 on ARM, Laptops to Behave More Like Phones
Windows 10 PCs Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to Arrive this Year
New Windows 10 S Only Runs Software From Windows Store
Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete. Here's a Sneak Peek at Its Replacement.
New App Allows Win32 Software to Run on Windows 10 S
Intel Hints at Patent Fight With Microsoft and Qualcomm Over x86 Emulation


Original Submission

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @05:56PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @05:56PM (#439268)

    IIRC, the original name of what became Windows NT (which was like Windows 10's great great grandfather) was "Portable OS/2" (in fact when one of my first Windows NT boxes crashed due to a hardware issue, it spat out "OS/2 error [something or another - can't recall the rest]".)
    The idea being that this was a version of OS/2 that wasn't tied to the x86 platform. In fact, they used to offer NT for MIPS, Alpha and lord knows what other kinds of systems.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by LoRdTAW on Friday December 09 2016, @06:30PM

      by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 09 2016, @06:30PM (#439297) Journal

      Just checked the wikipedia article. NT was originally designed with Intel's 32/64 bit RISC processor, the i860. Since the i860 never took off, it was ported to run on i386, MIPS, Alpha, and PowerPC. The interesting part of the NT arch is you only needed to change the HAL, which is the glue between the kernel and hardware. New arch? Build a HAL and the kernel will need little or no modification.

    • (Score: 2, Informative) by Ramze on Friday December 09 2016, @07:14PM

      by Ramze (6029) on Friday December 09 2016, @07:14PM (#439335)

      It was supposed to be OS/2 3.0 -- called NT OS/2... but, they re-branded it as Windows NT after the joint project with IBM ended, and they did extensive re-writes to make the interface more like Windows. Yep... We had NT running on a DEC Alpha with Windows 3.11 for Workgroups on PCs on our engineering network. I remember when NT 4.0 was rolled out. Beautiful upgrade for all the PCs.

      I also recall some PC labs on campus running OS/2 Warp... and remembering how I thought that was the most bastardized Windows/IBM monstrosity I'd ever seen. Almost as weird as seeing Windows running on an Alpha!

      I'm kind of glad most computing has settled on x64 and ARM. Those were the days of the wild west for CPUs. No more alphas, no more VAX, no more powerPC, etc. Now if we could just get Linux to fully replace Windows and MacOS, that'd be great. It's great to have different tools for different jobs, but really x64 and ARM do most of what anyone would want except for maybe gaming consoles... and with AMD and Intel integrating graphics into the CPU, that's going to be resolved soon enough.

      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by RedGreen on Friday December 09 2016, @08:27PM

        by RedGreen (888) on Friday December 09 2016, @08:27PM (#439381)

        "Now if we could just get Linux to fully replace Windows and MacOS, that'd be great."

        Good luck with that too much new shinny to keep chasing. Breaking the old just working and of course everyone and his dog needs a distribution that does a couple of things different. Reminds me of the old Tower of Bable tale why bother having a common front when you can fragment it all to hell.

        --
        "I modded down, down, down, and the flames went higher." -- Sven Olsen
      • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @08:35PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @08:35PM (#439389)

        The reason to miss that 'wild wild west days' of computing as you put it is because that level of diversity was GOOD for you, both in availability of hardware/software, and in security through diversity.

        Today we have neither. Software has gotten exponentially more expensive despite in many cases having fewer useful features and far dumber and more abstracted DRM (and not in a good way!) Furthermore both architectures you listed now take away MORE control from both the owner and user of the hardware, with few if any benefits to their security. Combined that with the dozen mega companies controlling 90+ percent of the computing market and rather than providing a reliable and cheap computing infradstructure, they are providing you an increasingly unreliable, insecure, and expensive seris of hardware and software options each slightly less palatable than the last.

        I lived through the early 80s and 90s microcomputer revolution. While it had plenty of warts, that diversity was important. If America had as much political diversity as it did computer diversity during that period, maybe the inevitable decline of American civilization wouldn't be happening today.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @04:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @04:51AM (#439567)

      lord knows what other kinds of systems

      PowerPC, Itanium and (if memory serves) IA32.

  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by GungnirSniper on Friday December 09 2016, @05:56PM

    by GungnirSniper (1671) on Friday December 09 2016, @05:56PM (#439269) Journal

    Why can't Microsoft see that the "Windows brand" is tainted and bastardized to hell? It's far from lightweight or secure, but they're going to blitz billions of marketing cash on this idea that somehow Windows is going to be these things.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by quacking duck on Friday December 09 2016, @06:10PM

      by quacking duck (1395) on Friday December 09 2016, @06:10PM (#439281)

      There's no need to rebrand because it's a captive market.

      Conservative IT departments will continue buying it and forcing their users to use it (progressive ones will let users choose their preferred platform), while normal users looking at desktop/laptops in a typical store have a choice between Windows or Mac, *if* the store is big enough to offer the latter as a choice at all.

      There can't be many normal users who've actually *bought* Windows retail in the last decade.

      • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Friday December 09 2016, @07:17PM

        by davester666 (155) on Friday December 09 2016, @07:17PM (#439336)

        not only that, but if Microsoft were to change the brand name, that would open up the discussion of what to 'upgrade' to to include other products.

        "Well, Microsoft is ending Windows. What should we upgrade to? I've heard about something called Linux. Does anyone know anything about it?"

    • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @10:24PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @10:24PM (#439435)

      Because users found compatibility is more important than raw OS merit.

  • (Score: 5, Funny) by ilsa on Friday December 09 2016, @05:57PM

    by ilsa (6082) on Friday December 09 2016, @05:57PM (#439271)

    I interpreted that statement to mean Laptops would behave more like Windows phones, which means they are planning on letting their laptop marketshare evaporate like a puddle of water in the middle of the Sahara.

    I wish them good luck in this endeavour!

    • (Score: 2) by zocalo on Friday December 09 2016, @06:17PM

      by zocalo (302) on Friday December 09 2016, @06:17PM (#439284)
      I'm not so sure it's as simple as that - for traditional laptops designs and usage, it almost certainly won't be a very popular feature - no more so than touch on a desktop, at least that's the impression I get from my friends and acquaintances. However, with all that Telemetry data they've been gathering, they presumably have some decent numbers on how many people use the touch capabilities of devices with a physical keyboard like laptops, and perhaps their larger data set says otherwise? Or maybe they are just pinning their hopes on an evolution of the typical laptop into something more like the MS Surface or the Lenovo Yoga where the keyboard is treated more as an optional extra, especially in the light of tech like Siri, Cortana and Google Assistant - in that case they may be onto something, because the usage pattern I see there tends to touch first, and keyboard only when typing large amounts of text.
      --
      UNIX? They're not even circumcised! Savages!
      • (Score: 4, Insightful) by ilsa on Friday December 09 2016, @06:55PM

        by ilsa (6082) on Friday December 09 2016, @06:55PM (#439315)

        I was actually aiming for a funny moderation in my original post. :) But seriously, Microsft has already tried to do that with Windows 8. The results were utter chaos and anger, forcing Microsoft to push their Windows 10 timetable forward, and hastily reversing course on their ridiculous UI ambitions.

        It amazes me how they keep repeating the exact same error over and over and over again. Since the days of Windows CE, they have tried making a universal UI that runs the same on both computers and mobile. Every. Single. One. Failed. And yet they continue to try, unwilling to learn that a mobile device and a PC have vastly different UI requirements.

        • (Score: 2) by quacking duck on Friday December 09 2016, @07:20PM

          by quacking duck (1395) on Friday December 09 2016, @07:20PM (#439338)

          Apple is falling into a similar trap, but with features rather than UI. A lot of desktop apps like Photos, Pages, Numbers, etc saw features stripped away to allow universal integration and parity with their newer iCloud and iOS versions. It's been an enormous frustration to see desktop apps crippled just because the iCloud and iOS UI don't lend itself well to more advanced functionality (though I hardly consider scaled 1-5 star ratings for individual photos to be "advanced")

          • (Score: 1) by ilsa on Friday December 09 2016, @09:44PM

            by ilsa (6082) on Friday December 09 2016, @09:44PM (#439414)

            Personally, with the exception of Keynote (I don't have sufficient experience with their multimedia apps to comment), the stuff they bundle in the OS were never really that good, IMO. Numbers is clunky and bizarre to use. Pages is... meh. The obfuscated directory file format apple uses is flat out idiotic. You can't email the things without manually zipping them up first.
            I was never happy with Photos, even when it was still called iPhoto. It's flattened mechanisms for dealing with large numbers of images is just a joke. Unfortunately Google nerfed, and then abandoned, Picasa, which is a shame cause I like it much better.

            TL;DR Out of all the bundled apps that Apple provides, Keynote is the only one I consider to function at a level sufficient for general business use, and it's always been that way.

        • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nerdfest on Friday December 09 2016, @08:26PM

          by Nerdfest (80) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 09 2016, @08:26PM (#439380)

          I still think their long term goal to to emulate iOS with a locked-down platform where they get to dictate what you can install and they get a cut of all sales. All the idiots throwing money at Apple to take their freedom away have made it 'palatable'.

          • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Nuke on Saturday December 10 2016, @04:55PM

            by Nuke (3162) on Saturday December 10 2016, @04:55PM (#439721)

            I still think [Microsoft's] long term goal to to emulate iOS with a locked-down platform where ... get a cut of all sales.

            I think they are really after a cut on all usage even more than sales. Office 365 is an example of this, rental software, or even moving to like 25 cents to type a page of text, 25 cents each time you play Solitaire - all Direct Debited from your bank account for your own "peace of mind". It gives a steady predictable income rather than the big-bang events likethe Win 95/98 launches. Corporate accountants love steady predictable incomes.

        • (Score: 2) by DonkeyChan on Saturday December 10 2016, @12:09AM

          by DonkeyChan (5551) on Saturday December 10 2016, @12:09AM (#439500)

          Microsoft does this:
          They push hard on insane things, pull back on the objectives, then deliver what they REALLY wanted. What they really want - if presented without that backdrop of overreach - would be railed against just as hard. But people compare it to what MS was going to do, not what they have already in their hands.
          This is Microsoft negotiating with us as whole, as a mob.

    • (Score: 2) by inertnet on Friday December 09 2016, @10:46PM

      by inertnet (4071) on Friday December 09 2016, @10:46PM (#439459)

      Too bad it's the wrong company, but I can almost hear "you're holding it wrong" jokes about laptops.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @10:54PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @10:54PM (#439466)

      MirkwoodShaft keep sending very clear signals to their user base, home and corporate - "get the heck OFF of our sinking ship". But no, the luzers keep coming back for more. Things went from ok (XP) to a small wtf (Vista) to this is great (7). And then a large WTF (8 and 8.1). The final nail is 10 and its updates that are spiralling away like a fighter jet in the death spiral of a spin. The ground is coming up fast and there is absolutely zero chance of pulling out/up.
      MS are making everything unusable so people will move on. So.. read the roadsign.. and move on sheeple.
      Linux in the backroom, Linux on the workstation/desk, Linux at home. Admins need to get off the KoolAid(ms) and start discovering new tools to run the corporate world. And IT need the guts to tell wined-and-dined management where to go park.

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @06:01PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @06:01PM (#439274)

    Just about everything.

  • (Score: 1) by butthurt on Friday December 09 2016, @07:26PM

    by butthurt (6141) on Friday December 09 2016, @07:26PM (#439340) Journal

    Stop trying to make Windows on a phone happen. It's not going to happen.

    • (Score: 2) by Celestial on Friday December 09 2016, @07:35PM

      by Celestial (4891) Subscriber Badge on Friday December 09 2016, @07:35PM (#439344) Homepage Journal

      Windows on a phone won't happen. Windows on the tablet, however, may.

      • (Score: 2) by Sulla on Friday December 09 2016, @09:30PM

        by Sulla (5173) on Friday December 09 2016, @09:30PM (#439407) Journal

        Saying a lot when Windows 8 and 10 barely work on desktops

        • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @12:04AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @12:04AM (#439496)

          Saying a lot when Windows 8 and 10 barely work on desktops

          That all depends on how you define "work". As far as Microsoft is concerned Windows 8 & 10 work great at collecting telemetry data and sending it back to Microsoft.

      • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @10:28PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @10:28PM (#439440)

        Windows on the tablet, however, may [work]

        Maybe after 30 tries they'll finally get it right, perhaps because Moores' law itself will eventually make a shrunken Windows feasible.

        Who needs competence when time does the job for you?

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @11:02PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 09 2016, @11:02PM (#439470)

    Trump was right

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @06:45AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 10 2016, @06:45AM (#439610)

      Is there some "Hairyfeet Challenge" we could take, to succor us in these days of woe and angst?