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posted by janrinok on Tuesday November 23, @05:12PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the exclusive-doesn't-always-mean-better dept.

Gizmodo says:

Let your Mac-owning friends boast all they want about the blinding speeds of Apple's new M-series chips, because who needs fast performance when you have freedom of choice? That's one of the benefits of buying a PC—or at least, it's supposed to be.

It turns out Microsoft might have been restricting the hardware powering certain Windows 11 laptops. According to XDA Developers, ARM-based Windows devices have only been powered by one brand of processor because of an exclusive deal between Microsoft and Qualcomm.

Want Windows on ARM laptop without a Qualcomm chip? Sorry, it doesn't exist. At least, not yet. Multiple people familiar with the deal told XDA that the agreement between these tech giants is "set to expire soon," but a specific timeline was not given.

[...] That certainly isn't due to a lack of trying. Microsoft announced Windows on ARM in 2016 with the ability to run 32-bit, x86 apps via an emulator. A few years later, the company launched the Surface Pro X, an ARM-based version of its Surface Pro tablets running on a custom version of the Snapdragon 8cx SoC. It was critically panned for being overpriced and underpowered, along with software compatibility issues. Microsoft addressed that last issue recently by bringing 64-bit, x84 emulation to Windows 11 (but abandoned plans to do so for Windows 10).


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  • (Score: 5, Informative) by takyon on Tuesday November 23, @05:17PM (1 child)

    by takyon (881) <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Tuesday November 23, @05:17PM (#1198946) Journal

    This "secret" exclusivity deal [macrumors.com] prevented Windows on Apple M1 [soylentnews.org] from being a thing, and generally locked Windows on ARM onto a few underpowered, overpriced Qualcomm chips like the Snapdragon 8cx, 8c, and 7c.

    Going forward we could see Windows 11 running on MediaTek ARM chips [theregister.com], and Qualcomm's hyped Nuvia acquisition [anandtech.com] could result in much better ARM chips capable of competing with Apple on performance/efficiency around 2023. Because apparently these companies have to hire ex-Apple engineers to make a decent ARM chip.

    --
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 [soylentnews.org]
    • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @07:08PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @07:08PM (#1198980)

      You still need someone to write the drivers but I'm hoping Windows 11 will boot on my Pinephone Pro.

  • (Score: 2) by Gaaark on Tuesday November 23, @05:49PM

    by Gaaark (41) on Tuesday November 23, @05:49PM (#1198956) Journal

    Isn't Windows dead yet?
    Cue the Monty Python jokes, but .....SERIOUSLY! LET. IT. DIE!

    --
    --- Please remind me if I haven't been civil to you: I'm channeling MDC. ---Gaaark 2.0 ---
  • (Score: 4, Funny) by DannyB on Tuesday November 23, @05:58PM (2 children)

    by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday November 23, @05:58PM (#1198961) Journal

    So wait . . . um . . . Microsoft is now letting a third party be responsible for Windows being hamstrung?

    I thought Microsoft reserved that privilege to itself?

    --
    This Christmas season is the most likely to see Missile Tow instead of large artillery pieces being toed.
    • (Score: 1, Touché) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @06:07PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @06:07PM (#1198965)

      Outsourcing.

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @07:25PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @07:25PM (#1198987)
        You're not supposed to outsource your business to your customer.
  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Mojibake Tengu on Tuesday November 23, @06:28PM (3 children)

    by Mojibake Tengu (8598) on Tuesday November 23, @06:28PM (#1198975) Journal

    I am looking forward for Windows 11-12 on RISC-V. That will be fun.

    Seriously, RISC-V is declared a national hardware platform by government of India. That's done by law. Several smaller countries already followed.
    As with national fabrication facilities emerge in India, it's going to RISC-V become obligatory in government IT sector everywhere, sooner or later.

    Could Microsoft afford to ignore a billion devices sized market cap? I bet no, the greed will drive them to it.
    Lazy Apple will follow the greed later.

    --
    The edge of 太玄 cannot be defined, for it is beyond every aspect of design
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @07:18PM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 23, @07:18PM (#1198981)

      and ADA was a military-mandated programming language

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, @12:03AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, @12:03AM (#1199091)

        And VHDL was a military mandated hardware design language -- until basically every single American corporation said "fuck VHDL" and went Verilog only.

    • (Score: 5, Interesting) by Freeman on Tuesday November 23, @07:23PM

      by Freeman (732) on Tuesday November 23, @07:23PM (#1198986) Journal

      Apple is producing their own chip, while Microsoft is still more or less, strictly a Software company. Yes, they have the tablet and the console, but they aren't doing the R&D for a new CPU/GPU. It'd be kind of dumb for Microsoft to totally ignore a platform with a billion devices as you say. Apple on the other-hand is all about making sure you have the Apple Experience. Which is controlled by strict hardware compatibility. There are downsides to it, but you will generally get a reproducible experience with Apple products. Whereas the hardware vendor and to a lesser degree where you buy that hardware, has about as much to do with the Windows Experience as Microsoft does. Apple has 0 incentive to push for RISC-V.

      --
      Forced Microsoft Account for Windows Login → Switch to Linux.
  • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, @02:43AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 24, @02:43AM (#1199117)

    'tis strange, m$ could just have played the game w/ x86, making a AMD version of windows and a intel version of windows.
    methinks it's totally wrong to say "windows for ARM" since "arm" and "x86" is like "vehicle" and "four wheeled, minimum octain 88, four stroke powered engine vehicle".
    a " vehicle" being anything from a push-cart, ocean linear, zeppelin or even interstellar probe.
    ARM gives the option that one OS will NOT run on all... (like samsungs ARM android will not run on a ARM showme or ARM wowway)

    m$ late to game, but prolly kindda pioneered it with a windowd oem license locked to a hardware configuration *shug*.

    one wonders, it being a "license", getting one for windows would kindda imply that you can get the (binary) code for whatever cpu arch ... but i guess if you have a license for windows and run it on x86, then ditch it, the same " unlock key" could be used for your new "arm" cpu ...?

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