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Windows on ARM Laptops Reportedly Hamstrung by Qualcomm, but That Might Soon Change

Accepted submission by aristarchus at 2021-11-23 05:58:56 from the Dolchstoßlegende, Et tu, Bill? dept.
Hardware

Not just that the software just won't run? Astounding!

Gizmodo says [gizmodo.com]:

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.

Hmm, could it be true?

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).

Minor edit, "Not for a lack of trying and failing." To quote Jim Morrison, "This is the End".


Original Submission