Intel was already battling the slowing PC market, and now Microsoft is making it even tougher for the chip maker. Microsoft is creating a version of the Windows 10 OS that will run on laptops powered by Qualcomm chips. This move by the hardware maker could crumble Intel’s dominance in PCs and help Microsoft gain a better foothold in mobile computing, according to Bloomberg.
Microsoft-Qualcomm tie-up could trouble Intel
Qualcomm chips have integrated cellular connections and are designed to work on limited battery life. The companies said that bringing Windows 10 to tablets and notebooks that run on Qualcomm chips will result in sleeker devices that are always connected and can work for days without having to be plugged in. In a blog post, Microsoft said the first devices will be available as soon as next year, but it did not specify which manufacturers have committed to producing them.
Even before, Microsoft has tried to release Windows to PCs running on chip tech other than Intel’s, but its previous tie-ups resulted in fewer sales and huge losses on unsold inventory. However, this time, Microsoft is giving Windows 10 for Qualcomm chips the ability to run programs that are written for the conventional version of the platform, using software called an emulator, notes Bloomberg.
This means that tablets and computers will be able to run applications like Adobe Photoshop and regular Microsoft Office programs. An emulator generally slows down the performance of the computer, but according to Qualcomm and Microsoft, the mobile hardware is fast enough that users will not notice a decline.
“This is a commitment to bring mobility into Windows,” said Cristiano Amon, head of Qualcomm’s chip business.
Microsoft renews “Wintel” partnership
Its not all bad news for Intel, as Microsoft renewed their traditional “Wintel” partnership on Wednesday with a collaboration called “Project Evo.” Under this, the companies will work together to improve how computers see, hear and think. This initiative includes everything from “mixed reality” experiences and gaming innovations to better security and authentication.
Microsoft made the announcement in China at its Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC). Most of this partnership involves the chip maker, which assists in providing the hardware reference designs that inform PCs and other devices made by manufacturers like Dell, Lenovo, HP, Asus and Acer, says PC World.
On Wednesday, Intel shares closed up 2.25% at $35.50. Year to date, the stock is up more than 3%, while in the last six months, it is up more than 11%.