Intel, Microsoft Unite For Low-Cost Windows 10 Smartphones

Intel, Microsoft Unite For Low-Cost Windows 10 Smartphones
By The original uploader was VD64992 at English Wikipedia [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Intel and Microsoft have come together to offer a Windows Phone running on a chip from the former. As of now, there are no Intel-based Microsoft phones available, but that is going to change when Windows 10 arrives later this year.

Windows 10 on both Intel, ARM

Presently, Windows phones are packed only with ARM-based processors from Qualcomm. Windows 10 will also work on ARM systems, but will also be compatible with Intel’s x86 chips.

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Intel will power the Windows 10 mobile OS, and the phablets will be packed with Intel’s upcoming Atom X3 chips, dubbed “Sofia,” as announced by the chip maker at the Mobile World Congress. Devices that will run on X3 chips will come with a price tag of $75 to $249. Additionally, the X3 chips will be offered in Android handsets.

With Windows 10, Microsoft wants to give an experience that is consistent across phones, tablets and PCs. However, one thing that will be interesting to watch is how the software giant will design its applications so they run smoothly on both x86 and ARM even though they have completely different instructions sets.

Will Wintel be a hit in mobile?

For some time, Intel has been weighing the idea of supporting Windows Phone but was not convinced with the slow adoption rate of the OS, says a report from PC World. However, despite supporting Android phones because of their widespread adoption, Intel has not gained any substantial turf in the smartphone market yet.

In 2014, Windows-based phones totaled only 34.9 million, garnering a market share of just 2.7%. In contrast, Android smartphones totaled 1.06 billion, an 81.5% market share. Also Apple iOS devices totaled 192.7 million, capturing a 14.8% market share, according to IDC.

Aicha Evans, vice president and general manager of Intel’s Communication and Devices Group, believes the popularity of the Windows mobile operating systems will rise in the coming time.

“We consider that very important,” Evans said.

Microsoft and Intel have been partners for a long time. Their partnership, popularly known as Wintel, dominated the PC market. The chip maker is expecting to boost its performance in the handheld devices segment by partnering with Android and Windows 10.

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