Long-term partners Microsoft and ARM have moved closer together with the announcement of a new licensing agreement.
According to the pair, Microsoft will license ARM's architecture and, although the firms have been collaborating since 1997, ARM called this an extension of the relationship.
However, the companies were silent on what, in particular, the arrangement will mean for development.
"Microsoft is an important member of the ARM ecosystem, and has been for many years," said Mike Muller, chief technology officer at ARM.
"With this architecture licence, Microsoft will be at the forefront of applying and working with ARM technology in concert with a broad range of businesses addressing multiple application areas."
Microsoft was equally complimentary, and KD Hallman, general manager at Microsoft, countered: "ARM is an important partner for Microsoft and we deliver multiple operating systems on the company's architecture, most notably Windows Embedded and Windows Phone.
"With closer access to the ARM technology we will be able to enhance our research and development activities for ARM-based products."
It is possible that the ARM architecture was licensed so that Microsoft can create custom chips designed to suit its own software, or potentially create its own hardware.
With Windows Mobile 7 fast approaching, the argument for such chips, or system-on-a-chip, will become even more compelling.
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