The first ARM-powered Windows 10 PCs will arrive before the end of this year, according to chip-maker and ARM licensee Qualcomm.
Microsoft in December revealed that it had teamed up with Qualcomm to bring Windows 10 desktop apps to ARM microprocessors, but failed to mention when the first Snapdragon-powered PCs would make their debut.
However, Qualcomm has confirmed this week that the first devices will arrive by the end of the year.
"Our Snapdragon 835 is expanding into Mobile PC designs running Windows 10, which are scheduled to launch in the fourth calendar quarter this year," said Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf during the company's latest investor call.
Microsoft has attempted ARM-based PCs before, with its Windows RT operating system looking and feeling like Windows, but not offering compatibility with applications written for Windows running on Intel. This time round, traditional Windows Programs will be supported as well as the universal app type - making the concept much more appealing.
At the moment, details are vague, but Qualcomm and Microsoft are touting upcoming devices such as "cellular PCs", which will be much more like a smartphone, and always connected to a cellular network, rather than Wi-Fi or a wired LAN. Devices will also offer Bluetooth 5 and, potentially, Wi-Gig, which are both integrated into the Snapdragon 835 chipset.
ARM-based Windows 10 PCs will also be support thin, fan-less designs and should offer long battery life for mobile devices; again, thanks to Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip. They should also offer be 4K video, thanks to the built-in Adreno 540 GPU.
Microsoft Continuum should also get a boost from the upcoming ARM support.
This feature has long been a cornerstone of the Windows 10 strategy, but because of the prevalence of ARM-based architectures on mobile devices, it has proved impossible to have a fully fluid transition between form factors.
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