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What happens when Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Intel team up?

12 December, 2016, 00:46 | Author: Lloyd Doyle

Windows 10 being able to run on ARM-based devices opens up a lot of opportunities for the company.

The Qualcomm initiative is the second time Microsoft tries to bring desktop Windows 10 to mobile, which first resulted in the Windows RT project. Support will be available for eSIM to avoid having to find room in a cramped design to accomodate a physical SIM, and Microsoft is going so far as to call these cellular PCs meaning they are expecting broad support for this class of computer, rather than the handful available now with cellular connectivity.

Even this Win32 capability would leave a substantial app gap, as there are vanishingly few Win32 desktop applications compiled for ARM, so the new Windows on ARM has a solution for that, too: as previously rumored, it will include built-in emulation for 32-bit (though oddly, not 64-bit) x86 applications.

Project Evo was among the announcements made at Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Conference (WinHEC) conference taking place in Shenzen, China and reinforces a message delivered in June that Microsoft wants to make Windows 10 an important platform for mixed reality.

Later in the demo Microsoft's Office apps are shown in action, as is a UWP game, World of Tanks Blitz.

While most folks may have written Microsoft off when it comes to smartphones, the company may have just blown the lid off the entire mobile computing sector.


And Intel are also working to ensure that the best gaming experiences are accessible in many forms: from VR PC backpacks to slim notebooks to powerful gaming rigs and PC gaming anywhere with the Xbox Controller. Only one other company had products available at launch, and two never shipped a compatible device in any significant volume.

ARM chips have traditionally been slightly lesser powered than the traditional Intel chips for PCs. Within nine months, Microsoft had to slash prices and write down the value of its unsold Surface tablets, and it stopped making the RT version in 2015.

James Yan, research director at Counterpoint Technology Market Research, said the move is part of Microsoft's broad efforts to build a virtual reality ecosystem.

The ARM-specific Windows RT operating system limited the tablet to a small number of Metro apps from Microsoft Windows Store, as it was incompatible with x86 Windows apps.

At the conference in Shenzhen, the software maker also said it will request Chinese permission to sell its HoloLens augmented reality goggles in that country. It is expected to be available sometime in the first half of 2017. Most intriguingly, Intel also plans to have its integrated HD Graphics chipsets supporting mixed reality by the end of next year, according to its consumer head Navin Shenoy.

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