In the context: Microsoft’s Arm-based laptops and laptops were first released in 2016 and have mysteriously only run on Qualcomm SoCs since then. Since Microsoft never announced an official exclusive deal with Qualcomm, many consumers are wondering why we haven’t seen other brands like Samsung develop Windows processors on Arm machines. Now it looks like we finally have the answers.
According to a new report from XDA Developers, Microsoft does there is exclusive deal with Qualcomm. The site says this is the main reason why competitors like Samsung and MediaTek have not been able to integrate their SoCs into Arm laptops and foldable Windows devices.
However, these companies have a silver lining: obviously, the Qualcomm deal’s jackpot will expire “soon.” Unfortunately, neither we nor XDA have a specific end date. It is unclear if the site’s sources were unable to provide it. That said, the competition is certainly steadily approaching – assuming these sources define “soon” not “several years,” we might see Windows on Arm machines with alternative processors in 2022.
Windows on Arm launched at the end of 2017, so it makes sense to close the deal five years later, at the end of 2022. We already know that several other companies are developing chipsets for Windows on Arm: MediaTek recently announced this. and we doubt the company would be so bold if Qualcomm’s dominance was finally consolidated.
However, to be clear, this is pure speculation on our part. Only Microsoft and Qualcomm can tell us the final end date for the alleged deal, and given how taciturn they are so far, we doubt the information will be provided.
However, we look forward to seeing what the future of Arm-based Windows machines will look like. The Arm architecture has many advantages (one of which is more than 20 hours of battery life), so we would like to see more companies compete in this area and offer their own SoCs for Windows.