Microsoft’s Windows 10 ARM is almost ready for launch as the company is in the final stages of development. In a partnership with Qualcomm, Microsoft announced its plan to bring Windows 10 on ARM devices. The better battery life is not the only reason why Microsoft has decided to give Windows on ARM another go, according to internal reports, Microsoft wants to snatch away the desktop chipsets dominance from Intel and believes that the firm needs a counter to its dominance.

With Windows RT, Microsoft failed to give Intel a counter to its dominance as Windows on ARM wasn’t ready at that time. However in 2016, Microsoft tightened its ties with Qualcomm to work closely on ‘Windows 10 on ARM’ project, both tech giants have been testing the OS with different chipsets to find out the best performing configuration and apparently, Snapdragon-powered PCs are finally ready.

Windows 10 on ARM brings PC-like experience to mobile chipset

Microsoft’s Windows group manager recently revealed that Windows 10 on ARM is an opportunity to make the PC experience even more mobile. Qualcomm agrees that besides 5G, Windows 10 ARM is the most exciting project for them.

Qualcomm’s Cristiano Amon has now revealed some new and exciting details about the Windows 10 on ARM project. In this article, we’ll learn almost everything about Windows 10 on ARM.

Unbelievable battery life

Qualcomm’s executive Cristiano Amon details that Windows 10 ARM devices will offer an unbelievable battery life, unlike Intel processor, Qualcomm ARM chipset consumes less power. Windows 10 on a Snapdragon 835-powered PC will offer up to 29 hours of battery life while using Netflix in 4G connectivity. On a very heavy usage, the device will last for at least 18 hours in comparison to 10-15 hours of battery life offered on Intel-powered PCs without 4G connectivity.

Qualcomm explains that the longer battery life has been achieved by optimizing the power consumption of the processor when booting Windows 10. Furthermore, as the size of the motherboard is smaller, OEMs can also install a larger battery for best battery life.

Windows 10 on ARM to support even more chipsets

As of right now, Windows 10 on ARM only supports the Snapdragon 835 processor. However, Qualcomm is also testing new chips for Windows 10 with better performance, increased memory bandwidth and improved graphics.

More OEMs to join the club

How about a Windows 10 ARM device from HTC? It may be coming soon as Qualcomm plans to bring new manufactures on board. OEMs, like Dell, HP, Asus, Acer and Lenovo are selling the Windows 10 devices while the phone makers such as HTC is out of the computer market.

This will change with Windows 10 ARM as Qualcomm and Microsoft wants to partner with all OEMs to launch a lot of Snapdragon-powered PCs. This will not only help Windows 10 ARM but even the Windows Core OS devices as by that time Microsoft will have enough OEMs partner to launch new Windows 10-powered mobile devices.

Windows 10 ARM devices from Asus, HP and Lenovo on track

Qualcomm once again confirmed that as of now, Asus, HP and Lenovo are testing Snapdragon-powered PCs with Windows 10 and it is expected to be unveiled later this year or early next year.

On the other hand, Orange and Transatel in France are working with the chip maker to allow e-SIM facility on Windows 10 ARM devices. Microsoft explained that the embedded SIM in Always-connected PCs would enable simple activation of the device but it requires modification in operators’ networks.

Windows 10 on ARM devices will be expensive

Despite being powered by Snapdragon processor, the Windows 10 on ARM wouldn’t be cheap initially. Windows 10 ARM devices will be priced as high as 1000 Euros in Europe and 5000 Yuan in China.

PCs with Snapdragon will be launched within same price range as that of Intel PCs. While the Windows 10 ARM devices will be better than Intel PCs because of better battery life, 4G connectivity and more.

  • meh…

    Just what does Microsoft hope to accomplish with these new snapdragon books? They don’t really fill a need that people who have traditional laptops or notebooks have. While a Snapdragon CPU does have efficiency benefits when compared to an Intel CPU or AMD APU, the Snapdragon is a mobility processor. X86 is a lot different, and I question the claims that the emulation layer will be as “native speed” as they claim. I also question the claim that this will pose an existential threat to Intel. AMD’s Zen Architecture seemed to be a larger scale, better suited, direct attack on Intel’s money pit than what the Snapdragon CPU is. The Snapdragon isn’t going to be able to compete well with the Core i-series or the Ryzen series as they’re more up to the task of handling bigger instructions (RISC vs CISC), and the fact that the Intel solution has strong cores that make the Snapdragon seem meek, and Ryzen has large amounts of hyperthreaded cores. On mobile for Ryzen, I may be wrong as there are no official Ryzen mobile parts, but the desktop Ryzen and how AMD tends to be focused on core count, means bad news for Qualcomm. The one advantage they might have against the dual core Core i-series, might be AMD’s strategy. If that’s the case, I see little hope for Snapdragon Windows Notebooks or laptops.

    • Matt

      Whilst they won’t be cheaper at first in the long term they will be. It is significantly cheaper to build an ARM laptop because WiFi, Cellular, Bluetooth etc are all provided by the SoC (which tends to be cheaper than the Intel CPU without those things).

      People buying cheap laptops don’t have high performance demands but might want easy access to cellular networks and long battery life.

      Intel has been completely unable to provide a mobile CPU as well. We can’t see ‘full’ Windows on a phone until Snapdragons with Win32 support are available.

      • meh…

        Those who “don’t have high performance demands” are the same type of people who do everything in a browser like Chrome. Yes, Snapdragonbooks might be cheaper, they’ll not be able to do simple things that some people who want a mid-range laptop would want to be able to do. While not everyone is going to render 3D graphics, even something as simple as editing a photo takes resources that the Snapdragon CPU doesn’t really have. If you’ve tried to do use an Android phone with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, you’d understand how long it takes to do a simple shake reduction filter. This emulation layer might not increase the latency that much, but when you try to do photo edits, you’ll start to notice the relative weakness of the Snapdragon CPU. They even demoed Photoshop CC running on a Snapdragonbook, which is one of the use-cases you’re claiming people would not use. So, which is it?

    • Rumin8

      I am not going to lug my heavy-duty X64 laptop around. It’s on my desk and has been since I got it. But I don’t want to lose the ability to run all my Windows apps while out and about. I would be very interested in a Windows 10 device with cellular capability. I have one, but it does not do phone calls, which you may thing does not matter, but actually it is a missing feature that is a pain in the ass in practice, because any Android tablet with cellular can do phone calls and no Windows tablet can. Windows 10 on ARM will correct this imbalance. I won’t be running Visual Studio while I am away from home, but I will be running Outlook, Netflix, Viber, WhatsApp, Wunderlist, Mail, etc, ie a combination of productivity apps, entertainment, and social connectivity apps, just right for when I am away from home base.

  • Ratnam Subramaniam

    Very interesting. If it is going to be very expensive, its tough to get good market share fast and might get killed with losses like Windows phone. If the hardware can only run Windows, vendor have to design 2 hardware that is 1) Windows and 2) Android. It will be great if the hardware is common for Windows and Android. Supplier develops a common hardware where Android or Windows is installed at the choice of the customer, like PC hardware that can run Windows or Linux. It will be even better if virtualization is used, where at a flick of a mouse/touch, the user can run Android for all the applications available today and another flick can run Windows and all the existing Windows business systems. Best of both worlds. I only hope Microsoft is going this direction to do only software and leave the hardware to the hardware vendors. Else Microsoft days are numbered like many IT companies.

  • Željan Alduk

    1000 Euros?!?!?!?! :D