With chip-partner Qualcomm making big bets on the Windows on ARM initiative with the latest Snapdragon 8cx chipset, it’s now reported that Microsoft will be putting more weight on the Always Connected PC platform.
While reporting on a version of the Firefox browser being developed for ARM, Thurrott also reported that Microsoft has developed a prototype of its Surface tablet that relies on an unspecified version of Qualcomm’s ARM-based Snapdragon chipset rather than Intel’s CPU.
It’s still unclear if and when Microsoft intends on launching this PC, but if this Surface Pro prototype is running on Qualcomm’s newest 8cx platform, it could be one of the first 5G PCs given the chip’s support for 5G modems.
Even if 5G networks aren’t ready, a Snapdragon 8cx-powered Surface Pro could fall back on LTE and take advantage of other features of the Always Connected PC experience, including long battery life, background app refresh, and a thin and light design.
This will make Microsoft’s convertible more competitive against Apple’s iPad and Google’s latest Chrome OS-powered Pixel Slate.
In addition to Microsoft, Apple may also be transitioning away from Intel in favor of a custom ARM-based chipset for a future version of MacOS.