Michael Endler, InformationWeek
10/13/2014 04:30 PM EDT
Microsoft's traditionally cozy relationship with Intel at times has appeared chilly over the last few years, with the former investing in ARM processors and the latter making chips for devices that run Google's Android and Chrome OS.
But these days, hints of tension between the two companies have mostly disappeared. PC sales have stabilized, keeping Intel and Microsoft's paths tightly linked. And thanks to new classes of super-efficient Intel chips, the Windows catalogue now includes powerful, ultra-slim 2-in-1s at the high end and a variety of cheap but surprisingly capable PCs and tablets at the low end.
The reversed dynamic raises a question: What's become of Microsoft's ambitions for devices that use ARM processors?
Indeed, "Wintel's" resurgence isn't the only reason to question Microsoft's investment in ARM devices. Just last week, the company confirmed it will continue to make Surface Pro devices but declined to answer any specific questions about ARM-based models. From Windows RT's failure to a recent report that Microsoft plans to focus Surface development around Intel chips, little about Microsoft's recent ARM efforts inspires confidence. What do we know about Microsoft's strategy for ARM devices, and what it will mean for customers?
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