It’s looking like the long awaited Windows Continuum feature might actually come to fruition as when Microsoft and Qualcomm release the first ARM-based Windows PCs later this year. This is great news for Qualcomm, but for Intel, who has been commanding the market for 40 years, it’s a serious threat that could put a spanner in the works.
In an official blog post, chief lawyer Stephen Rodgers and Director of Intel Labs Richard A. Uhlig said that they are aware that some companies may try to emulate Intel’s proprietary x86 ISA without Intel’s authorization. They added that they do not welcome unlawful infringement of the patents, and hence, it expects companies to continue to respect Intel’s intellectual property rights.
But here’s the rub. Microsoft needs this. Continuum relies on getting this tech working, and Windows 10 S, the company’s new and regressed operating system for tightwads, needs to be able to run on super-light, super-quick machines if they have any chance of keeping up with the Chrome OS explosion. Hence, Intel might have to face the new reality, just as Microsoft has. And that means recognizing that it isn’t a one-horse town anymore and that, while it is better at high-performance machines, Qualcomm has it sewn up on smaller form factors and mobile.
If Intel sues, expect Microsoft to support Qualcomm. There’s a lot of money sloshing about between these three firms so it could get nice and messy.