Microsoft and UK-based mobile chip designer ARM have signed a new licensing agreement, enabling Microsoft to develop ARM-based software and hardware.
Microsoft currently develops two key ARM-based software products in Windows Embedded (for professional devices) and Windows Phone (smartphone platform).
As opposed to Intel, which mostly designs, produces and sells microprocessors, ARM licenses processor designs, under non-exclusive deals, to a variety of third party chip specialists including Qualcomm, Samsung, Apple and Texas Instruments. ARM's low-power architecture has made its designs ubiquitous in mobile devices, from low-cost handsets to high-end tablets such as the iPad.
The announcement is another step away from the fabled 'Wintel' (Windows + Intel) duo that has dominated the PC market for nearly two decades. Both players have so far failed to dent the smartphone market and have chosen divergent paths to claim market share.
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