Windows on ARM – Microsoft on track

In 2013 Microsoft many the first of many big announcements,  the co-announcement of their development with Samsung of folding and scrolling screen prototype in 2013 – something that’s still yet to manifest but when it does will shake up the world of mobile computing.

Find out about graphene screen technology here.

Since then, and the take-over of the CEO role in Microsoft by the visionary Satya Nadella, Microsoft has rained on the public a series of ooh, ahh announcements, the Hololens, The Surface studio Windows 10 and more recently the announcement of Windows 10 on ARM chipsets.

Under Nadella, it seems Microsoft has a new vision of itself. But let me give a little background on why this is so significant to mobile computing.

First up Windows 10, as the fastest uptake of any desktop OS in history, creates a platform for developers on the new “universal app” platform, Microsoft’s touch application system. Which for the public means that the “app gap” is sure to close over the coming years. Or put simply, Windows is getting more apps, over time, and it will catch up. The Windows store is filling rapidly even in the last six months.

Samsungs and Microsofts Graphene screen technologySecondly, as mentioned above, when graphene becomes viable to manufacture for consumer goods, Samsung and Microsoft as patent holders, will have the edge on the tablet/phone hybrids that will follow. Samsung has long held that it wishes to reduce its reliance on Google.

Enter the ARM emulation. ARM is the all in one chipset that almost all mobile phones use, and many tablets use. Qualcomm, the maker of the Snapdragon chips, has worked with Microsoft to produce this emulation, which runs full desktop win32 applications (like adobe for example).

ARM has several advantages over Intel for mobile computing. Firstly it comes with mobile networking technology built in, which means 4G will come as standard on many Windows devices coming out in 2017. Secondly it’s cheaper. Thirdly it has lower power consumption, meaning longer battery life.

So perhaps you can read between the lines, and see why this is big news. With the app gap closing, and Windows able to run on any manufacturers phones or tablets (if they write drivers), Windows is about to come to a much bigger mobile audience.  Instead of Nokia making Windows devices, everyone will be, like they do currently for Android.

Cheap Windows Laptops and Tablets Coming Your WayIt means cheaper tablets, and laptops with 4G and longer battery life. And with the graphene patent, it means, that Microsoft, at some later point, is bound to make a dramatic re-entry into the Smartphone market, reminiscent of the announcement of the iPhone 1.

While it’s likely they’ll want the app gap to close further before they serious re-enter smart phones, and most likely will do UI tweaks to perfect the user interface for phone users and smart watch users – Microsoft is poised to have a “One OS to rule them all”, in a way no other OS maker is even close to.

It might be years off, but watch this space; Microsoft has exciting things ahead that will directly benefit consumers, enterprise, and especially creators.

And for Tap That customers in the short term it means really cheap decent Tablets and Laptops are coming this way, likely this year. I know NZ customers will be interested in both cheap Windows laptops, and cheap 4G long battery life hybrids and tablets – these things are likely to kill Netbooks and ChromeBooks – so watch this space later in the year!