Perhaps there is a perfectly reasonable explanation why Microsoft doesn’t seem to be so invested in its Windows 10 Mobile platform or the devices that rely on it. It might, instead, be more interested in getting a full Windows 10 version running on ARM-based devices. Either way, such kinds of devices are really in the works. At least that’s what Qualcomm reportedly said at its Q2 2017 earnings call. Though you probably be holding your breath, because even Qualcomm itself doesn’t expect things to fall into place until much later this year.
A “desktop-grade” Windows version and a Qualcomm Snapdragon device is going to be a curious thing to watch. And not because it hasn’t been done before, as evidenced by the Nokia Lumia 2520 above. In fact, it will be curious exactly because it has already happened and failed tragically. And that tragedy has a name: Windows RT.
In theory, it would be a great combination. Windows 10 would be able to harness the processing power and energy efficiency of the latest Snapdragon 835 and would, thus, be able to achieve thin and portable form factors that Intel and AMD can only dream of. Microsoft already has the experience in dealing with mobile platforms, from Windows CE to Windows Mobile to Windows RT and, indeed, even Windows 10 Mobile. But the problem isn’t exactly Windows per se but the apps that will run on it.
What killed Windows RT wasn’t the lack of devices but the lack of apps. It only allowed app from the Windows Store, which was practically a ghost town back then. The store is a bit more populated right now but might still lack some heavyweights. Heavyweights that might not be able to run on mobile hardware anyway.
Both Microsoft and Qualcomm night each have a solution for that. Both have efforts to allow regular x86, a.k.a. win32, applications to run on ARM hardware. Qualcomm is also confident that its latest Snapdragon 835 can handle the load, even from something as “heavy” as Photoshop.
Despite that, the chip maker isn’t diving head first into this rather stigmatized niche market. There are definitely going to be limits to what a Snapdragon 835 device will be able to do, Windows 10 or otherwise. But it will have a lot of time to iron out those kinks, as it doesn’t expect the first Windows 10 cellular laptop powered by Snapdragon 835 to launch until the last quarter of this year.
VIA: PC World