Following the speculation that Microsoft is to run Windows 10 on Qualcomm, it has now been confirmed by the chip-maker and ARM licensee, Qualcomm, that the first ARM-powered Windows 10 PCs will arrive before the end of 2017. Microsoft Surface RT was the last time Microsoft tried running desktop Windows on ARM, but did not offer compatibility with applications written for Windows running on Intel chips.
In December last year, Microsoft revealed that it had teamed up with Qualcomm to bring Windows 10 desktop apps to ARM microprocessors, but failed to mention when the first Snapdragon-powered PCs would make their debut. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf, stated during an investor call, that the Snapdragon 835 will be used in mobile PC designs running Windows 10, and are scheduled to be launched in the fourth quarter this year.
Full details have not been released, but as the Qualcomm CEO mentioned “mobile PC designs”, it is expected that the Windows 10 products will be like a smartphone, and always connected to a mobile network, rather than WiFi or a wired LAN. The Snapdragon 835 chipset also supports Bluetooth 5 and WiGig, so these might be supported by the Microsoft device as well.
It is expected that ARM-based Windows 10 PCs will also be thin, fan-less and should offer long battery life. They should also offer 4K video, due to the built-in Adreno 540 GPU in the chipset.