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ARM Getting Into Bed With Microsoft?

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Concerted reports coming from the States seem to suggest that Cambridge-based processor manufacturer ARM, could soon become the new best friend of Microsoft as it attempts to regain lost ground in the tablet and smartphone market.

Reports suggest that Steve Ballmer will unveil a device powered by ARM chips and running a full blown Windows OS at his keynote speech at CES in Vegas next month. The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg and AllThingsD have reported that Microsoft will talk about the technology in Vegas but it may not be available to consumers for up to two years.

ARM is the kingpin when it comes to smartphones as chips based on designs licensed by them consume less power than most of Intel’s and AMD’s x86 chips. While Windows CE does support ARM infrastructure, as regards it’s full blown Windows OS, Microsoft has stuck with the x86 chipsets.

The Wall Street Journal quotes two Microsoft insiders who state the company has had a project for some time to create a version of Windows running on ARM-based microprocessors. This rumour, if true, could see Microsoft go down the route which has been so successful for Apple with iOS, which is a specifically stripped-down OS to run faster on mobile devices.

We reported last week that Ballmer could be showing off a version of Windows 8 in his keynote speech as well as a slew of tablets running some form of Windows. So unless his speech is going to be a few hours long (and we certainly hope it isn’t) then some of these rumours may be just that. We’ll be reporting live from the press conference so make sure you check in on January 5.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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