Things have been quiet concerning Windows 10 on ARM since Microsoft first announced in December it was in the works, but that will soon change. Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf has confirmed that the first Windows 10 PC running on a Snapdragon 835 processor is scheduled to arrive during Q4 2017 (via CIO).
Mollenkopf detailed the timeframe in a brief mention as part of Qualcomm’s most recent earnings call, as detailed in a transcript posted at Seeking Alpha:
Fifth, we have an opportunity to disrupt the existing suppliers of the PC and the datacenter. Our Snapdragon 835 is expanding into Mobile PC designs running Windows 10, which are scheduled to launch in the fourth calendar quarter this year. In the data center, we announced the collaboration with Microsoft and demonstrated Windows Server Running on our 10 nanometer Qualcomm Centriq processors, the first 10 nanometer server processors in the industry.
The move comes as part of a partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm, originally outlined at WinHEC, to create what Microsoft is calling “cellular PCs.” The ability to run full desktop Windows 10 on ARM represents a huge shift for the platform, as Windows has historically only worked on x86-based chips.
Running on the Snapdragon 835, Windows 10 on ARM will allow full emulation of traditional x86 Win32 apps and games. Given the Snapdragon 835’s smartphone roots, we can expect devices running Windows 10 on ARM to come with built-in cellular connectivity, Bluetooth 5, long battery life, and relatively thin and light form factors. Microsoft also confirmed in December that Windows 10 will add support for electronic SIMs (eSIM), with the Windows Store eventually selling 4G LTE data plans.
We haven’t heard any official plans for a cellular PC from Microsoft hardware partners like Dell, HP or Lenovo, so it’s hard to gauge what type of device Mollenkopf is expecting to arrive in the fourth quarter. That said, whether it be tablets, two-in-ones, or Ultrabooks, the first devices to roll out with Windows 10 on ARM will represent a significant step forward for Microsoft.
Thanks, @Dan12R, for the tip!