The market for ARM-based Windows PCs is about to become far more diversified, with an exclusive deal between Microsoft and Qualcomm ending.
Microsoft has been working to bring Windows to ARM devices, thanks in large part to Apple’s own move to the semiconductor architecture. ARM-based chips, such as Apple’s M1 line, offer advantages in energy efficiency and battery life, while still offering performance on par with Intel and AMD.
Until now, however, Qualcomm has had an exclusive deal with Microsoft to provide SoCs for all Windows ARM devices. According to XDA, that deal is set to expire soon.
There are a slew of potential benefits to the deal expiring. MediaTek is already planning on launching their own chipset for Windows ARM devices, and it’s a safe bet other manufacturers will follow suit. XDApoints out that the exclusivity deal is likely the reason there has been no official Windows 11 virtualization support for Apple’s M1 architecture as well.
XDA doesn’t know exactly when the deal will expire, but hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.