Qualcomm may not have been Microsoft's only choice for Windows ARM
Qualcomm has made some significant announcements this week regarding its next generation of Snapdragon processors and its plans to integrate said technology onto ARM-based Windows 10 laptops. In order for Windows ARM to really take off, however, Microsoft would need even more supporters beyond Qualcomm to create a wider range of Windows ARM laptops.
According to Fudzilla, the Redmond company may have considered just that prior to its public team up with Qualcomm. Microsoft had purportedly proposed its Windows ARM plans to Nvidia in an attempt to allure the chipmaker into developing Windows ARM laptops. After all, its Tegra SoCs were very popular in past years and they continue to have a strong presence on certain devices like the Pixel C tablet, Shield Portable, and Nintendo Switch. The graphical prowess of Nvidia SoCs would have indubitably been of value for powering Windows ARM PCs.
Outside of Nvidia, Microsoft may also be considering Samsung and its Exynos series of ARM SoCs. While mostly found in smartphones, a small handful of Chromebooks already run on Exynos hardware including the HP Chromebook 11 and Samsung's own Chromebook series.
Whether or not Samsung, Nvidia, or others will eventually join the Microsoft ARM club remains to be seen. Nvidia in particular appears content in expanding its SoC technology for future automobiles rather than forcing ARM onto Windows PCs. The manufacturer currently has a healthy presence in the mainstream and enthusiast notebook markets with its MX150 and GeForce GTX GPUs, respectively, while the market for Windows ARM is largely unproven with questionable benefits over cheap x86 netbooks. Nonetheless, we do expect several Windows ARM notebooks to make appearances at next month's CES 2018.