Qualcomm exclusive for the Windows on ARM platform will only last until the end of the year
January 15, 2024

Qualcomm exclusive for the Windows on ARM platform will only last until the end of the year

Qualcomm has reportedly managed to use the exclusive contract with Microsoft and create a clause according to which only Qualcomm processors would be used in the devices of the leading computer manufacturing companies (OEM), which launch a new model based on the “Windows on ARM” platform.

However, we could soon have a completely new situation because according to the head of the ARM company, the contract between Qualcomm and Microsoft expires by the end of this year, opening the possibility for other companies producing processors based on the ARM architecture to enter this part of the potentially growing market and offer more options to its users.

Unofficial reports say that the companies Nvidia and MediaTek could be among the first to offer competitive processors for “Windows on ARM” computers, which practically hinted at fierce competition with Qualcomm chipsets in this part of the market.

Namely, this issue was recently discussed by representatives of the companies ARM and Microsoft, which touched upon a large number of topics related to the issue of the “Windows on ARM” ecosystem, including the subject of the exclusivity of the contract that Qualcomm has.

Qualcomm has a privileged “Windows on ARM” position

For several years, the world's largest OEM computer manufacturers such as HP, Lenovo and Dell have had the opportunity to present their laptop versions for the “Windows on ARM” platform, but only on the condition that the built-in ARM processors are a product of Qualcomm. An exclusivity that the company from San Diego managed to get from Microsoft.

The leaders of the ARM company believe that this practice has come to an end because it harms the interests of the development of the “Windows on ARM” platform and the further massification of the entire project as an alternative to the “Windows x86” ecosystem, which has been ruling practically since the beginning of the Windows operating system as the most represented worldwide. The introduction of other ARM processor manufacturers would reduce Qulacomm's market influence.

While the Qualcomm company is preparing the Snapdragon X Elite processor for notebook computers, others are similarly preparing, primarily Nvidia and MediaTek. The Dimensity 9300 processor has already received positive reviews from analysts, with the conclusion that MediaTek could very easily oppose Qualcomm's dominance in the laptop segment as well, reports Stratechery.

For now, Qualcomm has a time advantage with its Snapdragon X Elite processor, which in recent multicore performance comparisons of laptop SoC solutions achieved 21% better performance than the latest Apple M3 processor. Much more realistic prospects are that other manufacturers will offer their own, similar SoC solutions towards the end of the current year or the beginning of 2025.