Over the last year, Microsoft has been working with chip giant Qualcomm on Windows 10 on ARM. The idea is to make PCs more affordable by blending the best aspects of desktop computing and mobile tech. Now, Google is once again challenging Microsoft directly with its own ARM integration for Chrome desktops.

Windows 10 on ARM has had mixed results so far, not least because Microsoft’s app issues are ever present. While Snapdragon-powered laptops can handle native Windows apps easily, it struggles with third-party solutions.

That’s because the processor must run these apps in an emulator, slogging the CPU and slowing performance. Google believes it has the answer by porting Chrome on Snapdragon-powered laptops.

The company is working directly with Qualcomm on the implementation. The result could mean optimal performance for all apps on ARM-based PCs. This does little to hamper Microsoft’s own Windows 10 on ARM push. Not least because Qualcomm is developing more powerful dedicated laptop Snapdragon chips for Windows.

However, for Microsoft Edge, Google’s involvement in ARM is a problem. Microsoft has been trying to bring more users to its browser and while disconnects to the ARM push, Google integrating ARM with Google makes its browser even more appealing.

Speaking to Android Authority, Qualcomm’s senior director of product management Miquel Nunes confirmed the companies are working together:

“We are. We’re still working with the different OEMs and designs. I expect you’ll see it probably around (the) second half of next year. Every OEM will decide whatever their launch timeline is, but we’re actively working on it.”

Browser Conundrum

Microsoft is in a strange place with its Microsoft Edge browser. It is a situation that is similar to the battle the company engages in with Google for search dominance. Google Search is the dominant market leader and Bing is a distant second. This is despite Microsoft’s various improvements to make Bing a potent alternative.

It’s an analogous situation in the browser arena. Microsoft Edge has scored plenty of neat features and is definitely an interesting alternative to Google Chrome. However, Chrome remains dominant. Of course, that’s largely because Google continues to at least match Microsoft’s features step for step.

It’s worth mentioning the one difference between search and browser is Bing was never the market leader. It’s easy to forget that Microsoft until recently controlled the browser market with Internet Explorer.