On the PC side of the hardware industry, Intel reigns supreme as the dominant chipmaker on the market, despite clear competition from companies such as AMD. Intel has enjoyed mutual success with the Windows platform thanks to a strong relationship with Microsoft. However, Redmond's next wave of Surface devices may ditch Intel processors.
Microsoft has used Intel chips in its Surface hardware exclusively over the last five years. However, Brad Sams reports the company has grown frustrated with recent CPUs and is seeking to diversify.
Sams says Intel's Skylake CPUs were particularly disappointing to Microsoft and gave the company a “black eye”. He goes as far as to say the relationship between Microsoft and Intel is now on “shaky ground”.
Microsoft is now seeking alternatives and is testing a version of the Surface Laptop with the 12nm AMD Picasso processor. AMD builds the chipsets on the Zen+ CPU and Vega GPU microarchitecture and are the latest generation of the company's chips.
It is worth noting this is a test and Microsoft is not going to change its whole Surface range to Intel.
However, it won't be surprising if a Surface variant with an AMD chip launches over the next year. From there, the company may decide to spread AMD's presence if the first product is successful.
Sams also offers some more information about the next generation of Surface products. He says Microsoft is not going to be redesigning the products, so the aesthetic line will continue this year. Despite that, he says a new Surface Pro design called Carmel will launch next year.