In 2017, Microsoft announced Always Connected PC, its foray into the Windows on ARM movement. That announcement and devices with the Always Connected PC ability run on Qualcomm chips, reportedly through an exclusive deal. Four years on, that exclusivity is about to come to an end.

It is worth noting Microsoft and Qualcomm have never said there is an exclusive contract between the two. However, no Windows on ARM device has ever shipped without a Qualcomm processor. Furthermore, the chip giant was a co-host of Microsoft’s Always Connected PC launch.

According to XDA-Developers, there was an exclusive deal in place and it is now coming to an end. We have started seeing some movement that suggests Microsoft is looking to movie away from its partner.

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At an executive summit this month, MediaTek discussed plans to build chips for Windows on ARM. Of course, Microsoft is also rumoured to be working in collaboration with AMD on a proprietary ARM processor. Considering it has been all Qualcomm until now, it does seem to be something happening.

Of course, Qualcomm could and is still likely to continue building processors for Windows on ARM too, just not in an exclusive capacity.

Moving Forward

Microsoft may even be happy to have more choice. Windows on ARM has not been well received, especially during the early days. Devices were slow and there were also concerns of a perpetual need to upgrade. Microsoft even distanced itself from Qualcomm in the wake of the release.

Microsoft’s own Surface Pro X – the company’s first ARM-based device – was only met with a lukewarm reception. Being able to work with other chipmakers and design its own silicon could help Windows on ARM expand.

Tip of the day: Did you know that a virtual drive on Windows can help you with disk management for various reasons? A virtual drive is just simulated by the platform as a separate drive while the holding file might be stored anywhere on your system .

The data in the drive is available in files or folders, which are represented by software in the operating system as a drive. In our tutorial we show you different ways how to setup and use such virtual drives.

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