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Qualcomm confirms Windows 8 on ARM

On tablets, for now

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Qualcomm is working with Microsoft to get Windows 8 working on its ARM-based processors.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon range of chips is already powering a huge number of Android smartphones and tablets, but it seems that tablets running Microsoft Windows 8 will also be Snapdragon powered - finally breaking the long-standing relationship between Intel chips and Windows software.

The Snapdragon is a nice chip: a licensed ARM core surrounded by graphics, communications, cache and all the other bits needed to run a mobile computer. The MSM8960, which is shipping next month, has a pair of cores and a load of systems to reduce power consumption. That is, apparently, the one that will appear in the first Windows 8 tablets.

That processor also has an LTE radio (and 3G) built in, for tablet manufacturers selling into markets with 4G networks.

We've seen Windows running on ARM hardware before, the BBC is hosting a nice video demonstration from January, and the companies involved are only talking about tablets and mobile computing. But that's small consolation for Intel, which used to be the undisputed best buddy when it came to Windows. ®

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