Microsoft first announced its plans to bring Windows desktop apps to mobile ARM processors last year. The software giant is planning to allow partners to build laptop devices first, with a version of Windows 10 that will support ARM chips directly by including an emulator in the operating system. Devices will be able to run traditional desktop applications like Chrome or Photoshop, and they’ll be based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 chipset.
While many were hoping we would start to see ARM-powered Windows laptops soon, Qualcomm has revealed they won’t arrive until the end of the year. “Our Snapdragon 835 is expanding into Mobile PC designs running Windows 10, which are scheduled to launch in the fourth calendar quarter this year,” said Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf during the company’s latest investor call.
Microsoft has not yet announced which PC partners will be building ARM laptops, but The Verge understands that Lenovo is currently testing its own machine. Given Qualcomm’s Q4 timing, it’s unlikely that Microsoft’s mystery education hardware event next month will include an ARM-powered laptop. We’re expecting to hear more about Microsoft’s plans for ARM laptops at the company’s Build conference next month and Computex.