Windows on Arm Helped and Hindered by New Surface Launch

Author: David Macqueen

Windows on Arm Helped and Hindered by New Surface Launch

At Microsoft’s AI Era event, Qualcomm scored a big win with its Snapdragon X Elite Arm-based processor chosen by Microsoft to power the next generation of the popular Surface laptops. Also at the event were devices from Acer, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and Samsung, all of which will use Qualcomm’s processor. These devices will be the first to feature Microsoft’s Copilot AI assistant running on-device and use Microsoft’s new “Copilot+ PC” branding.

The Snapdragon X Elite Arm processor is the only SoC that meets Microsoft’s requirement of 40 trillion operations per second (TOPS) from the neural processing unit (NPU) to run Copilot on-device. Copilot+ PC branding (and Microsoft’s marketing support) will be effectively exclusive to the Snapdragon X Elite Arm processor for almost a year until 40 TOPS or higher x86 processors launch. Interest in Windows on Arm (WoA) is at a high point. Microsoft and Arm must take the opportunity to plug the remaining gaps and create a broader WoA ecosystem. Otherwise, the only winner—if there is one—is Qualcomm.

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