Some Windows 8 laptops to get quad-core Qualcomm CPU

Microsoft is working to bring its ARM port of Windows 8 out at the same time as the x86 processor version. When the ARM version is released, it will likely be inside some thin and light laptops that will have a quad-core processor made by Qualcomm.

PCWorld.com reports that the company hopes to have the quad-core version of its Snapdragon S4 processor in Windows 8 laptops that will be both thinner and lighter than notebooks based on Intel's Ultrabook design. The article didn't state which PC laptop makers would offer notebooks with Qualcomm's upcoming processor inside.

Qualcomm is also reportedly working on adding 64-bit support to a future version of the Snapdragon processor but the company's senior vice president Rob Chandhok would not comment on a timeframe for that chip to be released.

In related news, PCWorld.com also interviewed Intel product manager Anand Kajshmanan about the future of Ultrabook-based laptops. He stated that Intel is pushing for hardware makers to embrace touch screens for future Ultrabooks and for Windows 8 support, saying:

We fundamentally believe in the concept of touch, and touch on a clamshell. We believe it's going to take off in 2012 or at least 2013, especially with Windows 8. It really feels like now is the right time, now that the hardware and software are working really well together. We're strongly encouraging our partners to incorporate touch on the Ultrabooks.

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24 Comments

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I thought Ultra Books are way more powerful in the processors they will have. Plus, ARM will have a disadvantge... cannot run Desktop apps, and backward compat is going out the window... Unless MS some how states that a notebook form factor will not enforce the power saving restrictions that MS used as justification for not allowing desktop apps and or backward compatability for at least .NET since you would think it would be easy just to recompile the MSIL code... we shall see ::shrug::

mranderson1st said,
I thought Ultra Books are way more powerful in the processors they will have. Plus, ARM will have a disadvantge... cannot run Desktop apps, and backward compat is going out the window... Unless MS some how states that a notebook form factor will not enforce the power saving restrictions that MS used as justification for not allowing desktop apps and or backward compatability for at least .NET since you would think it would be easy just to recompile the MSIL code... we shall see ::shrug::
Yes Ultrabooks do have better processors. My ASUS Ultrabook has an i7 and runs wicked fast plus I've been able to get 6.5 hours of use on the battery (with 30% battery left over when powering down). That being said, I don't see MS enforcing the non-desktop apps restriction on notebooks or Ultrabooks since they need to be portable workstations and run desktop apps. Tablets aren't expected to run desktop apps so enforcing that restriction is acceptable. I would bet that it wouldn't be too hard to recompile a .NET app for ARM as long as you're not using or referencing any Win32 API's. I have several lightweight .NET apps I've written over the years for a variety of client specific requirements and various tools I've needed and I'll definitely try to take some of those light projects and recompile them under ARM as long as they're not making system calls. I need an ARM tablet first though. I'm looking forward to testing out what I can do on an ARM tablet!

There are going to be sooo many people confused by these WoA machines. I see many being taken back because they can't run most Windows apps. They won't understand the difference between the architectures...

FloatingFatMan said,
There are going to be sooo many people confused by these WoA machines. I see many being taken back because they can't run most Windows apps. They won't understand the difference between the architectures...

Absolutely. Just the name Windows Phone 7 probably has the average consumer scratching his head when he discovers it has nothing to do with Windows 7. Having two 'Windows' tablets with completely different capabilities sounds like a branding nightmare.

thealexweb said,
With Windows 8 arm you have a desktop app right but x86 programmes aren't supported, correct?

Nope - on ARM the only 'desktop functionality' there is to run Microsoft Office, everything else must run in Metro mode. As I noted in a previous post, this is going to be a choice Microsoft will live to regret by relegating ARM to only hand held devices like phones and tablets. ARM especially ARMv8 (64bit ARM) have the possibility to overthrow Intel but that hope has been pretty much killed off by Microsoft refusing to provide a complete Windows 8 experience on ARM devices.

Mr Nom Nom's said,

Nope - on ARM the only 'desktop functionality' there is to run Microsoft Office, everything else must run in Metro mode. As I noted in a previous post, this is going to be a choice Microsoft will live to regret by relegating ARM to only hand held devices like phones and tablets. ARM especially ARMv8 (64bit ARM) have the possibility to overthrow Intel but that hope has been pretty much killed off by Microsoft refusing to provide a complete Windows 8 experience on ARM devices.

I suggest you read this blog post on WOA: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...processor-architecture.aspx

Here's an excerpt:

Using WOA “out of the box” will feel just like using Windows 8 on x86/64. You will sign in the same way. You will start and launch apps the same way. You will use the new Windows Store the same way. You will have access to the intrinsic capabilities of Windows, from the new Start screen and Metro style apps and Internet Explorer, to peripherals, and if you wish, the Windows desktop with tools like Windows File Explorer and desktop Internet Explorer.

So yes - the system will look 100% the same. You obviously can not run x86 apps as it is ARM architecture, not x86, and the current ARM cpu's of today and even tomorrow have no where near the horsepower required to emulate the x86 instruction set.

AlterBridge86 said,

So yes - the system will look 100% the same. You obviously can not run x86 apps as it is ARM architecture, not x86, and the current ARM cpu's of today and even tomorrow have no where near the horsepower required to emulate the x86 instruction set.

I suggest you read that again. It said "out of the box" it is the same. Neither of them have third party desktop programs installed out of the box. I'm pretty sure that Microsoft has stated that third party applications will not be allowed to run on the desktop on the ARM version of Windows 8. Stupid decision but they can easily change it later.

AlterBridge86 said,

I suggest you read this blog post on WOA: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...processor-architecture.aspx

Here's an excerpt:


So yes - the system will look 100% the same. You obviously can not run x86 apps as it is ARM architecture, not x86, and the current ARM cpu's of today and even tomorrow have no where near the horsepower required to emulate the x86 instruction set.


Interesting. Will this be the case for .NET programs as well? Or will the framework run on ARM as well?

Why else do you think Microsoft is dropping the Start orb? The "desktop" is being phased out, and they have found the successor.

M_Lyons10 said,

Interesting. Will this be the case for .NET programs as well? Or will the framework run on ARM as well?

The .NET assembles will exist on the ARM machine with ARM native code.
Any other code compiled for x86 will have to be recompiled.

AlterBridge86 said,
I suggest you read this blog post on WOA: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/arc...processor-architecture.aspx

Here's an excerpt:

So yes - the system will look 100% the same. You obviously can not run x86 apps as it is ARM architecture, not x86, and the current ARM cpu's of today and even tomorrow have no where near the horsepower required to emulate the x86 instruction set.

I've already read it - the issue has already been clarified months ago. Win32 on ARM is there only to run office because if you read it:

"WOA does not support running, emulating, or porting existing x86/64 desktop apps"

Meaning even if you do have the source code for a win32 application you can't port it over - it has to be re-written from the ground up for WinRT. Yes, the desktop is there with file manager etc. but all intents and purposes the win32 API doesn't exist for third parties to utilise.

Qualcomm might be the first but I expect the rest of the ARM SoC makers to follow shortly with "netbook" type devices as well as any tablets we should see.

Personally I'm a bit more interested in a convertible ultrabook so I can have full x86-64 compatibility and then be able to switch it to a tablet with touch when I don't need to do any desktop stuff. If Ultrabooks can give us the power of a full laptop but with the 9-10hr battery life of a tablet then I'm sold.

NyaR said,
It's still windows 8 on a personal computer.

I don't think that ARM SoC designs really are 'personal' computers.
There isn't much personal about it.
It's not like the user has any individual choice outside of what the OEM offers.
I consider ARM products to be Consumer Computers, not personal.

dotf said,

I don't think that ARM SoC designs really are 'personal' computers.
There isn't much personal about it.
It's not like the user has any individual choice outside of what the OEM offers.
I consider ARM products to be Consumer Computers, not personal.

In what sense is a traditional PC personal, then?

dotf said,

I don't think that ARM SoC designs really are 'personal' computers.
There isn't much personal about it.
It's not like the user has any individual choice outside of what the OEM offers.
I consider ARM products to be Consumer Computers, not personal.

In one sense they're less 'personalizable', but in another sense they're more likely to be single user (personal) devices. But then people also might call these things 'post-PC' devices. I guess it's all just semantics.

Windows on x86 and Windows on ARM are exactly the same machines.
The only difference is the CPU which you are unable to change in either machine -- they are both as customisable. Also that not as much software has been written/compiled for the ARM version yet.

NyaR said,

It's still windows 8 on a personal computer.

No it's not. Microsoft has said Windows on ARM is not Windows 8. They "share" components, but they are not the same beast.

Microsoft has also said they plan on doing "unique" marketing for WOA to avoid confusion about compatibility with x86 programs.

Josh the Nerd said,
In what sense is a traditional PC personal, then?

the DIY market for x86/64 space is huge.
ARM is whatever prepackaged nonsense you buy at the local big box shop.