Published in PC Hardware

Intel might have just killed Microsoft’s mobile dreams

by on04 May 2016

Pulling out has left Redmond high and dry

Intel pulling out of the mobile business has left Microsoft’s mobile dreams in trouble.

For Microsoft to succeed it needs to be able to have mobile chips which are completely compatible with Windows 10. That way it can have a device which can jump across platforms and sell itself to businesses.

Microsoft has been pitching a feature called "Continuum" as its "killer app" for the Windows 10 Mobile phone operating system. Basically, if you're using a Lumia 950 or 950XL, Continuum lets you plug a phone into a monitor, a mouse, and a keyboard and use it like a PC.

But Intel scuppered all that when it announced it would not release its next-generation Atom chip for mobile devices, which was code-named "Braxton." It was an admission that Qualcomm and ARM had won.

Continuum running on a Qualcomm processor has limits and it needs an app has to specifically support it. Only Microsoft's own products, like the Edge browser and the Office suite can do that sort of thing. .

Intel’s chips can run Windows software in Continuum mode making Redmond's phone an interesting PC-replacement, with shedloads of software.

Which was why Redmond was planning on placing an Intel Atom chip into the Surface Phone. A low-powered Braxton Atom would be ideal for cutting down on power consumption while still allowing for Windows software to run. It would make the Surface Phone and Windows 10 Mobile a real threat.
But without Continuum it's going to make it harder for Microsoft to do anything significant in mobile land.

Last modified on 04 May 2016
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