Microsoft and Qualcomm’s Windows On Arm exclusivity agreement expires this year

Currently, Windows On Arm devices exclusively feature Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, a result of an exclusivity agreement with Microsoft. However, as this agreement expires this year, numerous chip manufacturers are poised to enter the Windows On Arm market.

According to Wccftech, Nvidia, AMD, and MediaTek are all planning to launch SoCs based on the Arm architecture for the Windows platform. Additionally, Samsung might introduce corresponding Exynos chips. With Qualcomm also set to release the Snapdragon X Elite, this sector is anticipated to witness intense competition, ushering in a new era for Windows On Arm devices.

In recent years, manufacturers like Lenovo, HP, and Dell have released Windows On Arm devices, but due to the exclusivity agreement, they have been limited to Qualcomm chips. These devices have been priced on the higher side with moderate performance, resulting in limited model options in the market. Rene Haas, CEO of Arm, believes that later this year, as the exclusivity agreement nears its end, other competitors will enter the market, challenging Qualcomm’s market share.

This development is advantageous for Microsoft, as increased participation from more manufacturers will significantly bolster the promotion of Windows On Arm devices. However, from the current perspective, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite remains a formidable contender. It introduces custom Oryon cores based on NUVIA technology, moving away from the standard Arm design. Manufactured using TSMC’s 4nm process, preliminary test results indicate impressive performance.

As per Arm CEO Rene Haas, consumers can expect to see a plethora of new Windows On Arm devices by late 2024 to early 2025.