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Qualcomm is serious about Windows on Arm; second wave of launches planned for 2024

Arm-based Windows PCs may finally become mainstream in 2024.
By

Published onJune 7, 2024

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Robert Triggs / Android Authority
TL;DR
  • Qualcomm has hinted at a second wave of Arm-powered PC launches in the coming months.
  • While we’ve already seen several releases so far, the next wave will target the business and enterprise market.
  • The wave could see the launch of non-laptop form factors like mini-PCs and all-in-one desktop computers.

Windows on Arm has been around for over half a decade at this point, but we’ve only seen a handful of devices launch in that time. However, this year is increasingly looking like an inflection point. Over the past few days at Computex 2024, we saw Qualcomm and Microsoft join hands with hardware partners like Dell and Asus to launch a flurry of new Snapdragon X-powered PCs. While that’s already a significant uptick over previous years, the industry may have even more in store for the remainder of 2024.

According to WinFuture, Microsoft and Qualcomm are busy gearing up for a significant expansion in the Windows on Arm device portfolio. A Qualcomm representative has suggested that OEMs are planning a second wave of launches for August and September of this year. Like the Surface Pro 11 and other devices announced so far, these upcoming PCs will be powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and Snapdragon X Plus SoCs.

But while recent ARM-powered PC releases were aimed at end users, the representative indicated that the second wave will focus on capturing the business market. This makes sense as capturing the corporate market can drive larger volumes of sales. It may also establish ARM-based devices as viable alternatives to traditional x86 machines, as most business-focused apps already natively support Arm. The same isn’t necessarily true for gaming, video editing, and other consumer use cases.

Qualcomm’s push to meet the August or September window is a strategic one as it coincides with Microsoft’s expected release date for the Windows 11 24H2 update. Businesses typically plan hardware upgrades around major software updates. This helps ensure coverage under vendor-specific security support windows.

With this second release wave, Qualcomm says the industry’s focus will shift to other form factors beyond laptops. For example, we may see the first Snapdragon-powered mini-PCs and all-in-one computers launch around this time. Such small form factor devices are popular in IT deployments, but they could also end up being viable alternatives to the Apple Silicon-powered Mac Mini on the consumer side.

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