Windows 10 on ARM only gets a brief mention at IFA 2017

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Last week at IFA 2017, Microsoft announced that the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update would be released on October 17, along with the first Windows Mixed Reality headsets from partners. Interestingly, the upcoming Windows 10 on ARM got no stage time during the annual trade show, even though Microsoft and Qualcomm previously said that the first devices using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC would be released later this year.

Last week, Qualcomm published a blog post to highlight its Always Connected PC leadership, inviting readers to “stay tuned to learn more on how Windows PCs powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform are delivering breakthrough user experiences.” As for Microsoft, a company’s spokesperson released the following statement to MSPoweruser:

We are on track to see Windows 10 on Snapdragon devices become available this year as previously shared. Microsoft and Qualcomm continue to work closely with our OEM partners ASUS, HP and Lenovo in bringing Always Connected devices featuring always-on LTE connectivity and great battery life to market.

So yes, despite the industry’s silence about Windows 10 on ARM, the first devices are confirmed to be coming later this year. As Microsoft and its partners showcased Windows Mixed Reality headsets months before they were ready, it’s quite surprising that we have yet to see any of these Windows 10 on ARM PCs. Microsoft first demoed the OS last December at WinHEC, and this 2’30 video is pretty much all we have for now.

Windows 10 on ARM PCs should hopefully sell much better than Windows Mixed Reality headsets, as VR still remains a niche market. The new OS will allow OEMs to create cheaper, always-connected Windows 10 PCs with great battery life, something that could really help PC sales during the holiday season. It’s not clear when Microsoft will be ready to talk about it, but the company’s traditional hardware event in October could be the perfect opportunity to do it.

Last but not least, we can’t wait to see if Microsoft will let its OEM partners test the market this year, or choose to compete with them with its own Windows 10 on ARM device. That’s what the company did five years ago with the Surface RT (with poor results), so the company may well change its strategy this time around.