Report: Microsoft’s low-cost Surface will use Intel processors to protect the brand

We reported recently on a leak which suggested Microsoft will soon release a Surface tablet in the $400 range.

Now more information has come to light regarding the tablet, via WindowsUnited.de.  They report the low-cost tablet will be aimed at education and will feature an Intel processor.

The first bit is of course not surprising – we know Microsoft has been focusing increasingly on the education market as a growth area. With its similarities to the enterprise market, Microsoft’s solutions are easily transferable, and Microsoft has the benefit of inducting students into Microsoft services while they are still young, rather than losing them early to Apple and Google.

The second bit of news is more surprising. The benefits of a Snapdragon ARM processor would seem ideal for the education market – those being low cost, long battery life, instant-on devices and more.  WindowsUnited reports that the decision to go with Intel over ARM was based on feedback from existing Snapdragon devices which have just entered the market. While they work perfectly with UWP apps, they still struggle with win32 x86 apps, with inexplicable crashes and poor performance. Ultimately Microsoft did not want to tarnish the Surface brand with the poor Windows on ARM experience.

That would make Microsoft’s new Surface tablet a poor endorsement for the Windows on ARM Always Connected PC initiative, and a suggestion that buyers should be equally careful about spending their money on a new Windows 10 ARM tablet.

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