Rumour: Microsoft was planning to use ARM processor in Surface Go until Intel intervened


23, 2018

The Surface Go is an affordable Windows 10 tablet and is generally seen and being marketed as a cheaper Surface Pro, offering similar features but with less power.

What the device is not is the paradigm shift for Windows 10 tablets we have been expecting, where we could use a device for more than 20 hours in one sitting and charge once per week, something which Microsoft has said would change the way we think of computers.

That was the promise of Windows 10 on ARM, but despite a number of companies shipping products that attempt to deliver on this, Microsoft themselves have not shown the same commitment.

If a new rumour is true however this was exactly Microsoft’s plans. Paul Thurrott reports (paywall) that Microsoft was intending to ship the Surface Go with an ARM processor, but that Intel made Microsoft a counter offer too good to refuse.

Intel apparently offered Microsoft deep discounts on their processors as long as Microsoft used their Pentium processor in the tablet.

Of course, using an Intel processor has numerous advantages, primarily in terms of guaranteed compatibility with all Windows applications, but the move does appear to be a missed opportunity for taking Windows 10 tablets in a completely different, more iPad-like direction where battery life is no longer a concern for an untethered computer.

Given that the Surface Go is not really powerful enough to be your main PC, would our readers prefer an Intel or ARM version of the device? Let us know below.


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