Microsoft Becomes An ARM Licensee

ARM has announced this morning that Microsoft has become the latest technological company to license its ARM architecture, a significant step which could have some deep consequences in the tech ecosystem.

Both companies have been working together since 1997 with Windows Mobile and Windows CE being the two platforms that Microsoft uses for ARM. The Microsoft/ARM agreement extends further though because Microsoft now has access to the full portfolio of ARM's instruction set.

Marvell and Qualcomm are the two other companies with such privileges and according to ARM's CTO, Mike Muller, the company will be applying and working with ARM technology "with a broad range of businesses addressing multiple application areas".

Mobile and embedded are two areas where ARM's hegemony is indisputable, which explains why Intel is focusing on improving the performance/power consumption ratio of its Atom processor range.

The move by Microsoft could herald a new dawn in computing and although the details of the agreement have not been disclosed, it now seems likely that the software giant will emulate its long time partner, Intel, by offering a complete platform.