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ARM : Microsoft "Endorsing & Validating" Our Licensing Strategy

A rather pleased Ian Drew, EVP of marketing at ARM, spoke to a few hours after the company announced that Microsoft had become the fourth company to license the ARM architecture prompting speculations that the software giant might start churning out silicon chips.

Although Ian was not in a position to answer the question as to whether this is a possibility, he did say that the software giant had effectively validated and endorsed the firm's licensing strategy.

More importantly perhaps, Microsoft is the first software company to do it, the others - Infineon, Qualcomm and Marvell - are primarily hardware based.

Microsoft will have access to all the necessary documents and processes as part of the architectural license package and as they've been working together for the past 13 years, this may allow Microsoft to finetune the ARM platform even more.

Drew declined to say what kind of improvements Microsoft might bring to the ARM architecture but said that changes would have to be compatible with the ARM Validation Suite.

We also queried him about why netbooks powered by Android and ARM haven't been released en masse already as expected. He said that he was mystified by the lack of products and that honestly, he didn't know.

As for Linaro, the Linux kernel optimisation venture that ARM and five other tech companies have founded, Drew said that there will be some announcements made by the end of the year.

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.