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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.