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ARM boss: we will own 20% notebook market share by 2015

With adoption spurred on by the arrival of Microsoft's first non-x86 OS, Windows RT, and a recent announcement by Dell, leading chip designer ARM has ventured a bullish prediction that up to 20 per cent of laptops within the next few years will be powered by ARM architecture.

The British company, whose hardware powers most smartphones including those of Apple and HTC, says that new generation laptops using ARM chips will be lighter and enjoy marathon battery life, compared to models using the x86 technology favoured by chip behemoth Intel.

Speaking in Taiwan ahead of the Computex trade show, ARMs executive vice president Simon Segars said the move by Microsoft represents a seismic shift in the processor market, adding that the trend is moving towards lower-power servers.

"It's an inflection point," Mr Segars said. "It's been Windows on x86 forever. This is the first time that Windows PCs have run on a different architecture."

These confident assertions appear to be supported by market experts: more than 30 financial analysts rate its stock as buy, with a further 10 advising hold and only five encouraging investors to sell.

Microsoft in turn hopes that Windows 8 will herald a return to form for its systems following increased competition from Apple and Google. It is expected that Windows 8 enabled devices will begin to reach consumers by the end of the year.