Intel Blocked ARM Chips On The Surface Go

Convinced, or pressurized, what have you. The Microsoft and Intel alliance is no big secret, and has been the driving force for the industry for decades now. Wintel, as it used to be called.

However, despite this strong collaboration between the two software and hardware giants, a change can be seen on the horizon.

A change brought on by the rise of ARM based processors that are now powering newer devices that have started to hit the market. These promise radically improved battery life, as well as enhanced Internet connectivity to owners that seek these thin and light machines.

Machines like the newly launched Surface Go.

Goes without saying, pun always intended, that this took some people by surprise, when they found out that this new tablet from Microsoft housed an Intel Pentium Gold processor.

It is reported that Redmond actually did want to include an ARM processor inside the device, but Intel stopped that from happening by putting a lot of pressure on the company to move away from the Windows 10 on ARM initiative for this newest member of the Surface family.

Now yes, Surface devices are not exactly the hottest selling Windows hardware around, but they are likely the most widely known of the bunch.

Not all that surprising that Intel wanted to have their own processors in there.

Microsoft, meanwhile, wanted to create a device that was not only affordable but light and quiet too, and the Pentium Gold line of chips was the only viable replacement for an ARM chipset.

That too is both fanless and relatively cheap.

Ultimately, while this meant that performance of the Surface Go was snappy and predictable across all kinds of applications. Unlike an ARM chip that would have lost a lot of performance by using an emulation layer to run x86 programs.

But on the flipside, all this came at the expense of battery, which is certainly not stellar.

More importantly, it tarnished the reputation of Windows 10 on ARM, giving an impression that Microsoft does not have full confidence in its newest platform.

That is not to say that Microsoft and Qualcomm have given up on their efforts. And considering the buzz that a significantly more powerful chipset is inbound, perhaps Microsoft will release its own ARM powered device then.

But for now, Intel landed a minor victory.