The New Relationship Suggests Microsoft Is Open to Change

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2011-09-14 Print this article Print


6. More competition in the mobile space

Looking around the tablet space right now, there isn't all that much competition when it comes to operating systems. Customers will find iOS, Android and RIM's BlackBerry tablet operating system. WebOS, a former competitor in the market, has been all but discontinued by HP. But now that Microsoft is working with ARM to offer Windows 8 to tablet vendors, all that changes. Next year, there will be more competition in the mobile space. And as history has shown, more competition is usually good for consumers and enterprise users, alike.

7. Are even better prices coming?

When Windows 8 launches, and Intel-, AMD-, and ARM-based devices hit store shelves, pricing might be even more favorable than it is right now. After all, with more competition on the component side, vendors will be able to get better pricing. And when that happens-especially in the computing space-those savings are passed on to customers. There's no guarantee, but at this point, it seems rather likely that ARM could help drop prices in the Windows ecosystem even more.

8. Better security, perhaps?

Windows has long been criticized for its security troubles. Malicious hackers around the world write malicious payloads that wreak havoc on computers. But with ARM, is it possible that such security problems won't be such a big deal? After all, software solutions designed for x86 architecture won't necessarily work with ARM-based devices. And considering malicious hackers have been writing their malware for other platforms, at least in the short term, ARM-based devices might prove safer than their counterparts.

9. It shows Microsoft is growing

If nothing else, Microsoft's partnership with ARM seems to indicate that the software giant is willing to change. Over the years, some have viewed Microsoft as a tyrant trying its best to keep the industry as is. But by partnering with ARM, Microsoft has seemingly acknowledged that times are changing, and it needs to accept that. Is this personal growth we're seeing from Microsoft's management? It certainly seems that way.

10. It affects AMD in a big way

All this talk of ARM and Intel forgets the impact Microsoft's deal might have on Advanced Micro Devices. That company has long been the also-ran in the Windows marketplace, and is showing no signs of changing that. But now that ARM has joined the fray, AMD could be affected quite significantly. If vendors opt for ARM-based devices, AMD might be left out in the cold. Don't expect too many major changes to AMD's business in the short term, but over the next several years, its position in the space could decline quite rapidly if ARM makes a splash on Windows 8.

Follow Don Reisinger on Twitter by clicking here 

Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at

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