Microsoft recently launched a watered down version of its Surface device. It’s called the Surface Go and it runs on an Intel Pentium Gold processor and provides a full Windows 10 experience in a smaller form factor. Microsoft apparently considered using an ARM chip for this device but decided against it on Intel’s insistence.
Thurrott reports that Microsoft was interested in using an ARM processor for the Surface Go. It probably would have had Intel not intervened and convinced the company to opt for its Intel Pentium Gold chip instead.
The chip manufacturer reportedly “petitioned Microsoft heavily” to go with its Pentium Gold processor and not consider an ARM processor for the Surface Go. Some would argue that Intel did Microsoft a favor here since ARM chips aren’t capable of fully matching Intel’s chips in laptops just yet.
That being said, it’s not like ARM processors won’t be able to power Windows-powered devices at all. New devices running Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 850 chip are due to arrive later this year in the fall. Qualcomm may also launch a new chip with more performance in the coming year which may offer similar, if not better, performance compared to Intel’s processors on devices like the Surface Go.