Surface Go: Intel had to negotiate so that Microsoft does not fall back on an ARM chip

In early July, Microsoft presented its Surface Go . A convertible tablet under Windows 10 offering an experience similar to that of a Surface Pro (less performance), but at a much lower price, stalled – in France – at 449 euros only for the base model.

To achieve this price, the Redmond firm, however, had to fall back on more affordable components than the traditional Core m3 / i5 and i7 used for the Surface Pro in recent years. And while we could reasonably expect the Surface Go to be powered by ARM chips (usually used on our smartphones), Microsoft finally opted for Intel-signed CPUs, turning more specifically to Pentium Gold. Why ? Well Paul Thurrott got part of the answer: Intel would have long, ardently, tirelessly negotiated with Microsoft to get this contract.

Surface Go: Intel had to negotiate so that Microsoft does not fall back on an ARM chip

Why did Microsoft choose an Intel chip over ARM for its Surface Go? Well because the Santa Clara firm negotiated bitterly, we learn from the inevitable Paul Thurrott.

At least that is what we learn by reading this article , published last week by the insider . Well known for his indiscretions when it comes to the Redmond firm, Paul Thurrott reports in particular that Intel would have " very insisted on Microsoft " to favor its Pentium Gold to possible Snapdragon chips from Qualcomm. That is at least Intel's version, but The Verge has for its part an additional explanation just as convincing … if not more.

ARM chips not yet at Intel level in the PC world

The American media indeed recalls that the Santa Clara firm is still in a strong position in the market for processors for laptops . Thanks to their x86 architecture, its CPUs always manage to get more out of a Windows 10 machine than an ARM chip from Qualcomm or elsewhere; but the thing might not last. To maintain the advantage, Intel recently threatened to sue anyone attempting to emulate the x86 architecture, which – although as old as the world, since its beginnings date back to the late 1970s – is still owned. iron by the group.

This dominant position of Intel in the nomadic PC sector is however in the process of crumbling, and the firm is struggling to fight against the erosion of its pedestal. We learned from ARM, last week, that its new generation of chips (Cortex-A76) would now be able to match certain models of Core i5 on a machine running Windows 10, all for a more contained consumption. which would not exceed the 5 watts of TDP.

Under these conditions, Intel may have some concerns to be had over the next few months, especially since the founder cannot yet count on the supposedly superior performance of its Cannon Lake chips. Engraved in 10 nm, these will not arrive before 2019 , without more details. Initially, their mass production was to start this winter.

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