A couple of weeks ago Microsoft announced what had been long rumored to be: the total support from Windows 10 of the ARM architecture. Although all the technical details are not known, it seems that Microsoft has ported the API of the operating system to ARM and where applications do not use it will be an emulation of x 86.
In principle such news seems it will hardly affect Android. Introducing a new architecture can reduce costs of laptops, increase its efficiency and as a second derivative make that Intel put the batteries. But we’re not talking the market of mobile phones but computers. But While there are implications for Android, some important.
On the one hand this decision by Microsoft is a clear attack on the Chromebook which, above all in the United States, you are eating a piece of the market. The Chromebook are simpler to use but above all may work in a more simple architecture and which consumes less, apart from more economic.
Chromebook announced recently the Android application support, which could lead developers to deploy applications that work well both on mobile and desktop. But if Microsoft manages to impose its operating system also in the segment of the ultraportabilidad and economic computers is going to be difficult.
This limits the expansion of Android to other platforms. Or at least puts one competitor more along the way. It isn’t that Microsoft beat there would be easy but certainly have shown that they are not asleep on its laurels.
Convergence and Continuum
On the other hand Microsoft is released to a segment that already tried it long ago and did not come off well, of the convergence between mobile and desktop. His Continuum system allowed to connect the phone to a screen and keyboard and become an almost complete Windows. The problem is that this was ‘almost’ too large.
Once we tested Continuum and had quite a few drawbacks. The main one is that when we were at the desk there was a full Windows, it was a version cropped that it could only run universal applications (and were mostly for mobile) and with some more limitations.
However now that Microsoft is a Windows without limitations on ARM architecture. This means that they could exit with Windows mobile terminals equipped with the latest processors of Qualcomm (which already do not walk so far of what offers Intel on the most common tasks except power graphic) and offer a complete desktop experience by connecting them to a dock.
For me, this is the future. Mobile is the personal element par excellence. We have all of our data there, we use it every few minutes. It is a logical evolution that is precisely what we have on the phone to sit in front of a screen that appears. Until now there was power and operating system limitations. These two barriers have fallen, at least on the part of Microsoft.
Let’s be clear: Microsoft, has now lost the battle of the mobile. And its unique cartridge is the opposite, take the PC around the world to the Pocket, people say: “Hey, you can take your PC in your pocket when you get up on the site”. It is a path with many bumps, most of the people could say “I already have a PC in your Pocket”, but is its only chance to recover the market. And it is in fact, the only threat on the horizon Android and iOS in its domination of the mobile operating systems.
Andromeda and iOS
Of course, that neither Google nor Apple are fools. Rumors of a merger between Chrome OS and Android are constant, the last time under the name of Andromeda expected Android 7.0 but at the end will come later. Google also bet on convergence and you have to perform the reverse path to the Microsoft, convince the user to stop using a different PC, continue using the phone when we are in front of a screen. It is also a complicated path, but if they do well (to be seen) there is a window of opportunity.
For its part, Apple takes time trying to convince your users to work with the iPad Pro. The iOS system increasingly will attack more to the PC segment. And also there are rumors that your macOS system can run on ARM architecture. But having two sets disjoint is a bad idea (which say you to Microsoft) and perhaps are working to unify macOS and iOS.
What is clear is that he has taken the first step in this convergence, which so many years we have been waiting for, has been the worst positioned is: Microsoft. And the possibility of him goes well is a threat to Android. We hope that Google do not sleep on our laurels and Andromeda something memorable worthy of the history of computing books.