Qualcomm chips under the bonnet in Windows RT

With Windows 8 and Windows RT around the corner, the tip is Qualcomm has won contracts for providing vendors like Dell and Samsung with chips for their upcoming devices.

This will be the first ever version of Windows designed to work based on ARM architecture, and Qualcomm is well positioned to take advantage considering its position in the smartphone market.

However, the Wall Street Journal pointed out there have been some bumps in the road for Qualcomm – for example, HP decided to abandon plans to work with the company in favour of Intel powered tablets for business users, while Microsoft’s own-brand upcoming tablet, the Surface, will be powered by Nvidia.

Regardless, all of its rivals rightly recognise Qualcomm as a serious threat.

PC makers, the Journal points out, are worried that there is going to be a shortage of software and other benefits for picking up RT compared to other devices already on the market or soon to be on the market. Intel boss, Paul Otellini, famously called out the ARM platform for the lack of its legacy support.

Windows RT – as with Windows 8 – will be a case of wait and see. The increasing trend for big brand companies moving into hardware for the first time, like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft to match the Apple threat has reportedly left some manufacturers worried about building a portfolio of their own devices.

Qualcomm hit headlines for supply problems in its Snapdragon mobile chips, and has been tipped to have been interested in a ten percent stake in Taiwanese fab UMC.