With the intense partnership that Microsoft and Intel have had over the past few decades, combined with Intel's entrance into mobile processors, it has always been a bit baffling that the legacy of Wintel has not been available on Windows Phone. When Windows 10 was announced with its common core, it was widely expected that support for Intel's processors would be a natural inclusion in Windows 10 Mobile from day 1. As it turned out, initial support was available.
This week, however, according to a hardware page on Microsoft's website, Windows 10 Mobile now officially supports x86 processors. This is big news for several reasons. First, the ability to include an Intel chip into a traditional Windows Phone will give greater processing possibilities to the mobile phones. It could also increase the capabilities of Continuum, potentially extending the types of apps the phone could run in full mode to complete desktop apps.
Second, this means that lower-end tablets and phablets can include Intel Atom processors and implement Windows 10 Mobile instead of the full-fledged operating system. In tablet mode, Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile are nearly visually identical, but Windows 10 Mobile is a lot less resource hungry, including power, meaning that these tablets could run on a more powerful x86 processor compared to a lower-quality ARM processor, and gain resources and power at the same time.
When you combine these benefits with the power of Continuum, the reality of a phone that can replace your laptop or desktop, not just a tablet, could be near at hand. It could also bring a collection of powerful Windows 10 phone and tablets at incredibly low prices; as low as $75 for a phone, according to Intel. This could be a major boost to Microsoft's mobile ambitions, bringing more marketshare to Windows Phone.
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