Qualcomm Preps Snapdragon Windows RT Tablets
SAN DIEGO -- Uplinq -- Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT)'s first Windows RT tablets sporting Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM)'s Snapdragon chipset will launch later this year, and Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs says they will be some of the lightest and thinnest computers on the market.
Speaking in a keynote address at Qualcomm's annual developers' conference in San Diego, Jacobs touted the Windows RT experience of always-on mobile computing on a touchscreen or traditional keyboard and mouse with an extended battery life. In a jab to Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL)'s iPad, Jacobs showed how Snapdragon products would keep their cool with a video of butter melting on rival products.
The CEO did not, however, give any clues as to whether Microsoft's new tablets will support Long Term Evolution (LTE) via wireless partners. Microsoft has only said that Surface for Windows RT will have Wi-Fi on board and will release at the same time that Windows 8 is generally available this fall. (See Windows Phone 8 Gets 'Common Core'.)
"We'll see a whole new computing experience," Jacobs claimed in his keynote. "Qualcomm will play a critical role in shaping the future of computing."
At launch, Windows RT tablets will pack in the dual-core 1.5GHz MSM8960 Snapdragon S4 Central Processing Unit (CPU), followed by a quad-core version in future tablets. Nvidia Corp. (Nasdaq: NVDA) and Texas Instruments Inc. (NYSE: TXN) are also working with Microsoft on its new line of ARM Ltd. -based RT tablets, while Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s x86 CPU will power Surface tablets running the full Windows 8 Pro OS. (See Microsoft Shines Up Surface Tablets and Poll: Microsoft's Surface-Level Tablet Specs.)
Qualcomm is betting on both Android and Windows Phone, but so far, the majority of its emphasis has been on Android. Developers this week got access to a new software development kit (SDK) to build for Android, but Qualcomm has yet to release one for Windows even though it's the exclusive chip provider for Windows 8. (See Qualcomm Unleashes APIs on LTE.)
Jacobs did, however, announce a content awarding $200,000 in prizes for developers that build compelling Metro Style Apps for Windows RT to get the ball rolling.
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Reporter, Light Reading Mobile