Microsoft’s Foray Into ARM Processors With Windows

Dieter Bohn, back in June 2020:

Speaking of things Apple wouldn’t want: ARM-based Windows computers are slower. Unless you’re able to stay within those Chromebook-esque constraints, things get real chuggy real fast. We’ve all been assuming that Apple’s much-vaunted prowess at making fast ARM chips for iPads will translate well to Macs, but there’s no guarantee that’s true until we get to test them ourselves.

Another thing I’ve learned is that using a Windows computer with an ARM processor actually requires a higher level of technical expertise, because you need to know what won’t work and why going in.

As with my previous item linking back to Rik Myslewski’s 2008 take on Apple’s acquisition of P.A. Semi, I am not trying to dunk on Dieter Bohn here. 18 months ago, these were all perfectly reasonable concerns.

The gist of my M1 MacBook review a year ago was that, until then, computers could run cool and slow, or, hot and fast. My thinking about Apple moving to its own ARM-based silicon was that their chips would run cool and “fast enough”. The idea that Apple’s chips would be both way faster and way cooler seemed too good to be true. Like, not just having your cake and eating it too, but having your cake and eating it twice.

But, here we are. It turns out that Microsoft’s foray into ARM-based Windows machines was just an entirely different ballgame.

Tuesday, 2 November 2021