Microsoft licenses ARM technology for Windows Phone 7… but w


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Famed chipset maker ARM, still the company to beat when it comes to designing mobile-friendly processors, have just announced that they’ll be bundling a bit closer to Microsoft this generation than they have before: Microsoft will be directly licensing the ARM architecture to better understand the processors that will be used to power their upcoming Windows Phone 7 operating system. ARM was not forthcoming about the financial terms of the deal, but Microsoft’s own general manager K.D. Hallman explains the logic of the deal from Microsoft’s own perspective:
“[W]with closer access to the ARM technology we will be able to enhance our research and development activities for ARM-based products,” he said.
That “development activity” won’t necessary top out with Windows Phone 7: Microsoft also intends on applying ARM to Windows 7 Embedded, their homespun tablet variation of Windows 7.
The most interesting aspect of this deal is that it actually gives Microsoft license to enter the CPU game, similarly to what Apple did when creating its own A4 CPU for use in the current generation of iOS devices.
Maybe Microsoft’s learning a lesson this generation: it’s not good enough to sell a license to a mobile OS to hardware vendors, because there’s already a better free one available. If they want Windows Phone 7 to be a success, Microsoft may well have to make their own phone themselves.