A few years back, Microsoft took an ambitious step to build a version of Windows that would run on ARM-based processors. At the time, this was a huge move, as many expected this new operating system, called Windows RT, to challenge the standard that Intel and AMD were the only vendors who could produce laptop-class processors.
With several well known ARM vendors such as NVIDIA and Qualcomm producing the chips, there was hope that ARM-based devices would rival those made by Intel and AMD at the low end of the market.
Microsoft took the big first step and launched the Surface RT (now simply referred to as Surface by the company), and it flopped hard. With a $900 million writedown, the tablet missed on every expectation set by Microsoft. But the company kept pushing forward and offered up the Surface 2 about a year ago, which seems to have sold better, but Microsoft has not said much in terms of shipments.