It's a radical thought. What if Microsoft is secretly planning to ditch Intel? With all of the recent talk about Windows RT"PCs", distinctions between the consumer roles associated with RT-based devices and the more traditional PC roles normally reserved for Intel-based systems have become blurred.
Suddenly, usage scenarios and form factors that were firmly part of Intel's territory are being encroached upon by a cornucopia of non-x86 Windows offerings. And cheering them all on is the chip maker's longtime comrade-in-arms, Microsoft. The Redmond, Wash.-based behemoth has been looking for a way out of the Wintel duopoloy for some time now, and the combination of increasingly powerful ARM designs and a tepid response to Intel's Ultrabook campaign has given the company the perfect opportunity to step out on its old partner.
The upside of such a move for Microsoft is obvious: The company gains access to a more power-efficient architecture that allows it to squeeze a variant of Windows down onto smaller form factor devices. And with BYOD fundamentally transforming the IT landscape into a sea of iPad work-alikes, the last place Microsoft wants to find itself is tied to Intel's stodgy vision of a traditional desktop/laptop computing experience.