For a long time, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has relied on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) to supply CPUs for its products. But if recent media reports is anything to go by, the tech giant could on the way to diversifying away from Intel.
Microsoft got burned
In the recent past, Intel has had to struggle with bad publicity after serious security flaws were identified in its chips. For starters, Intel’s Meltdown and Spectre controversy attracted a couple of lawsuits in early 2018. The plaintiffs argued that the design flaws which were discovered in Intel’s products violated warranty and consumer protection. In particular, the flaws led to PCs slowing down among other issues.
ZombieLoad, another one of Intel products developed flaws where hackers could access private user data. Again, consumers cried foul as this was another instance of violation of consumer protection laws.
In the end, Microsoft and other major companies which relied on Intel for chips got burned. While the companies rushed to patch the problems, it seems they are unwilling to devote to Intel.
The road to diversification begins
Following the events, media reports indicate that Microsoft is looking for fresh channels from which it can source chips. Particularly, the tech giant is said to be trying out chips from Intel’s main rival, AMD. Also, Microsoft is experimenting with ARM chips for the next generation of devices.
To be sure, MSFT is working on variants of the Surface Laptop which consumers seem to have developed a liking for. This variant products is likely to come with either the 12nm AMD Picasso SoC or an ARM Pro chip or both.
Further, MSFT is reportedly working with Qualcomm to develop the ARM Pro chipset based on its specifications. These specifications will make ARM Pro highly optimized for Windows 10, Microsoft’s newest OS.
This new direction by MSFT is not isolated as it is simply following in the steps of other tech giants like Apple which previously relied heavily on Intel for chipsets.