Intel open to putting Windows Phone on its chips

The company is taking a wait-and-see approach to find out if the platform actually resonates with consumers.

Intel CEO shows off a host of Intel-powered tablets at Mobile World Congress.
Intel CEO Paul Otellini shows off a host of Intel-powered tablets at Mobile World Congress earlier this year. Stephen Shankland/CNET

Intel has opened the door to potentially supporting Microsoft's Windows Phone operating system on its chips, according to a report by Computer World today.

Intel is taking a wait-and-see approach to the Windows Phone platform, which has won some critical praise but limited commercial success. Instead, the company is largely betting on the continued success of Google's Android platform, which is the most widely adopted mobile operating system in the world. Android phones running on Intel's x86 platform started to trickle out in different markets earlier this year.

Intel is hoping that Android can boost its presence in the mobile business, an area where companies such as Qualcomm and Samsung Electronics dominate the chip business with their ARM-based processors. Intel, still the behemoth in PC chips, has struggled to make a dent in the mobile market until recently, and had suffered multiple delays.

Which would explain Intel's reluctance to embrace Windows Phone, despite a long and close partnership with Microsoft on the PC and tablet side. Windows Phones haven't sold well, though Nokia's Lumia line may change its fortunes. Still, Intel isn't yet convinced the platform is worth investing in.

Intel, however, told ComputerWorld that the company could easily support Windows Phone on x86, and that the "hooks are already in."

Intel had previously invested in a platform with Nokia called Meego, which turned into Tizen, a platform which has found support from Samsung.

While Intel has drawn in supporters such as Motorola, now a unit of Google, and ZTE, there remain a lot of companies reluctant to choose x86 over ARM. That's largely because its x86 chips are viewed as less power-efficient and suitable for the mobile world. Intel is working to change that perception, and plans to introduce chips that support 4G LTE, as well as low-cost integrated chips for low-end phones.

 

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