Microsoft entered into a potentially huge agreement with ARM Holdings today, signing a licensing agreement to gain access to ARM’s architecture.ARM has hundreds of licensing partners, but this is only the fourth partner to be publicly announced.
ARM and Microsoft have been working together for 13 years, but this is a deeper, more formalized partnership.
Why did Microsoft do this deal? It’s good to get a deep understanding of ARM’s architecture since Windows Phones and Windows Tablets will probably be powered by ARM designs. Previously, Microsoft didn’t have access to the exact architectures.
Plus, it’s not really going to cost much. ARM wouldn’t comment on how much Microsoft paid for the licence, but it was probably a small amount. ARM makes money from licenses and from royalties when its designs are used.
We don’t expect Microsoft to start making its own chips like Apple, but anything is possible down the road. Maybe it revives the Courier, or makes its own tablet?
The deal has sent ARM’s stock soaring. It’s up 11% as of this writing.