Look out Intel
Think of it as Microsoft's
So far, ARM investors have benefited most from this sort of chatter. The stock is up more than 27% since January of 2011, when Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announced plans to put Windows on ARM from the stage of that year's Consumer Electronics Show.
This year brought screenshots and tightly controlled demos and nothing more, making CNET's report somewhat of a surprise. Investors don't yet seem to care. Microsoft shares have rallied more than 5% over the past 10 days, mostly on the strength of a good but still scary second-quarter earnings report. The implications of the ARM deal haven't been a factor in the share price. Yet.
Expect that to change when Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and a number of Asian manufacturers release ARM-powered ultrabooks around the same time as many of their Intel-powered designs reach market. Then, instead of pricing at a premium to the MacBook Air as they are now, ARM ultrabooks will mimic the Air's functionality for hundreds less.
As bad as that might be for Apple
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Fool contributor Tim Beyers is a member of the Motley Fool Rule Breakers stock-picking team. He owned shares of Apple at the time of publication. Check out Tim's web home, portfolio holdings and Foolish writings, or connect with him on Google+ or Twitter, where he goes by @milehighfool. You can also get his insights delivered directly to your RSS reader.
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