Faced with an underperforming stock and slow steps to move its mobile strategy from the drawing board into customers' hands, Microsoft's
Microsoft announced in January that its next version of Windows would support ARM Holdings'
Any ARM-related nuggets on the earnings call could potentially reveal when Microsoft may become a viable competitor in the rapidly increasing tablet market, which has cannibalized netbooks. Microsoft, which has a presence in netbooks, needs to catch up with Apple's
Consumers have been busy snapping up these tablets. According to Gleacher & Co. analyst Yun Kim, those consumers are king, in that they account for approximately 45% of Microsoft's $4.4 billion in Windows and Windows Live revenues in its fiscal third quarter. ARM-based chips come in a smaller form factor, and they're known for eating up less battery time, which tends to be a big deal for consumers and road-warrior business travelers. Plus, there's an army of companies innovating on basic ARM designs. Besides Apple, computing giants such as Qualcomm
All this commotion about Microsoft's tightening partnership with ARM comes amid Mr. Softy's floundering efforts to get more traction in smartphones, the space which ARM has dominated in recent years. Microsoft was slow to respond to competitors in the smartphone industry after Apple's iPhone release several years ago. But in all fairness, so were a lot of other companies, including Nokia
A little ARM twisting couldn't hurt in moving Microsoft toward developing its next smartphone operating system.