Apple has been making its own iPhone and iPad chips for years, but the company recently started shipping laptops that use Apple Silicon rather than Intel processors.
And it sounds like Microsoft is considering doing the same thing.
Bloomberg reports that Microsoft is designing its own ARM-based chips for servers, and “exploring using another chip that would power some” of the company’s consumer-oriented Surface computers.
The move wouldn’t exactly be coming out of left field. Microsoft already has a version of Windows 10 designed to run on computers with ARM processors, and the company already sells Surface Pro X tablets with Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2 processors… but those chips are basically tweaked versions of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx gen 1 and gen 2 chips.
Designing its own processors would give Microsoft the ability to optimize hardware and software to work together to offer better performance, much the way Apple has been able to do with its iPhone, iPad, and now Mac processors.
Rumor has it that Google, (which already designs its own chips for servers) may also be planning to develop custom chips for its own smartphones and Chromebooks.
Neither Microsoft nor Google have officially confirmed those plans though.