The rise of ARM in end-user devices

In Dial ‘M1’ for Murder Google Ventures partner M.G. Siegler comments on the release of new macs based on Apple Silicon:

Apple just killed Intel Corporation, and Microsoft Windows laptops are on life support.

This wasn’t a big deal, it was a massive deal. If Apple can live up to the performance claims they made on stage today about their new ‘M1’ chip, it will fundamentally alter the laptop landscape. And it portends a shift in the entire personal computer game.

At the same time, it was made clear that the M1 was just a start in terms of what Apple has in store for their silicon plans for the Mac. That thought should send shudders down spines.

And if the claims hold up, it’s hard to see how the Windows-based ecosystem competes. Sure, the giant gaming rigs with discreet graphics aren’t scared. But the Windows-based laptops should be. How do you compete with this? As is always the case with Apple, it’s not just the hardware, it’s the software custom tailored to run on it. The only way to compete is to do the same thing. Does that mean Microsoft will need to start making their own chips for Surface machines? Well that seems a lot more likely than Intel getting into software…
But unless there have been skunkworks projects deep inside Redmond that are much farther along than the complete and utter lack of leaks would indicate, we’re years away from that being a reality. Maybe longer.
So yeah, the makers of PC laptops should be terrified by all of this. It’s like when Steve Jobs took the original MacBook Air out of the manilla envelope — except the inverse. The form factor there glossed over what was a fairly sub-par machine. Here, the form factor is dated because everyone copied it. But the performance is the showstopper.⁶ And it’s going to be a lot harder to copy. Microsoft should be rushing to acquire a chip maker. And Intel should be… hoping Microsoft calls.

This shows how important vertical integration has become. Apple on the end-user side and AWS with ARM Graviton chips are encroaching on the Wintel empire. The great news is that if you want to use these wonderful new macs and you think you cannot because of some legacy windows apps, there is a solution through Amazon AppStream 2.0.

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