After having worked with several Android manufacturers to release a number of Android phones with Intel’s x86 Atom architecture, the chip giant is looking to gain further footing inside the competitive mobile space with hopes of tackling the Windows Phone market next. According to a LinkedIn job ad, Intel is on the hunt for Windows Phone engineers to help the company go “beyond PCs and servers to netbooks, handhelds, consumer electronics devices, and more.”
Intel’s chipsets are already found on high-end Windows 8 desktops, laptops, and tablets, and the company’s Atom processors are on more affordable Windows 8 tablets. Bringing the Atom processor, which has been shown to out-perform ARM Holdings’ architecture in terms of battery life endurance and performance, could give Intel a small boost in the mobile phone space.
Thus far, for the last two major revisions of the Windows Phone platform, Microsoft had decided to standardize its mobile OS on ARM Holdings’ platforms with chips made by Qualcomm. Qualcomm has been a Windows Phone partner since the platform debuted with Windows Phone 7 and is the exclusive chip provider again for Windows Phone 8.
However, as WMPU had reported, Microsoft has stated in the past that Windows Phone can be made to run on Intel chips:
“Our architecture is such that it’s hardware independent. For the same reason that Windows 8 [tablets] could run on ‘Wintel’, right now Windows Phone is on Qualcomm. We have a portable OS architecture.”
In the past, it was believed that standardizing on one chip-maker–in this case, Qualcomm–would help Microsoft speed up development time for Windows Phone releases.
Intel is also working on releasing a quad-core Atom processor for release later this year. It’s unclear if and when Microsoft introduces Windows Phone 9 if the company would support multiple chipsets or if Intel will be vying for Qualcomm’s spot as exclusive chip partner to the next-generation mobile OS release.
Thus far, however, phones running on Intel’s processors have been released outside of the U.S. market in Europe and Asia. If Intel makes it into Windows Phone, it will definitely give the chip-maker an entry into the U.S. market by way of Microsoft and its hardware partners.
Intel is expected to show off more smartphone hardware at Mobile World Congress at the end of this month. It’s unclear if any of those will be Windows Phone handsets at this point.