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Arm aims to capture 50% of the PC market by 2029 – what does this mean for x86?

A bold claim, but can Arm back it up?
Last Updated on June 4, 2024
Arm aims to capture 50% of the PC market by 2029
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Thanks to the likes of Qualcomm and Microsoft, Arm has now successfully positioned itself within the PC market. Arm delivered its keynote yesterday in Taipei, at the Computex event. In this presentation, CEO Rene Haas made a statement regarding Arm’s future market share, as reported by Reuters. This statement claims that more than 50% of Windows PC users will run Arm-based chips instead of x86 processors by 2029. This is certainly a bold statement, so we wanted to learn a little more.

Is this doable for Arm?

Haas’ statement is a brave claim, however, it could definitely end up being correct. Arm has seen recent success within the PC world through its work with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus Arm SoCs; both positioning themselves high on the CPU market scale. Arm’s main competitor, the x86, has sustained a successful position in the PC landscape for nearly 4 decades. So Arm is not only competing with sheer power and performance but also reliability and popularity.

“Arm’s market share in Windows – I think, truly, in the next five years, it could be better than 50%”

Rene Haas – Arm CEO

Microsoft has presented a commitment and dedication to the Arm ecosystem, which could be the reason for Haas’ apparent confidence in this area. In his statement, Haas describes how Microsoft is committed to Arm from a software standpoint and discusses how, from a development standpoint, the company has gone well beyond what it has done for Arm previously, in the past few years.

Over the past ten years, Microsoft’s relationship with Arm has seen it develop into a provider ready for mainstream support. Arm’s partnership with Microsoft started back in the Windows RT period, however, it is now, with its inclusion in Windows 10 and 11, that we see a true representation of the development it has undergone in the past decade. The technology is now ready for customers and developers alike, and Haas wants us to know.

Image credit: Reuters

Will x86 see a decline?

The x86 has certainly held its position at the top spot for some time, and Arm knows this. This is why the software conglomerate built an x86 to Arm compatibility layer for Windows 11 so that Arm-based devices can fully handle x86 app support. With that in mind, any decline for x86 would likely be a slow and steady one.

Despite the apparent success Arm has had in the past few years, a 50% increase by 2029 could definitely be defined as slightly too optimistic. Just because the technology is ready for mainstream customer support it doesn’t mean everyone will instantly want a new PC using Arm. As time goes on and technology improves, more and more people keep their PCs for longer periods of time. This means that even if Arm technology is competing for the top spot with x86, people may not necessarily invest.

Another factor in the success of Arm is its competition. Intel is currently awaiting its next-gen CPU release, Lunar Lake, which is set to be an impressive, successful product. In addition to that, AMD has just announced the release of its new Strix Point Ryzen AI 300 mobile CPUs, which have been marketed as having more AI performance than Qualcomms chips. So despite Haas’ confidence in his statement, there are a few factors that could mean there isn’t as much of an improvement in the time he’s set.

Eve is a writer and copy editor at PC Guide, who focuses on a broad range of topics but main interest lies in the development of AI technology.

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