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Microsoft reportedly thinks Windows finally has what it takes to beat the MacBook

Just like the choice between iPhone and Android in the smartphone world, when it comes to picking a new computer your choice pretty much comes down to picking between Mac and Windows. In recent years, Apple has started using its own chipsets in its MacBooks, which has resulted in outstanding battery life and incredible performance in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro that has often left rival Windows laptops looking somewhat underpowered.

That could be about to change. According to a report from The Verge, Microsoft is confident that the upcoming Snapdragon X Elite chips that will be used in next-generation Windows PCs could finally be faster than the latest M3 MacBook.

“Microsoft is so confident in these new Qualcomm chips that it’s planning a number of demos that will show how these processors will be faster than an M3 MacBook Air for CPU tasks, AI acceleration, and even app emulation,” The Verge reported.

Apple’s M-series chips have been more successful in powering applications designed to run on Intel hardware – something the Arm chips on Windows have struggled to do as well.

The new Snapdragon X Elite chips are expected to ship in Microsoft’s new Surface computers that are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. While the latest Windows laptops on the market aren’t exactly slow, they often lag behind the newest MacBooks in pure performance and especially longevity – you can comfortably use any new M1, M2, or M3 MacBook all day away from a plug socket, but the same can rarely be said for even top of the line Windows alternatives.

It is said the new Windows laptops will be powered by Arm processors, rather than using chips from long-time partners Intel or AMD. Arm-powered Windows laptops allow the hardware to be smaller and more compact, and are geared towards battery efficiency rather than power. But it looks as though Microsoft is confident the new Arm-powered Snapdragon X Elite could bring serious performance gains.

That reportedly means the upcoming Microsoft Surface Pro 10 and Surface Pro 6 laptops will run the new chips rather than the equivalent high-end Intel Core Ultra chips we are seeing in other new Windows machines.

Microsoft is leaning into artificial intelligence (AI) along with many other tech companies such as Samsung, whose Galaxy S24 phones were launched with AI features front and centre. Microsoft has rebranded its virtual assistant from Cortana to Copilot, the latter now in preview form on Windows 11 computers.

The company will be hoping that these next-gen chips will help power AI’s usefulness when using your Windows PC, asking it to perform web searches but also specific tasks within applications – something AI struggles to do currently. The idea is you could ask it to create visuals for a slide in a PowerPoint, or help you reword some vital sentences in your latest Word document.

Word is there is a Microsoft launch event on 20 May where we expect the new Surface computers to be announced.


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