Qualcomm demos Windows 8 on Snapdragon, ready to take the fight to Intel

Qualcomm has demoed, for the first time, a Windows 8 tablet running on the company's new Snapdragon S4 processor highlighting a future world where your computer doesn't just run on computers powered by Intel or AMD.

Showcasing the new capabilities of the Microsoft operating system, Qualcomm Chairman and CEO, Paul Jacobs, demoed the new offering at the company's keynote at the CES trade show in Las Vegas.

"Windows 8 is a great match for Snapdragon because we build our processors from the ground up," Jacobs told attendees. "Windows 8 ARM support is a game changer."

Jacobs demoed Windows 8 using the company's new Snapdragon M8960 processor. The chip goes into product due out in mid 2012 however as yet hasn't been selected to be used on any Windows 8 devices headed to market. 

The move, first announced by Microsoft last year, has meant that traditional mobile phone chip companies like Qualcomm and Nvidia have been able to offer their latest chipsets to PC makers for the first time as a viable alternative to Intel.

And it is something the company is keen to push. Enrico Salvatore, Qualcomm Europe's senior vice president, agrees with his boss telling Pocket-lint that the company was best placed to take advantage of its 25 year history in mobile devices when compared to the competition. 

In an informal chat on the company's stand at CES after the keynote, Salvatore explained to Pocket-lint that the company felt it was a lot easier to scale up performance having already mastered many features like battery and connectivity than to downgrade chips that have been previously designed for less efficient devices like laptops.

Qualcomm believe that this strength in power efficiency and connectivity will mean that it has the leading edge when devices start to appear later in the year. 

Back on stage at the keynote and Jacobs boasts Qualcomm easily managed built in LTE support, a lack of fan for cooling, and the promise of thinner and lighter devices in the future.

The battle lines have been drawn.