Microsoft says its new Windows operating system will be able to run on microchips designed by the British company ARM Holdings.
That means the software giant is moving away from its long-standing, lucrative alliance with Intel.
The announcement came from Chief Executive Steve Ballmer at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
ARM is the dominant producer of chips for smartphones and tablet computers. The news boosted ARM’s shares in London
Ballmer said: “Whatever device you use, now or in the future, Windows will be there. Windows will be everywhere on every kind of device, without compromise.”
Investors and analysts were not immediately convinced that the software giant can maintain the dominance of Windows. Apple’s iPad leads the fast growing tablet market and Google’s Android smartphone system is also taking off.