In other possibilities
Area's Microsoft could be using this:
1) Kenetic needs some local processing and a cheaper version would mean a custome ARM SOC perhaps.
2) Peripherals - Microsoft love to dable in this area
3) Logical expansion option to there mobile phone market
4) ARM is FOTM so why not, nobody got sacked for buying IBM^H^H^HARM :)
5) They have finaly realised that if they sold there operating system with a added securty/coprocessing/extra omph hardware bolt-on (PCI, network sudo firewall/software dongle affair, USB, many options) then they could ileminate piracy, offer the customer better value/security and make more money.
6) There after more pull with Intel. Or perhaps playing playground business jibes to counter Intel from doing there own operating systems - not like they aint done deals like that in the past given windows NT was aimed at many vendor CPU's at one stage and now the Itanium is being disgarded by microsoft in increasing moves then you can see Intel's and Microsofts unwritten agreements start to disapear.
7) Microsofts cload based service needs and edge and a custom rack/box they can sell that is low power would certainly help with that edge give a cload based OS not as complicated as a user interacting one as the input is alot more limited/controled and sanatisable. Cload based services aint just about the software, its the total cost in the end.
8) MULTI-BALL err I mean multi core......xbox cpu. Besides dont need them multi core when you can multi chip cheaper overall even a 3 chip single core setup would beat a dualcore setup on the overall usage of such a system - memory always the bottleneck for cross thread communications when you look at the overall usage as a whole and a nice unified memory area with local memory per core/chip would make things realy cheap and funky.
Either way as long as i end up with the ability to use my old mobile phones as cload processing units, then I'll be happy. Not like they dont have UPS/low power usage and a USB dataport already to chain em all up as well as operating without extra cooling. If you compare the running costs per MIP to a server you realy do wonder at this untapped market.
Either way it only means more goodness to come as they will either come up with something or not and if they dont then others will so from a consumer level, this a good news.
Also its nice to still think Britian plays a bigger part than most think in the computer industry :-).