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Microsoft up in Arms over data-loss protection in Windows 11

We almost forgot Redmond had an interest in anything but x86

Microsoft is bringing its Windows data-protection security tools to the Arm architecture.

For the latest Windows 11 build for developers in the Canary channel, Redmond extended its Endpoint Data Loss Protection (DLP) policies to its OS running on Arm-powered device.

The DLP support in Build 25375 lets users "detect and protect sensitive data in files part of your digital ecosystem." This allows policy controls for scenarios when someone is using a Windows endpoint on Arm from accessing sensitive files and trying an egress action such as copying to a USB, or copy to clipboard, notepad, etc," Amanda Langowski, principal product manager for the Windows Insider Program, and Brandon LeBlanc, senior program manager at Microsoft, explained.

Users can learn how to onboard their ARM64-based endpoints here.

However, it could be a while before the DLP support becomes widely available. The Canary Channel is aimed at those in the company's Windows Insider program and includes updates to the OS platform that essentially are still incubating. Microsoft looks for developer feedback and then folds what it learns into subsequent builds for the Dev and other channels.

Still, this comes as forces in the tech industry gather to push Arm systems-on-a-chip (SoCs) into more PCs and other client devices. Qualcomm continues to develop Arm chips for Windows PCs and MediaTek last Autumn said it planned to build Arm SoCs in Windows laptops and tablets using a variant of its Kompanio mobile chip.

At the same time, Microsoft appears to be joining a growing number of tech giants – including Google, Amazon, and Meta – in building their own custom chips. For Redmond, that silicon reportedly would be for both servers and PCs.

Arm chips for PCs would present yet another challenge for Intel, which is already being pushed on the server side of things by the likes of AMD and Arm. Intel continues to hold a dominant share of the PC chip market, but analysts at Counterpoint Research are predicting a surge in growth for Arm-based PCs in the next four years.

In a report in April, Counterpoint said Arm-based PCs will account for 15 percent of the global market this year, with Intel holding about 68 percent and AMD almost 17 percent. However, by 2027, Arm PCs will be more than 25 percent of the space, with Intel's share dropping to 60 percent. AMD will have 14.4 percent, it's predicted.

Right now, Apple commands the lion's share of the Arm-based notebook space, accounting for 90 percent of the market.

The analysts listed advantages Arm SoCs have over x86 CPUs from Intel and AMD in such areas as power consumption and thermal efficiency that can be tailored to specific needs, key factors when talking about laptops and mobile devices. They're customizable and can integrate CPUs, GPUs, and AI capabilities.

They think the AI features can improve the performance of such tasks as image and video encoding and compression, noise cancellation, and vocal enhancement, the research firm said.

"By integrating AI technology into Arm-based notebooks, these tasks can be performed more efficiently, resulting in improved performance and user experience," the analysts wrote.

Continued support in Windows and Office 365 will help drive the growth of Arm-based PCs, which Counterpoint said will likely result in the integration of laptop and tablet form factors and the greater use of Arm SoCs in small devices and VR headsets. ®

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