Windows RT tried, and failed, to deliver a full-fledged Windows environment on top of anemic ARM microprocessors. Now, Microsoft is trying again, with two major improvements: compatibility with the mainstream Win32 apps that PC users have enjoyed for years, and a new generation of powerful ARM chips to run them.

At its Windows Hardware Engineering (WinHEC) conference in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft said today that it’s partnered with Qualcomm to enable new, low-cost PCs. These are intended to replace Windows tablets built around Intel’s Atom, a chip the company’s essentially discontinued.

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