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Get ready for Windows RT 8.1 devices powered by Snapdragon 800 chips

Surface RT tablet
RT will live on

The Samsung Galaxy S4 (one version of it, anyway) and the quasi-revealed Galaxy Note III won't be alone in the Snapdragon 800 family for very much longer.

Qualcomm today announced that its nippy processor will support Windows RT 8.1 devices, including tablets, convertibles and notebooks.

The news came via a press release tied to Taiwan's Computex, and while it said new devices based on the 800 and Windows RT 8.1 are expected later this year, few other details were as forthcoming.

The release noted the chips offer an integrated multimode 3G/4G LTE modem, USB 3.0 support and CPU speeds that can hit 2.2GHz per core... but you already knew that.

Together we are strong

Unless you've been living under a rock the last few days, it's been hard to miss the mud slung at Windows RT. Even OEM partner Acer saw its CEO say the OS isn't "so influential anymore," though it's arguable it ever was.

Windows RT 8.1 and a hopped-up processor may be the shot in the arm the OS needs to get its fire crackling and people buying.

Qualcomm's press release said a free Windows RT 8.1 update will be available in the Windows Store before 2013 is up, and attendees of Computex can spy early versions of the updated OS on Snapdragon 800 processors running it right now.

Could we see a follow-up to the original Surface RT hit the shelves by year-end? We'd bet a few chips on that.

  • Until we know more about what Qualcomm and Microsoft have in store, sneak a peak at our Build 2013 hub page
Michelle Fitzsimmons

Michelle is a Senior Content Writer at 8x8. She was previously an editor at TechRadar, a leading consumer tech news and reviews website. Now she’s focused on helping small businesses reach their goals.