Microsoft Corp's decision to make its Windows operating software compatible with ARM Holdings chip designs allows the U.S. software maker to finally establish a major presence in mobile Internet, ARM's president said Thursday.

It's still not too late for Microsoft to expand into a tablet and smartphone market now dominated by the likes of Apple and Google, Tudor Brown told Reuters in an interview.

Microsoft's move throws open computer markets previously dominated by Intel Corp. The move is seen as an overdue acknowledgment by Microsoft that computing is moving away from desktop PCs dominated by Intel's chips, to mobile devices where power-efficient ARM microprocessors have a clear lead.

With Microsoft, for some time it's been more a question of when, not whether, and finally it's now, he said on the sidelines of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. We've been coaching and cajoling Microsoft for some time to do this.

Microsoft needs ARM to have any chance of playing in that (mobile Internet) space.

(Reporting by Gabriel Madway; Editing by Bernard Orr)