Microsoft just dropped a tech bombshell in Shenzhen, China, at the 2016 WinHEC conference: Windows 10 for PC – the full desktop version – is coming to mobile ARM processors in 2017. Calling them “cellular PCs”, Microsoft has managed to get the x86 code for the Windows 10 OS running on the ARM architecture — a phenomenal technological achievement. Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson revealed the news at WinHEC, and shared on the Windows Blog, quote: “To deliver on our customers’ growing needs to create on the go with PCs with cellular connectivity, power-efficient battery life, and flexible designs, we announced today Windows 10 is coming to ARM through our partnership with Qualcomm.” With Windows 10 on ARM architecture they just rewrote the rules for the next phase of the mobile war – no doubt about that!
FULL ACCESS – X86 WIN32 APPS THROUGH EMULATION
It’s not just the operating system itself, Windows 10 on ARM will also run traditional x86 Win32 apps and games through emulation. Users will be able to install any x86 Win32 app – unmodified – from any source, no repackaging as UWP or delivery via the Windows Store required. The apps are not sandboxed and they will have full access to the OS. Apple made a similar emulation feature when the Mac line switched from PowerPC to Intel processors, but Microsoft’s move to support ARM is a magnitude more impressive. To prove the power of the Snapdragon 835, Microsoft demoed a device easily running the full Adobe Photoshop app along with Microsoft Office. It’s not just for apps either — the popular MMOG World of Tanks was demonstrated on stage being powered by ARM and Windows 10.
WHY IT’S A BIG DEAL
The ability to run a full PC operating system on a tablet, two-in-one, or laptop powered by ARM has been the dream. Battery life in such a device gains a few hours with excellent thermals. The PC is now always connected to the internet. It can also be thinner and lighter than any x86-64 system — there’s less battery needed for an acceptable lifespan and reduced thermal dissipation demands. We already have that with smartphones, but now you can run a full OS for apps and games with minimal compromises. Such a scenario changes concepts around gaming, using digital inking, productivity, reading, exchanging information, and creativity. It’s the power of a PC but with fewer limits. To make this tech dream come true, ARM’s performance had to improve, batteries had to get better, and someone had to port their OS. Well, that all just happened and none of us are dreaming anymore. This is the coming reality.
FUTURE SURFACE PHONE
Like Apple famously brought the iPod, internet and phone to a pocketable form factor in 2007, Microsoft’s ultra-mobile Surface will bring today’s cutting edge technology together to our pockets in the near future. With Windows 10, Microsoft has become a leader and platform for exciting innovative technology like Windows Holographic, mixed reality, gaming, 3D content creation, digital inking and more. The Continuum-powered ultra-mobile Surface will put these technologies that have excited the industry in the pockets of consumer and enterprise users alike. Finally, though Store apps are still vitally important, with 16 million x86 apps available to Windows, the app gap has been flipped on its head. Yes, Microsoft lost the smartphone war, but with full Windows on ARM they’ve changed the rules of engagement. A new war has just begun.
Above information was originally published by Windows Central
For further reading please visit follow links:
Windows 10 on ARM: Microsoft’s ultimate mobile device vision comes into focus
The path to a Surface phone is clearer than ever with Windows 10 on ARM
The ‘cellular PC’ revolution begins: full Windows 10 and desktop apps are coming to mobile ARM chips