Windows laptops and convertibles running on ARM are not exactly the bulk of the market at this point, but there are many of them — including Microsoft’s own updated Surface Pro X, which was announced today.
One of the reasons that not every consumer has done is that running traditional x86 apps on these Windows 10 ARM machines creates significant limitations. Among the biggest: Emulation has absolutely no support for running 64-bit x86 applications, only 32-bit.
Today, Microsoft announced in a long-circulated blog post that that limit would change soon, as emulation of 64-bit Windows applications is soon going into a public-testing phase. It addresses one of the biggest complaints about the platform – complaints that only grew as more popular applications changed to 64-bit, as months passed.
Microsoft also announced several new, app-specific developers for ARM-native apps. Visual Studio Code “has also been updated and optimized for Windows 10 on ARM,” it said.
The announcement mentions that Microsoft is rapidly building “Microsoft Edge” on ARM as well as improving its impact on battery life. Additionally, the company announced that the ARM-native Microsoft team is in a Windows corner on the client.
While Windows on ARM is relatively slow-moving, that has not stopped competitors from going ahead with ARM plans. Apple is expected to launch the first ARM-based Mac later this year.
macOS has already dropped support for a handful of 32-bit applications, and Apple Rosetta 2 on ARM Mac (which the company calls “Mac with Apple Silicon”) as a 64-bit MacOS app. Will offer to emulate.
However, Mac users (and how) will be able to virtualize Windows x86 applications while Apple Silicon is unknown on the Mac. The x64 emulation will first be introduced next month for ARM Windows machines through the Windows Insider program.
Microsoft Listed Image