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Microsoft Announce Windows 10 for ARM Processors

Todd Bishop, for GeekWire:

Microsoft will again seek to expand the reach of its Windows PC operating system to devices running mobile-oriented ARM processors, through a partnership with Qualcomm announced tonight at the Windows Hardware Engineering Community event (WinHEC) in China.

The company has tried this before, through a version of Windows 8 called Windows RT that was designed for ARM processors. But that version flopped due in large part to the inability to run traditional Windows apps on those devices. This time, Microsoft will use emulation technology to allow Windows 10 on ARM to run x86 Win32 apps such including Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office, among many others.

Full Windows 10 on ARM-based PCs is big news. Hardware makers will be able to build PCs with ARM processors knowing that the full Windows 10 experience will be available and uncompromised. Consumers will also win: ARM processors contain cellular modems which will allow seamless connectivity to mobile networks1 and battery life will be vastly improved over Intel based machines.

Tangentially, it makes me ask the question (again): when will we see ARM-based Macs?

  1. I’m not entirely sure how this will work without a sim card. Perhaps something similar to the Apple Sim? ↩︎