What’s with Windows 10 on ARM?

[German]What are Microsoft's plans for bringing Windows 10 to the ARM platform? Microsoft promised ARM machines running Windows 10 By for the end of the year. During the last few months I haven't heard anything official from Microsoft.


A brief review

In December 2016, Microsoft announced Windows 10 on ARM (see my blog post WinHEC: Windows 10 on ARM-CPUs is coming). Later it had already been reported that OEMs were testing their first ARM versions.

Windows 10 on ARM
(Source: Microsoft)

Then we heard about an x86 emulator to run x86 Win32 applications on Windows 10 on ARM. Sounds too good to be true. Then Intel mentioned in June 2017 the x86 patent situation and that they will defend their intellectual properties. So I guess, a x86 emulator won't make it into Windows 10 on ARM.

Some news …

Last Friday my MVP colleague Martin Geuß from German site Dr. Windows has published an article Windows 10 on ARM: Was ist Sache?. He tried to get a statement from Microsoft folks about Windows 10 on ARM at IFA 2017, but he wasn't successful. But MS Power User had an article Windows 10 on ARM still on track for Q4 2017, but not all OEMs will make it on August 31, 2017. A Microsoft spokesman told MS Power User:

"We are on track to see Windows 10 on Snapdragon devices become available this year as previously shared. Microsoft and Qualcomm continue to work closely with our OEM partners ASUS, HP and Lenovo in bringing Always Connected devices featuring always-on LTE connectivity and great battery life to market."

So, at the end of the day, we will see some Windows 10 on ARM devices before holiday, but not all OEMs will make it. Lenovo plans a release of such a device early 2018. We have to wait and see, how this (probably low cost) ARM devices are acting with price, performance and battery run time – compared to real Windows 10 systems on x86 CPUs.


Windows 10 on ARM in Fall Creators Update?

My blogging colleagues form German site deskmodder.de stumbled upon a (protected) forum post at My Digital Life (MDL). Someone mentioned, that Insider Preview builds of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update already contains ARM packets.

There is a list of arm packets contained within latest Insider Preview builds of Windows 10 Fall Creators Update at Pastebin. I've browsed this list, but could not find any mention of x86 emulator. So I guess, Windows 10 on ARM is ready for Windows 10 Fall Creators Update. I guess, we will see SoCs with Windows 10 on ARM at the end of Q. 4. 2017 from some OEMs but without an x86 emulator. Some kind of Windows RT 10, that's restricted on Windows Store apps. Many speculation from my side. What's your opinion?

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One Response to What’s with Windows 10 on ARM?

  1. AlexJ says:

    I will hope to get soon a smal but long running Windows Tablet/mobile with full x86 support. GREAT!

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