Microsoft is reportedly working to bring app emulation of 64-bit Intel software to Windows on ARM, after previously indicating that this was not in the cards for the platform.
How things change!
If this report is to be believed, the Redmond based technology giant may be getting nearer to breaking down one of the biggest barriers to using these ARM powered PCs. That is, the inability to run applications coded on x64 platform on these machines.
This question was once again raised with the launch of the impressive new Surface Pro X last week, and it appears that the software titan already has an answer in tow.
It appears that the company is working to bring support for AMD64 or x64 apps to the Windows on ARM platform to allow people that want to run an application that is only available in this flavor to run it on devices powered by this OS.
At the end of the day, this would be big deal for the company’s ARM efforts. Both Microsoft and Qualcomm have put a substantial amount of weight behind this new venture, though Windows 10 on ARM has had to contend a slow start — only a few devices have hit the market up until now.
The platform, still far away from challenging the Intel dominance on the PC world, will at least have all its bases covered if this exciting new development bears fruit.
All that said, the issue of performance still remains a hinderance. Even the Surface Pro X, which houses the Microsoft SQ1 chip, suffers from the performance impact of emulating 32-bit applications. And adding 64-bit into the equation may make matter worse.
That is because, the only reason why Microsoft did not jump in with x64 emulation was performance, as 32-bit applications were noticable faster on these ARM chips. Presumably, by the time the feature debuts in the first half of 2021, these performance hiccups will be a thing of the past
Due to the arrival of more powerful Qualcomm hardware that is already in development with emulation in mind.
On the plus side, it will make the whole affair a lot less confusing for consumers, as they will be able to purchases Windows on ARM devices knowing that these sleek machines are able to run any and all Windows software.
Net positive, all said and done.