Microsoft demos Windows 10 and x86 apps running on an ARM processor

It’s real! It’s happening! It looks fascinating, and it comes with a great potential; Microsoft today demoed the full Windows 10 Enterprise Edition working on an ARM processor – emulating x86 applications like Photoshop and running PC games like World of Tanks Blitz.

Microsoft plans to bring Windows 10 to ARM processors sometime in 2017 and is working in partnership with Qualcomm to make this technology a reality.

If you do not understand how massive of an achievement this is – do read this, to learn a bit more about the challenge at hand.

The bombshell was dropped at the 2016 WinHEC conference being held in Shenzhen, China; Microsoft is calling these Windows-ten-on-ARM-PCs “cellular PCs.”

For Microsoft’s demo, the latest-and-greatest Snapdragon 835 is powering Windows 10; while it works seamlessly – it does have a few performance issues, as evident in the video.

Nonetheless, this technology is mind-boggling, and shows great protentional for the future of Windows on mobile – perhaps, this is why Satya Nadella said Microsoft would make the ‘ultimate mobile device.


If everything goes to the plan, Microsoft expects to see Windows 10 running on these “cellular PCs” sometime before the end of 2017. The only processor capable of handling it – for now – is the Snapdragon 835, so that will probably power the first generation of these devices.

These devices will also have full access to support Windows Touch, Pen, and Hello technologies – basically, the whole suite.

Microsoft is also not limiting this technology to the enterprise – the tech will be available to consumer editions of Windows 10 as well.

The devices that Microsoft describe as “cellular PCs” are meant to be two-in-ones, tablets, and small-and-thin laptops – something that could compete with Chromebooks – but Microsoft conveniently left out the possibility of a phone.

The ARM processors are, of course, used in every smartphone out there – it would be foolish not to put this tech into a phone along with Continuum. Alas, Microsoft is hush-hush about such possibilities – for now.


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