Menu
Microsoft will solve Windows on ARM’s biggest flaw beginning in November

Microsoft will solve Windows on ARM’s biggest flaw beginning in November

If you’re running Windows on ARM, switch over to the Windows Insider program, if you haven’t already

Credit: Mark Hachman / IDG

At long last, Microsoft is ready to address the most significant shortcoming of Windows on ARM devices: the inability to run the common 64-bit code for X86 chips.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Microsoft said that 64-bit support was due in November, though only as part of its Insider beta program. When completed, it will allow Windows on ARM PCs to run every application that an X86 PC with an Intel or AMD chip inside it can run.

“We are excited about the momentum we are seeing from app partners embracing Windows 10 on ARM, taking advantage of the power and performance benefits of Qualcomm Snapdragon processors,” Panos Panay, Microsoft’s chief product officer, wrote in the post.

“We heard your feedback and are making Microsoft Edge faster while using less battery, and announced that we will soon release a native Microsoft Teams client optimised for Windows 10 on ARM. We will also expand support for running x64 apps, with x64 emulation starting to roll out to the Windows Insider Program in November. “

By now, it’s a familiar story for anyone who’s followed Windows on ARM: ARM processors and devices like the Surface Pro X can run 32-bit and 64-bit ARM code natively.

Most PCs, however, run 64-bit code written for X86 chips. Code that runs in 32-bit X86 mode must be interpreted by ARM processors, and will run, albeit with a performance penalty. Unfortunately, 64-bit code—again, commonly used by PCs—doesn’t currently run on ARM chips at all.

Microsoft, then, has operated on two fronts: optimising code where it can to run natively on the ARM processors, as well as working on the compatibility angle to allow every app to run on top of ARM. But the lack of progress on 64-bit X86 compatibility has been one reason why laptops running on top of Qualcomm Snapdragon ARM chips like the Lenovo Flex 5G and Microsoft Surface Pro X haven’t received full marks.

If you own a Windows on ARM machine like the Surface Pro X, make sure that you sign up for the Windows Insider program if you want to take advantage of the new features. To do so, you can go to the Windows Settings menu, then to Update & Security > Windows Insider Program and follow the prompts.

As always, it’s a good idea to ensure every critical document is backed up—the Insider program is a beta program, and bugs and possibly crashes should be expected.

Reports had previously circulated that Microsoft was working to nail down the 64-bit X86 compatibility on top of ARM, which PCWorld itself had independently confirmed. Still, this is likely the most significant news for Windows on ARM of the past few years, and will allow Windows on ARM PCs to compete on an equal footing, from a compatibility perspective.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags MicrosoftWindows

Brand Post

What to expect from your IT Distributor

Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been around since before the dot com rollercoaster, choosing the right distribution partner can be a pivotal factor in your success. This definitive guide outlines the traits that every IT partner needs to look for in their IT Distributor.

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments