Microsoft and Qualcomm on Wednesday announced that windows 10 will get support for ARM chipsets, exclusively, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon SoCs. The first of these devices should arrive “as early as next year”, the two companies discovered.
Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President of the windows and Device Group at Microsoft, said that the Partnership will enable users to experience Windows on a “truly mobile, power efficient, always connected cellular PC.”
This will enable hardware manufactures to create portable devices like laptops, tablets, and even smartphones with support for desktop window apps.
The two companies made the announcement at Microsoft’s WinHEC conference in Shenzen, China, however details are a bit scarce.
The first PCs running windows 10 based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon processors are “expected to be available as early as next year”, Qualcomm said, The statement would imply that Windows 10 support for Qualcomm ARM devices such as smartphones could take a little longer to arrive.
That does indeed appear to be the case, with Myerson confirming to the verge that the initial focus would be on laptops, however, the company is envisioning a vast ecosystem of windows 10 ARM devices.
We’re thinking about platform that supports small screens, large screens, devices with no screens at all, head-about mounted displays, and so what can these device makers build will really be up to them.”
Unlike Microsoft’s now discontinued Windows RT platform, which didn’t feature any desktop apps, the new Windows 10 for Qualcomm’s ARM platform will run both desktop x86 Win32 apps as well as Universal Windows apps.
The support for Desktop x86 Win32 apps will be provider as native emulator within windows 10, Myerson revealed to the verge.
Regular MSI and EXE packages will work, but since everything is being emulated on a software level, app performance will not be as good as on x86 chips made by Intel and AMD.
Myerson also made it clear that this announcement is not a single that it’s losing faith in Intel or AMD’s capacity to provide the efficiency and always connected qualities of Qualcomm’s offerings.
Myerson dispelled the notion however, saying that developers would find it easier to offer features such as Windows Hello, touch and pen support with Universal Windows apps.