Windows 10 on ARM

Microsoft is releasing Windows 10 on the ARM platform.  It will start with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor with devices initially being released by HP and Asus.  They will come loaded with Windows 10S, with a free upgrade (for a limited time after purchase) to Windows 10 Pro if desired.  Windows 10S supports built-in and Windows Store native 32-bit (x86) applications and UWP apps.

Due to the nature of the Snapdragon processor, it will support cellular connectivity and gigabit Wi-Fi.

All of this allows for significant battery life and brings the mobile device world into the traditional computing (e.g. laptop) world.  In short, it gives consumers more choice with another device dimension.  Through emulation, it can run native x86 Windows applications as well as natively run Windows UWP applications.  It appears there is no x64 emulator.  For the most part, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Specific top x86 applications are being tested (such as Google Chrome, Adobe Products, Microsoft Office, etc.  Hopefully (hint, hint Microsoft!), Visual Studio 2017 will be included in the mix to allow .NET Core and UWP apps to be developed.  While many, if not most, developers will still favor Intel-based processors for maximum device coverage (they could, for example, run Windows 10S in a Virtual Machine), there is a segment of the market that could benefit from a long battery life, less expensive device.  This includes students who can be influenced to make a career in the development industry.

Exciting times!