MICROSOFT HAS BEGUN accepting apps and games for the ARM64 version of Windows 10.
The self-styled 'Always Connected' version of Windows 10 is most at home with UWP (tiled) apps, and so this is a major step forward for cheap and cheerful Windows machines running the Snapdragon 850 from Qualcomm.
Although early PCs running Windows on ARM have been less than stellar, today's news bolsters the company's commitment to the Windows fork, which has distinct advantages over x86 and x64, including battery life, start-up time and 4G LTE.
Unlike its bastard predecessor, Windows RT, this version of Windows will run older Win32 programs, thanks to an emulator which whilst not without its faults is better than nowt.
Initially, there were fears that Intel, which is naturally curious given they have a dog in this particular fight, could sue for IP breach over the emulation technology, but that doesn't seem to have come to anything.
Although it comes set up for the rather stunted "S Mode" version of Windows 10, it can, like all PCs, be switched to the full interface.
Microsoft is hoping that the latest release of Visual Studio (15.9), which includes a tool to recompile apps for ARM and ARM64, will encourage developers to add a version of their existing apps to run natively, which removes many of the performance issues caused by the emulation.
It's been nearly a year since Always Connected PCs were formally announced but it was another six months before we started to see the first machines from the likes of Asus, HP, Lenovo and Samsung and built around the Snapdragon 850 chipset.
The potential was there but this seemed to most people as something quite a way from the monster that either company was hoping to create.
After all, 20-30 hours of battery life isn't much use if the performance is bobbins. μ
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