Microsoft Demos Windows 10 on ARM Running x86 Apps using Windows on Windows Layer

At MSBuild 2017, Microsoft for the first time has showcased Windows 10 on ARM, which is expected to arrive in quarter 4 of this year. The video is basic at its best and demonstrates that it can do the same things, run apps, WIN32 Apps just like Windows 10 on PC, but here the form factor might vary from a Tablet to a Small screen phone.

Microsoft even though did not do much for Windows 10 Mobile, but they pretty much knew that ARM development has huge importance as the devices form factor will change.

Demonstrated by Microsoft Employees Hari Pulapaka and Arun Kishan, on an engineering device from Qualcomm, here are the key highlights:

  • It will deliver the full desktop experience.
  • It can run Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps
  • Runs the standard x86 / Win32 applications via an emulation layer.
  • Works on Snapdragon 835 right now / 64 BIT

The overall experience on ARM does look faster compared to PC, but then you really need to test out many things before one can conclude.  An external camera was connected to the engineering device, to show that it does support external hardware apart from the fact it is running Windows 10 Pro version.

It is interesting to know that X86 runs on WOW layer i.e. Windows on Windows where X86 apps talk with X86 System DLL which then talks to X86 to ARM CPU emulator and then does the job. It uses Compiled Hybrid PE DLLs which is X86 DLLs with ARM64 code within them. Sounds confusing? Leave it to the developers, but the basic idea is you get native speed even though its emulation.

The video also showcased that developers can start submitting apps for ARM version to the store.

Ashish Mohta
A die-hard fan of Windows, PC Gaming, and Xbox. He is a seasoned content writer with over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is a specialist in writing about Windows, software reviews, troubleshooting Windows, and automation.


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