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Windows 10 Running on ARM Chips – Here Is What Microsoft Does Not Want You to Know

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Feb 19, 2018
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In December 2017, Microsoft introduced Windows 10 computers powered by ARM. The PCs apparently have an all-day battery life. Fortunately, companies like ASUS, HP, and Lenovo have already showcased their notebooks that are running ARM-based Snapdragon 835 chipsets, and while the pricing of these devices has been unveiled, they will be available later in the year.

Still, as much as we like to experience 20-22 hours of battery on notebook computers, there are going to be some limitations that you will be experiencing and no, we are not talking about lack of processing firepower. Here are the things that you apparently cannot do if a Windows 10 machine is outfitted with an ARM chip.

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Windows 10 on ARM Will Not Support x64 Applications Plus a Bunch of Other Limitations While You’ll Know Shortly

Last week, Microsoft published a list detailing the limitations and what should be expected from Windows 10 on ARM. It seems as if publishing the list was an accident as Microsoft deleted it over the weekend. However, the cached copy of the information is still available, with the details thankfully obtained and highlighted below.

  • x64 apps not supported: This doesn’t come as a surprise. Windows 10 on ARM doesn’t support emulation of x64 apps. However, these might be supported in the future.
  • Only ARM64 drivers supported: Even though Windows 10 on ARM can run x86 apps, it can’t use x86 drivers. It wouldn’t be a problem unless you have older devices. In that case, driver support will not be available. Driver support for Windows 10 on ARM will be more limited, kind of like what Windows 10 S offers.
  • Apps which modify the Windows experience will probably not work correctly: Apps like input method editors or assistive technologies will not work properly on Windows 10 on ARM. Apps which come with shell extensions such as Dropbox may not work correctly either. They will have to be natively compiled for ARM.
  • Some games and apps don’t work: Apps and games which use a version of OpenGL later than 1.1 or which need hardware accelerated OpenGL will not work on Windows 10 on ARM. Games which use anticheat mechanisms will not work either.
  • Apps which presume that every ARM-based device suns a mobile version of Windows may not work as intended. Some apps which were made for Windows Phone will not work correctly and might appear in the wrong orientation or have UI layout issues. However, there wouldn’t be many apps like these.
  • The Windows Hypervisor Platform is not supported. You will not be able to run virtual machines using Hyper-V.

For the majority of Windows users, Windows 10 on ARM will support common scenarios and apps. The emulation work will let users download most 32-bit .exe files from the internet and install them on laptops powered by ARM chips. Of course, limitations do exist, as outlined about, but most of the apps will work.

Source: Thurott

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