Microsoft has recently compiled Windows 10 to run on the upcoming Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor. Microsoft has also developed an emulator so that Win32 programs can run on the ARM architecture.
Apple’s iOS was developed from scratch over many years for mobile devices. Windows however came from much more powerful machines. Android came from Linux which is open source.
This is not the first foray into ARM for Microsoft but their efforts with the universal Windows platform (UWP) is being developed to be able to have the core available more widely.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 is being at 10nm which means the CPU should be very low power. This will make it easier to design a battery for it as well.
Once some new machines are available in 2017 we expect to see ARM and x86 machines galore now that 10nm is finally starting to ramp up.
WIndows will also support the use of electronic SIMs. This is intended to simplify the use of mobile services. The Windows store will host 4G LTE plans for purchase.
Users will be able to install any x86 Win32 app – unmodified – from any source, no repackaging as UWP or delivery via the Windows Store required. The apps are not sandboxed and they will have full access to the OS. Apple made a similar emulation feature when the Mac line switched from PowerPC to Intel processors, but Microsoft’s move to support ARM is a magnitude more impressive.
Recall the problems with the earlier Surface and Surface 2 tablets. These machines used and ARM processor but they lacked the emulator seen with Windows 10 to provide x86 compatibility.