Windows laptops and convertibles running ARM aren’t exactly the market volume at this point, but there are plenty of them out there – including Microsoft’s own updated Surface Pro X, just now announced.
One of the reasons not all consumers are plunging is running traditional x86 apps on these Windows 10 ARM machines which brings significant limitations. Among the biggest: no support at all for running 64-bit x86 emulation applications, only 32-bit.
Today, Microsoft announced in a long-standing blog post that the limit will change soon, as simulation of 64-bit Windows applications goes into a public testing phase soon. It addresses one of the biggest complaints about the platform – complaints that only grew as more popular applications were converted to 64-bit-only over the months.
Microsoft has also announced many new, specific apps specifically for ARM-native apps. Visual Studio Code “was also updated and optimized for Windows 10 in ARM,” it said.
The announcement noted that Microsoft is “making Microsoft Edge faster” in ARM and is also improving its impact on battery life. In addition, the company announced that a Windows native Microsoft Teams client Microsoft is coming soon.
While Windows in ARM has been a slow move, it has not stopped competitors from advancing ARM plans. Apple is expected to launch the first ARM-based Mac later this year.
MacOS support for 32-bit applications has dropped sharply quite recently, and Apple will offer Rosetta 2 to emulate 64-bit macOS apps on ARM Macs (the company calls “Macs with Apple” Silicon “).
However, whether (and how) Mac users can virtualize Windows x86 applications on Apple Silicon Macs remains unknown. x64 emulation will first be introduced on ARM Windows machines via the Windows Insider Program next month.
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