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Early Windows 11 Android subsystem benchmarks show performance equivalent to Snapdragon 865 on ARM hardware, single-core ARM to x86 Bridge scores not very encouraging

Android app support in Windows 11 is being internally tested for a future build. (Image Source: Microsoft)
Android app support in Windows 11 is being internally tested for a future build. (Image Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft could be internally testing the Windows Subsystem for Android on a variety of x86 and ARM hardware as evidenced by new Geekbench entries. The ARM results show scores equivalent to that of a Snapdragon 865 while we see some performance regression on x86 hardware, which is likely using Intel's Bridge Technology. A listing of the Amazon Appstore Preview has also popped up on the Microsoft Store.
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Windows 11 is all set to enter general availability on October 5. During the operating system's launch back in June, Microsoft said that it was looking to bring Android apps to the Microsoft Store via the Amazon Appstore. However, that plan has been postponed to a later build and will not make it to launch date. Nevertheless, we are getting to signs that Microsoft has internally started testing Android app support.

To that effect, the Amazon Appstore has now started to appear in the Microsoft Store, though you'll need to access it manually and not via the Store app itself. The Amazon Appstore Preview is non-functional and could probably be a placeholder for now. Note that users will also be able to sideload Android APKs once this feature goes live although apps depending on Google services may not run optimally.

Microsoft will be using Intel's Bridge Technology, which is a runtime post-compiler that the Windows Subsystem for Android uses to translate ARM instructions to x86. A few benchmark results of the Windows Subsystem for Android have made their way to Geekbench indicating that Microsoft is already piloting this feature in internal builds.

Geekbench entries show the Windows Subsystem for Android being tested on various platforms including x86 and ARM. The actual names of the CPUs are hidden even though we see 8-core, 12-core, and 20-core x86 placeholders along with 8-core ARM ones. These could be likely be a variety of CPUs from the current 11th gen and upcoming 12th gen Alder Lake family; wonder what the 20-core part is, though.

As per Geekbench records, one of the ARM chips scored a single-core score of 828 and multi-core 3,047 while an unnamed 20-core x86 processor manages 571 and 4,908 scores in single and multi-core tests respectively. The ARM results seem to be in the same ballpark as that of a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865, which isn't too shabby. While too early to speculate, it could be that ARM to x86 translation via Intel's Bridge does come with a performance penalty compared to native ARM processing. 

It remains to be seen how well Microsoft and CPU makers would optimize Windows Subsystem for Android. While there's no ETA on as to when this feature will go public, we should see the first signs of Android app support in upcoming Dev channel builds in the months to come and backported to the public release of Windows 11 in a future Cumulative Update.

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Geekbench listing of Windows 11 Android subsystem on ARM. (Source: Geekbench)
Geekbench listing of Windows 11 Android subsystem on ARM. (Source: Geekbench)
Geekbench listing of Windows 11 Android subsystem on x86. (Source: Geekbench)
Geekbench listing of Windows 11 Android subsystem on x86. (Source: Geekbench)

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - Managing Editor - 1429 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2012
Though a cell and molecular biologist by training, I have been drawn towards computers from a very young age ever since I got my first PC in 1998. My passion for technology grew quite exponentially with the times, and it has been an incredible experience from being a much solicited source for tech advice and troubleshooting among family and friends to joining Notebookcheck in 2017 as a professional tech journalist. Now, I am a Lead Editor at Notebookcheck covering news and reviews encompassing a wide gamut of the technology landscape for Indian and global audiences. When I am not hunting for the next big story or taking complex measurements for reviews, you can find me unwinding to a nice read, listening to some soulful music, or trying out a new game.
contact me via: @Geeky_Vaidy
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2021 09 > Early Windows 11 Android subsystem benchmarks show performance equivalent to Snapdragon 865 on ARM hardware, single-core ARM to x86 Bridge scores not very encouraging
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2021-09-19 (Update: 2021-09-19)