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Windows 10 on ARM 64-bit app support inbound

Microsoft is laying the foundation for 64-bit apps for Windows 10 on ARM. (Source: Microsoft)
Microsoft is laying the foundation for 64-bit apps for Windows 10 on ARM. (Source: Microsoft)
If Microsoft is serious about keeping its Windows 10 on ARM dreams alive, it needs to bring support for 64-bit x86-based apps to the platform as soon as possible. A new SDK set to be introduced next month could help make this happen sooner rather than later.

Windows 10 on ARM may only be a burgeoning platform, but if it is to gain any real traction it will need to support 64-bit software. Although running on chips with native 64-bit support, Windows 10 on ARM devices can only currently run 64-bit apps made by Microsoft. This currently only leaves app support for non-Microsoft made apps limited to 32-bits.

Given the fatal software problems Microsoft experienced when it launched Windows RT, its first attempt and running Windows on ARM devices, Redmond-based giant can’t keep making slip ups with software compatibility issues with Windows on ARM. Windows RT fell over because, although it looked like Windows on x86 chips, it only supported apps made for it by Microsoft designed to work on ARM-based chips. Microsoft is keen to kill the current 32-bit x86 software limitation on Windows 10 on ARM, and kill it soon. 

Microsoft General Manager for Windows, Erin Chappie, has told Engadget that it will be launching an ARM 64-bit SDK at its annual Build Developers Conference net month. While this is definitely a step in the right direction, it still means that 64-bit Windows software running in a virtualized x86 environment won’t arrive until sometime after that. Now that Microsoft has built an SDK capable of doing the job, the only question that remains is now that they have built it, will the developers come?


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Sanjiv Sathiah, 2018-04- 6 (Update: 2018-04- 7)