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Windows 10 on Arm x64 emulation goes live for Windows Insiders

Windows 10 on Arm support for x64 apps now available to Windows Insiders. (Image: Microsoft)
Windows 10 on Arm support for x64 apps now available to Windows Insiders. (Image: Microsoft)
Microsoft has finally rolled out the first Windows Insider tech preview of x64 emulation for Windows 10 on Arm devices. The update brings long-awaited support for regular 64-bit x86 applications helping to make Windows on Arm devices a more viable alternative.
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Microsoft may have been first to port its Windows operating system to Arm-based devices back in 2017, but it is Apple that has grabbed all the headlines following the spectacular debut of its custom M1 Arm-based Macs in recent weeks. Windows 10 on Arm, however, was first to highlight the benefits of switching to Arm with outstanding battery life being one of the headlining features. The Samsung Galaxy Book S with Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx launched earlier this year and delivered well over 20 hours of battery life in our testing.

While Apple has built the highly effective Rosetta 2 translation later into macOS to ensure seamless support for x86-based 32-bit and 64-bit apps on the Mac, Microsoft has been lagging behind in this regard on Windows 10 on Arm. That is slowly starting to change with the announcement that its long-awaited support for 64-bit x86 apps on Arm chips is finally in preview for Windows Insiders. Microsoft says x64 productivity apps like Autodesk Sketchbook and games like Rocket League should work and users can install x64 apps from a source of their choosing.

Microsoft’s blog outlines the directions on how to install the new build on devices including the Samsung Galaxy Book S, the Surface Pro X and the Lenovo Flex 5G. The company also says that x64 apps will work better with higher levels of RAM, which isn’t surprising. The only problem is that most Windows on Arm devices only support up to 16 GB of RAM at present, which means that if you really need to run an x64 app with less than that, you may have to skip multitasking. Better still, the company says it is working hard with developers to get them to recompile their x86 apps for Arm-64.

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Sanjiv Sathiah
Sanjiv Sathiah - Senior Tech Writer - 1197 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2017
I have been writing about consumer technology over the past ten years, previously with the former MacNN and Electronista, and now Notebookcheck since 2017. My first computer was an Apple ][c and this sparked a passion for Apple, but also technology in general. In the past decade, I’ve become increasingly platform agnostic and love to get my hands on and explore as much technology as I can get my hand on. Whether it is Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux, Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, each has plenty to offer and has given me great joy exploring them all. I was drawn to writing about tech because I love learning about the latest devices and also sharing whatever insights my experience can bring to site and its readership.
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > News > News Archive > Newsarchive 2020 12 > Windows 10 on Arm x64 emulation goes live for Windows Insiders
Sanjiv Sathiah, 2020-12-11 (Update: 2020-12-11)