Microsoft, Qualcomm partnership will bring the full Windows 10 OS to ARM devices using emulation

midian182

Posts: 6,075   +50
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Microsoft will be hoping it’s a case of second time lucky after the company announced it is once again bringing the full Windows experience to ARM-powered devices. At its Windows Hardware Engineering conference in Shenzen, the Redmond firm said it has partnered with Qualcomm to bring Windows 10 to the next generation of Snapdragon mobile processors, probably referring to the Snapdragon 835.

Microsoft has tried this before with Windows RT - a version of Windows 8 designed to run on ARM hardware. It appeared on the Surface RT and Surface 2 but the OS turned out to be a flop and was killed off, partly because of its inability to run traditional desktop apps built using the WIN32 API.

This time, Microsoft will avoid the same situation by using emulation technology to offer a full, 64-bit Windows 10 experience running on Qualcomm processors. It will be able to run both Universal Windows Platform apps and regular Win32 desktop applications.

“For the first time ever, our customers will be able to experience the Windows they know with all the apps, peripherals and enterprise capabilities they require, on a truly mobile, power efficient, always-connected cellular PC,” said Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group.

Industry sources say it was Microsoft that created the X86 hardware emulator, which attempts to minimize any CPU overhead by handling only CPU calls. The company said that instructions sent to any associated storage, I/O, or GPU are all handled natively by those components

Microsoft does, of course, make its Windows 10 Mobile OS for ARM-based products, but wants to bring the full operating system, along with all its productivity apps, to more mobile devices. Check out the video below of Windows 10 running Adobe Photoshop on a Snapdragon 820 device with 4GB.

Microsoft says these Windows 10 Snapdragon devices could arrive as early as next year. The big question, however, is what this could mean for the long-rumored Surface Phone.

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Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,993   +2,453
OOOhh, I hope this means we see a return to ARM powered surface non-pros. the 10 inch surface ARM models were cool, and ARM is in a much better position now. A modern cortex A73 SoC, perhaps a surface 4 with an upgraded tegra and 8GB of RAM, would be sweet.

Also I can finally play FTL on an ARM tablet that isnt an ipad.
 
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ikesmasher

Posts: 3,066   +1,386
OOOhh, I hope this means we see a return to ARM powered surface non-pros. the 10 inch surface ARM models were cool, and ARM is in a much better position now. A modern cortex A73 SoC, perhaps a surface 4 with an upgraded tegra and 8GB of RAM, would be sweet.

Also I can finally play FTL on an ARM tablet that isnt an ipad.
whats wrong with the surface 3 lol? mines pretty brilliant and despite being an atom you can get some mileage out of it even for light gaming
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,993   +2,453
OOOhh, I hope this means we see a return to ARM powered surface non-pros. the 10 inch surface ARM models were cool, and ARM is in a much better position now. A modern cortex A73 SoC, perhaps a surface 4 with an upgraded tegra and 8GB of RAM, would be sweet.

Also I can finally play FTL on an ARM tablet that isnt an ipad.
whats wrong with the surface 3 lol? mines pretty brilliant and despite being an atom you can get some mileage out of it even for light gaming
There is nothing wrong, per se, with the atom, its just that the low power ARM chips have been making huge inroads. The atom was kinda "meh" in the graphical department. the A73 cortex cores are faster then the intel ones, IIRC, in the newest 3 watt atoms. And ARM has a wide variety of GPUs to choose from. PowerVR, Mali, tegra, adreno, ece.

Personally, My issue with the surface 3 was a lack of a 8GB/256GB option, the slow speed of the internal storage, even for the time, and the battery life wasnt good enough. The intel chip ws OK, although I wish it had more grunt for civ v.

With intel ditching their 3 watt atom lineup, the surface non pros might have been done for. But now, there is hope for a new ARM powered model. Maybe something like a snapdragon 835, with LTE modem, in a 10 inch surface with 10 hours of battery life. I'd pay ipad level money for that.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,386   +2,921
As long as the price is right the performance should be acceptable. You wont be watching videos or photoshoping on this thing, but for web browsing, email and some office work on the go it should be fine. Look at the progress Raspberry Pi's have made. So long as this has a quad core ARM chip with 4 gigs of ram it could be a powerful little device.

I think they optimized this device to over-perform in the apps they're showing, but we'll see when it comes out. Real world use is different from a demo. If you look at the loading bar for Office you'll notice quite a bit that it lags a bit while loading. Again, we'll see when it's released how it performs. I'd wait for the reviews to come out before I'd buy one. It'd be nice if they could hit the $300-350 price point
 

Kibaruk

Posts: 3,836   +1,183
You still have to think about it being emulated, it will be buggy.

It's great news, I'm all in for having my computer on my pocket, and even though there will always be the "it will not be a replacement for your computer", it will go the same way as cameras nowadays, a phone camera is not a replacement but there is no better camera than the one you have at hand all the time.
 

Theinsanegamer

Posts: 1,993   +2,453
You still have to think about it being emulated, it will be buggy.
Depends. Apple's rosetta to convert powerpc to x86 wasnt buggy at all, and that was doing roughly the same thing. outside of one or two apps that wont play nice, 99.9% of apps should run fine.
As long as the price is right the performance should be acceptable. You wont be watching videos or photoshoping on this thing, but for web browsing, email and some office work on the go it should be fine.
Plenty of people watch videos on ARM tablets. That's been doable for over 5 years now with no issues. And I have known people who did edit pictures on their tablets (surfaces, actually). there is no reason a snpadragon 835 powered windows tablet couldnt do that.
 
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yRaz

Posts: 3,386   +2,921
Plenty of people watch videos on ARM tablets. That's been doable for over 5 years now with no issues. And I have known people who did edit pictures on their tablets (surfaces, actually). there is no reason a snpadragon 835 powered windows tablet couldnt do that.
Don't get me wrong, I want this to be a good device. But with all the recent tech problems I will reserve my opinion until it has been out for a few weeks and there are some good reviews.
 

andyo

Posts: 14   +0
I wonder if this will come to phones already on the market with snapdragon 820 processors. for example the HP Elite x3 as HP has invested heavily in a subscription based x86 program web terminal for this phone in combination with continuum.