Your Raspberry Pi 3 can now run Windows 10 ARM

DPennington

TS Addict

Raspberry Pi is now ready for a complete OS experience. A new installer, made by the same people that got Windows 10 ARM onto the Nokia Lumia 950 and 950 XL handsets, lets you put the full Windows 10 experience onto your Raspberry Pi 3.

In order to install the package, you'll need a set of binaries and software that can be found on this GitHub page. You'll also need a Raspberry Pi 3 B or B+, a Windows 10 ARM64 image (which can be found linked on the GitHub page), and a decent microSD card with at least 16 GB of storage and an A1 rating.

Prior to the full Windows ARM version, the only way to run Windows on the Pi was using the stripped down IoT Core. Windows has tried to branch out onto other ARM-based devices, like the HP Envy x2, with mixed results. Since x86 applications have to be run through an emulator, the performance was sluggish on the Snapdragon 835, with dramatically increased battery life and the full Windows experience being the main draws.

The quad-core Broadcom BCM2837 CPU found in the Pi 3 is significantly slower than the Snapdragon, and it shows. I was able to get Windows 10 ARM up and running on my Pi and the performance left much to be desired. Even running on the fastest microSD card I could find, the Samsung Evo, performance was hindered by the CPU.

I was able to get some simple x86 programs to run through emulation, such as HW Monitor and even Steam, but for day-to-day use, the performance may frustrate some. Boot times were in excess of 75 seconds and response times throughout were laggy. Reminding myself that the Pi is a $35 device running Windows 10 made me feel a bit better.

Still, the proof-of-concept is important, and future versions of the Pi combined with refinement of the Windows ARM platform may make this viable for everyday usage. If nothing else, it's a cool experience if you have a Raspberry Pi laying around gathering dust.

Lead image courtesy Phil's Mommy via Shutterstock

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baskiria

TS Booster
This might sound nice, but in reality there is no ethernet and wifi driver, USB is broken they say, plus it takes at least 15 minutes to boot because of slow SD card support. We can say oh, they will iron those out in a couple of weeks, but that's unlikely, who will write the proper driver?
 

JordLevy

TS Enthusiast
This is pretty old news, I saw this on YouTube quite a while ago. Back then they were asking for people to assist with making some drivers to try and get boot times down.
 

xxLCxx

TS Addict
Nice! It's about time! Cheap portable computer!
You can get them more powerful and cheaper (Chinese counterparts). Once you have to pay for a Windows license, however, they wouldn't be cheap anymore. (Currently you don't have to pay for Windows, as this is obviously just a gag.)
Therefore, better use them with something like Linux. You can always use Wine, if you need to run a certain program only available for Windows.
 

fktech

TS Maniac
You can get them more powerful and cheaper (Chinese counterparts). Once you have to pay for a Windows license, however, they wouldn't be cheap anymore. (Currently you don't have to pay for Windows, as this is obviously just a gag.)
Therefore, better use them with something like Linux. You can always use Wine, if you need to run a certain program only available for Windows.
Concur with Linus on a less powerful machine and W10 emulator.
 

lazer

TS Addict
I bought Raspberry Pi to play with. Enjoyed it very much, but it will be a while until it becomes mainstream.

At the price, of under $40 I think it is a great device to play around with in your spare time and recommend it to all nerd like creatures....
 
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DPennington

TS Addict
This is pretty old news, I saw this on YouTube quite a while ago. Back then they were asking for people to assist with making some drivers to try and get boot times down.
It has been in development for a while, but wasn't available for download on GitHub until this week. It was also a buggy mess until recently.