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Microsoft is reportedly working on 64-bit (x64) app emulation for Windows 10 on ARM PCs

It looks like Microsoft is working on 64-bit (x64) app emulation for Windows 10 on ARM PCs. The feature might be introduced in 2021, removing limitations on software use on ARM PCs.

Microsoft Surface

As you may already know, any Windows 10 on ARM PC can run native ARM (ARM and ARM64) apps, and it can run emulated 32-bit Intel (x86) apps. 64-bit apps could not be used on such devices. This leaves out Adobe Premiere Pro,  Photoshop Elements, and any other apps that are only available in an x64 flavor.

This situation is going to change. Neowin today revealed that Microsoft is indeed working on bringing x64 app emulation to Windows on ARM. When that will happen is a bit more unclear, but it seems like it could be in Windows 10 21H1, which would mean that the general public will have access to it in the first half of 2021, and Windows Insiders will be able to test it out next year.

Although, there is an issue. While Windows on ARM will be able to support emulation of both 32- and 64-bit apps, 32-bit will still be faster. 32-bit emulation uses WOW64, the exact same thing that x64 versions of Windows use to run 32-bit apps.

Microsoft is much interested in app compatibility for the ARM platform. Their latest Surface Pro X runs Windows 10 on ARM, and includes Microsoft SQ1 chip,  which is a customized version of the Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoC.

Neither Microsoft or Qualcomm have commented yet on x64 apps emulation on Windows 10 on ARM.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

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