At the 2016 WinHEC conference in Shenzhen, China, Microsoft has announced that full Windows 10 is coming to mobile ARM chips. That’s a pretty big deal as mobile ARM chips have not been able to work with full Windows 10 and desktop apps before. It will significantly expand the platform’s reach on mobile devices. Microsoft is referring to those devices as “cellular PCs,” the ones that will be able to run the x86 code for Windows 10 on an ARM architecture.
This has been made possible by a collaboration with Qualcomm. The first ARM devices to support full Windows 10 will be the ones powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor that’s based on the 10nm FinFET process.
Snapdragon 835 is Qualcomm’s next-generation flagship processor. It’s going to power many flagship devices in the coming year. It’s going to be more powerful and energy efficient than the existing Snapdragon 820 and 821 processors.
Full Windows 10 support for ARM will enable hardware partners to create a range of lightweight, thin, power efficient, and always connected Windows 10 PCs that are capable of running x86 Win32 and universal Windows apps.
Emulation will enable users to install any x86 Win32 app or game straight from the source as they won’t require any repackaging. They won’t be sandboxed so they will have full access to the operating system. Microsoft demonstrated the power of its latest achievement by demonstrating how an ARM device can run full Adobe Photoshop alongside Microsoft Office.
The company says that it expects devices with Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 and Windows 10 to hit the market at some point next year.