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Microsoft announces full Windows 10 for smartphone-class processors

Windows 10 Qualcomm Processors
  • On December 10, 2016

ARM processors to run Desktop apps and Windows 10 PC

At the WinHEC conference in China, Microsoft announced that the full desktop version of Windows 10 will be coming to smartphone-class ARM processors in 2017. Microsoft has managed to create a version of Windows 10 running on ARM architecture which is largely used on all modern mobile devices. The first ARM processor that is able to run Windows 10 is the newly announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 – a flagship processor based on the 10nm manufacturing process.

Cheaper laptops, hybrids and tablets coming in 2017

Microsoft and Qualcomm expect that the first ‘cellular PCs’ will be available on the market in the second half of 2017. These future devices will be cheaper, thinner and lighter, thanks to the fact that the ARM processors cost far less than the current entry-level laptop-class processors by Intel. Moreover, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 will allow creation of power-efficient PCs that are always-connected.

Win32 apps on ARM

Unlike the ill-fated Window RT, Windows 10 on ARM will be able to run classic x86/ Win32 programs via emulation. Users won’t need to modify the program at all. To demonstrate the capabilities of Windows 10 on ARM, Microsoft posted a video of a device with a Snapdragon processor and 4GB of RAM, running the full version of Windows 10:

What about Windows smartphones?

Microsoft has not specifically mentioned that Windows 10 is coming to smartphones, but this is not something we should fully rule out. For now, we know that Redmond continues to invest in Windows 10 Mobile as one of the OneCore versions of Windows. Microsoft is working on a win32 emulation for Windows 10 Mobile and the Redstone 3 update. With such a tech in the mobile Windows, the Surface Phone with both UWP and x86 programs in Continuum mode is quite a likely scenario for late 2017.