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[Rumour] Windows 10 Mobile: Redstone 3 could integrate an x86 emulator

  • On November 25, 2016

A new report highlights the highly likely integration of an x86 emulator on ARM64 infrastructure. This would be a very serious project codenamed “Cobalt”. The tool would land on Windows 10 Mobile on the occasion of the Redstone 3 update dedicated to the ecosystem Windows 10. The manufacturer HP would be concerned, in addition to Microsoft, concerning this technology that many await.

This project, which shows that Windows 10 Mobile is not just a simple OS to keep alive, was first mentioned by the Walking Cat account on Twitter and then by Mary Jo Foley on the US site of ZDNet. Suffice to say that it is not a thing taken lightly (even if it remains a rumour, of course). This is not the first time we are talking about this subject, the evidence. The project “Cobalt” would nevertheless be the end result, or rather to come, of the support of x86 software on an ARM platform, as is the case with Windows 10 Mobile.

According to Mary Jo Foley, the integration of such an emulator would be ensured for the Redstone 3 update, which will follow Redstone 2 (officially called Creators Update), and should be distributed next fall. Being able to use x86 software on your phone or tablet with ARM architecture is a big fantasy. I remain sceptical about the interest of the thing (the software is not adapted, for many, to our screens of small sizes), but it would seem that we were heading in this direction.

The tweet said that it is a hybrid technology allowing to carry of format x86 on ARM64. The ‘Cobalt’ technology would have the following codename: “CHPE”. The “C” would be linked to “Cobalt” (element confirmed by Mary Jo Foley). The “HP” for the brand of the same name, while ‘E’ may be linked to ‘Emulation. It is claimed that the firm would jointly push this functionality with Microsoft, and therefore, one imagines, with its HP Elite x3 which would be one of the few beneficiaries. Finally, “E” would mean the term “Emulation”, quite simply.

The ideal would be, it is said, to use a device with a Snapdragon 830 chip or equivalent. Inevitably, one can imagine, if the thing is confirmed, that the Surface Phone will naturally have access to this technology and that the latter will be aimed at all professionals (amazing?).

In the final update of her topic, Mary Jo Foley, said, no surprise, that neither HP – making a simple “no comment” – nor Microsoft – “We have nothing to share [on the subject] Spokesperson – will help move the issue forward. So we have to be patient.