from the just-what-customers-have-been-demanding-for-years dept.
Microsoft wants its computers to be more nimble.
To that goal, the Qualcomm announced at Microsoft's Windows Hardware Engineering Community event on Wednesday that its Windows 10 devices will support the Snapdragon 835 processor, which you'll see in many top-tier phones next year. The chip will be able to provide Gigabit LTE connectivity, nearly double your battery life and pack it all into even smaller devices.
From the following story we get:
At its WinHEC hardware conference in Shenzhen today, Microsoft announced a range of hardware-driven initiatives to modernize the PC and address two big goals. The first is expanded support for mixed reality; the second is to produce a range of even more power-efficient, mobile, always-connected PCs powered by ARM processors.
[...] The second aspect of the push to modernize the PC is the desire for ever longer battery life, greater portability, and connectivity. To that end, Microsoft is bringing back something that it had before: Windows for ARM processors. Qualcomm-powered Windows 10 PCs will hit the market in 2017.
The truth is that Windows for ARM has never really gone away. The first Windows on ARM iteration was dubbed Windows RT, and it launched on the first Surface tablet. Although this system provided almost every part of Windows, just recompiled for 32-bit ARM processors, Microsoft locked it down using a certificate-based security scheme. Built-in desktop apps, such as Explorer and Calculator ran fine, as did the pre-installed version of Office, but third-party desktop apps built using the Win32 API were prohibited. The only third-party apps that were permitted were those built using the new WinRT API and distributed through the Windows Store.
With few such apps available, Windows RT and Surface didn't see much market success. Nonetheless, Microsoft continued to develop Windows on ARM, as it's an essential part of both the Windows 10 Internet of Things Core variant of the operating system and the Windows 10 Mobile version.
Traditional Windows apps can only run on X86 chips, not ARM—thus, the failed Windows RT. To get around this, Qualcomm (and only Qualcomm) is working with Microsoft to emulate X86 instructions, the companies said. [...] Sources at Microsoft and Qualcomm say the partnership is designed around the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835, a chip that's in production now and is due to ship in the first half of 2017, according to Qualcomm. The first Windows-on-ARM PCs are expected by the second half of next year.
Microsoft Windows is back on ARM:
Just shy of a year after announcing that Windows was once again going to be available on ARM systems, the first two systems were announced today: the Asus NovaGo 2-in-1 laptop, and the HP Envy x2 tablet.
[...] The Asus laptop boasts 22 hours of battery life or 30 days of standby, along with LTE that can run at gigabit speeds. HP's tablet offers a 12.3 inch, 1920×1280 screen, 20 hours battery life or 29 days of standby, and a removable keyboard-cover and stylus. Both systems use the Snapdragon 835 processor and X16 LTE modem, with HP offering up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage to go with it.
Lenovo is expected to announce a similar system in the coming weeks.
Previously: Big Changes Planned by Microsoft - Windows 10 on ARM, Laptops to Behave More Like Phones
Windows 10 PCs Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to Arrive this Year
New Windows 10 S Only Runs Software From Windows Store
Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete. Here's a Sneak Peek at Its Replacement.
New App Allows Win32 Software to Run on Windows 10 S
Intel Hints at Patent Fight With Microsoft and Qualcomm Over x86 Emulation
Microsoft launched ARM-powered Windows 10 PCs with "all-day" battery life back in December. While HP, Asus, and Lenovo's devices aren't on sale just yet, we're still waiting to hear more about the limitations of Windows 10 running on these new PCs. Microsoft published a full list of limitations last week, spotted first by Thurrott, that details what to expect from Windows 10 on ARM. This list must have been published by accident, as the software giant removed it over the weekend so only cached copies of the information are available.
Only ARM64 drivers are supported and no x64 applications are supported (yet). Games that use a version of OpenGL later than 1.1, hardware-accelerated OpenGL, or "anticheat technologies" won't work on Windows 10 on ARM. The Windows Hypervisor Platform is not supported on ARM.