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posted by janrinok on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:28PM   Printer-friendly
from the well-armed dept.

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.

Also at The Verge, Engadget, and TechCrunch.

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Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete.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

Original Submission

Related Stories

Big Changes Planned by Microsoft - Windows 10 on ARM, Laptops to Behave More Like Phones 29 comments

Cnet reports: Windows laptops in 2017 could act and feel more like a phone

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.

PCWorld offer the following:

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.

Original Submission

Windows 10 PCs Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to Arrive this Year 15 comments

The ARM partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm is notable as it expands Windows 10's existing support of x86 chips from Intel and AMD. It also looks set to overcome the constraints of Microsoft's previous ARM effort with Windows RT.

The Snapdragon 835 PCs will run full Windows 10 desktop, which has been compiled natively for Qualcomm's SoCs. They'll also run Win32 apps via an emulator, as well as universal Windows apps. Microsoft billed the forthcoming devices as a "truly mobile, power-efficient, always-connected cellular PC".

Original Submission

New Windows 10 S Only Runs Software From Windows Store 54 comments

Microsoft has announced a new version of Windows called Windows 10 S. It only runs apps from the Windows Store, and is positioned between Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro, both of which can run third party applications. Microsoft also announced a new line of Surface laptops running the OS. The laptops have been described as competing with either Google's Chromebooks or Apple's MacBook Air, and aimed at students:

Windows 10 S is Windows 10 with its wings slightly clipped: it can only run apps from the Windows Store, disabling compatibility with the enormous breadth of Windows programs out there, which in the educational context translates to better security, consistent performance, focus for students, and improved battery life. It's cheaper and less versatile than Windows 10 Pro, which is exactly what schools are looking for (and the thing that's had them gravitating toward Google's Chrome OS in recent times).

[...] Immediately upon its introduction, Windows 10 S spans a price range from $189 to $2,199 (for the top Surface Laptop spec). So is this a straightforward and affordable solution for mass educational deployment? Or is it a super streamlined operating system for powering extremely desirable and long-lasting laptops? Yes. Microsoft's answer to both of those things is yes. It's not impossible to achieve both goals with the same software, of course, but it is difficult to position the OS in people's minds.

[...] The Windows on ARM effort is going to be rekindled by the end of this year, and Windows 10 S is the likeliest candidate to be the OS of choice for those new computers, in which case the significance of the S label will once again be complicated. Come the holidays, buying a Windows 10 S PC could mean getting either an Intel or an ARM machine, it could mean cheap and cheerful or it could be a premium portable.

Also at the Washington Post, Engadget, Laptop Mag, and Business Insider.

As well as BGR, Mashable, The Independent, PC World, Tech Radar, ZDNet, Ars Technica, Fossbytes, TechCrunch #1, TechCrunch #2, Venture Beat, and The Street.

What do you think the 'S' stands for?

Previously: Ask Soylent: Ramifications of Removing Windows Store from Enterprise Installs?
Microsoft Adds Store App-Only Restriction as Option in Windows 10

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete. Here's a Sneak Peek at Its Replacement. 160 comments

Microsoft's only choice to move forward is to throw the Win32 baby out with the bathwater. And that brings us to the introduction of Windows 10 S.

Windows 10 S is just like the Windows 10 you use now, but the main difference is it can only run apps that have been whitelisted to run in the Windows Store. That means, by and large, existing Win32-based stuff cannot run in Windows 10 S for security reasons.

To bridge the app gap, Microsoft is allowing certain kinds of desktop apps to be "packaged" for use in the Windows Store through a tooling process known as Desktop Bridge or Project Centennial.

The good news is that with Project Centennial, many Desktop Win32 apps can be re-purposed and packaged to take advantage of Windows 10's improved security. However, there are apps that will inevitably be left behind because they violate the sandboxing rules that are needed to make the technology work in a secure fashion.

"A casualty of those sandboxing rules is Google's Chrome browser. For security reasons, Microsoft is not permitting desktop browsers to be ported to the Store."

Original Submission

New App Allows Win32 Software to Run on Windows 10 S 13 comments

Citrix has launched an application specifically aimed at Windows 10 S, and thus published in the Windows Store, which makes it possible to run Win32 software even if it's not available in the Store.

Source: Softpedia

related stories:
Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete. Here's a Sneak Peek at Its Replacement.
New Windows 10 S Only Runs Software From Windows Store

Original Submission

Intel Hints at Patent Fight With Microsoft and Qualcomm Over x86 Emulation 23 comments

Intel may be planning to sue Microsoft for its plans to include x86 emulation in Windows 10 for ARM machines:

In celebrating the x86 architecture's 39th birthday yesterday—the 8086 processor first came to market on June 8, 1978—Intel took the rather uncelebratory step of threatening any company working on x86 emulator technology.

[...] The post doesn't name any names, but it's not too hard to figure out who it's likely to be aimed at: Microsoft, perhaps with a hint of Qualcomm. Later in the year, companies including Asus, HP, and Lenovo will be releasing Windows laptops using Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835 processor. This is not the first time that Windows has been released on ARM processors—Microsoft's first attempt to bring Windows to ARM was the ill-fated Windows 8-era Windows RT in 2012—but this time around there's a key difference. Windows RT systems could not run any x86 applications. Windows 10 for ARM machines, however, will include a software-based x86 emulator that will provide compatibility with most or all 32-bit x86 applications.

This compatibility makes these ARM-based machines a threat to Intel in a way that Windows RT never was; if WinARM can run Wintel software but still offer lower prices, better battery life, lower weight, or similar, Intel's dominance of the laptop space is no longer assured. The implication of Intel's post is that the chip giant isn't just going to be relying on technology to secure its position in this space, but the legal system, too.

Also at ZDNet and CRN.

Original Submission

Laptop and Phone Convergence at CES 17 comments

New laptops are drawing upon features/attributes associated with smartphones, such as LTE connectivity, ARM processors, (relatively) high battery life, and walled gardens:

This year's crop of CES laptops -- which we'll define broadly to include Windows-based two-in-one hybrids and slates -- even show signs of a sudden evolutionary leap. The long-predicted PC-phone convergence is happening, but rather than phones becoming more like computers, computers are becoming more like phones.

The most obvious way this is happening is the new breed of laptops that ditch the traditional Intel (and sometimes AMD) processors for new Snapdragon processors from Qualcomm. So far, we've seen three of these Snapdragon systems announced: the HP Envy x2, the Asus NoveGo and the Lenovo Miix 630.

Laptops with lower-end processors have been tried before, with limited success. Why is now potentially the right time? Because these systems aren't being pitched as bargain basement throwaways -- and in fact, they'll cost $600 and up, the same as many mainstream laptops in the US. Instead, they promise some very high-end features, including always-on LTE connectivity (like a phone) and 20-plus hours of battery life with weeks of standby time, which also sounds more like a phone than a PC. The tradeoff is that these Snapdragon laptops run Windows 10 S, a limited version of Windows 10, which only allows apps from the official Microsoft app store. That's also similar to the walled garden of mobile OS apps many phones embrace.

[...] There's another take on phone-laptop convergence happening here at CES. Razer, the PC and accessory maker, always brings one or two inventive prototypes to CES, such as last year's triple-screen Project Valerie laptop. The concept piece for CES 2018 is Project Linda, a 13-inch laptop shell, with a large cutout where the touchpad would normally be. You drop a Razer Phone in that slot, press a button, and the two pieces connect, with the laptop body acting as a high-end dock for the phone. The phone acts as a touchpad and also a second screen, and it works with the growing number of Android apps that have been specially formatted for larger laptop screens or computer monitors.

Original Submission

Microsoft to Challenge Education-Oriented Chromebooks With Windows 10 Laptops Priced From $189 46 comments

Microsoft challenges Chromebooks with $189 Windows 10 laptops for schools

Microsoft is making a bigger push to keep students and teachers using Windows this week. At the annual Bett education show in London, Microsoft is revealing new Windows 10 and Windows 10 S devices that are priced from just $189. The software giant is also partnering with the BBC, LEGO, NASA, PBS, and Pearson to bring a variety of Mixed Reality and video curricula to schools.

Lenovo has created a $189 100e laptop. It's based on Intel's Celeron Apollo Lake chips, so it's a low-cost netbook essentially, designed for schools. Lenovo is also introducing its 300e, a 2-in-1 laptop with pen support, priced at $279. The new Lenovo devices are joined by two from JP, with a Windows Hello laptop priced at $199 and a pen and touch device at $299. All four laptops will be targeted towards education, designed to convince schools not to switch to Chromebooks.

JP apparently refers to JP Sá Couto.

Also at Windows Blog, Engadget, and ZDNet.

Related: First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced

Original Submission

Google Trolls Microsoft With Chrome "Installer" for the Windows Store 66 comments

Google published a "Chrome browser" app in the Windows Store on Tuesday, but it simply opened up a Google Chrome download page in the default Windows browser. Most users would then have been able to download and install the Chrome browser, except for the minority of Windows 10 S users who are restricted to downloading Windows Store apps which must use the EdgeHTML rendering engine rather than Blink. Microsoft was not amused at the stunt and removed the "app" from its Store later that day:

Google published a Chrome app in the Windows Store earlier today, which just directed users to a download link to install the browser. Microsoft isn't impressed with Google's obvious snub of the Windows Store, and it's taking action. "We have removed the Google Chrome Installer App from Microsoft Store, as it violates our Microsoft Store policies," says a Microsoft spokesperson in a statement to The Verge.

Citing the need to ensure apps "provide unique and distinct value," Microsoft says "we welcome Google to build a Microsoft Store browser app compliant with our Microsoft Store policies." That's an invitation that Google is unlikely to accept. There are many reasons Google won't likely bring Chrome to the Windows Store, but the primary reason is probably related to Microsoft's Windows 10 S restrictions. Windows Store apps that browse the web must use HTML and JavaScript engines provided by Windows 10, and Google's Chrome browser uses its own Blink rendering engine. Google would have to create a special Chrome app that would adhere to Microsoft's Store policies.

Most Windows 10 machines don't run Windows 10 S, so Google probably won't create a special version just to get its browser listed in the Windows Store. Google can't just package its existing desktop app into a Centennial Windows Store app, either. Microsoft is explicit about any store apps having to use the Edge rendering engine.

Related: Microsoft Adds Store App-Only Restriction as Option in Windows 10
New Windows 10 S Only Runs Software From Windows Store
Microsoft Knows Windows is Obsolete. Here's a Sneak Peek at Its Replacement.
First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced

Original Submission

Snapdragon 1000 ARM SoC Could Compete With Low-Power Intel Chips in Laptops 17 comments

'Snapdragon 1000' chip may be designed for PCs from the ground up

Qualcomm's Snapdragon 850 processor may be intended for PCs, but it's still a half step -- it's really a higher-clocked version of the same processor you'd find in your phone. The company may be more adventurous the next time, though. WinFuture says it has obtained details surrounding SDM1000 (possibly Snapdragon 1000), a previously hinted-at CPU that would be designed from the start for PCs. It would have a relatively huge design compared to most ARM designs (20mm x 15mm) and would consume a laptop-like 12W of power across the entire system-on-a-chip. It would compete directly with Intel's low-power Core processors where the existing 835 isn't really in the ballpark.

By comparison, the Snapdragon 850 has a maximum TDP of just 6.5 Watts.

A reference design for the chip includes 16 GB of LPDDR4X memory, 2 × 128 GB of UFS 2.1 internal storage, and Gigabit WLAN.

See also: Snapdragon-based Chromebook could rival always-connected PCs

Related: Windows 10 PCs Running on Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 to Arrive this Year
First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Snapdragon 845 Announced
Qualcomm's new Snapdragon 850 processor will arrive in Windows PCs this year

Original Submission

Microsoft Document Details Windows 10 on ARM Limitations 6 comments

Microsoft accidentally reveals Windows 10 on ARM limitations

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.

Also at Engadget and ZDNet.

Related: Big Changes Planned by Microsoft - Windows 10 on ARM, Laptops to Behave More Like Phones
First ARM Snapdragon-Based Windows 10 S Systems Announced
Microsoft Pulls Back on Windows 10 S

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:44PM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:44PM (#606380) Journal
    [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
  • (Score: 2) by Azuma Hazuki on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:55PM (10 children)

    by Azuma Hazuki (5086) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:55PM (#606389) Journal

    Basically, I'm asking the old spam/troll "but does it run Linux?" but being deathly serious about it. As ARM CPUs become more powerful we may reasonably expect to see them eat the lower end of the market; I would predict they'll kill most of the Atom line and maybe even the Core-m and Core-based Celerons, personally.

    And because they're not x86, and because ARM designs are all in-house, *what is to stop Microsoft from putting pressure on OEMs/ODMs to force a lockdown to Windows 10?* In other words, what is there to prevent MS from doing the equivalent of perma-locking Secure Boot into the "on" state?

    I am "that girl" your mother warned you about...
    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by takyon on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:59PM

      by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Wednesday December 06 2017, @08:59PM (#606396) Journal

      We'll also have to see whether the x86 emulation these things are supposed to have can survive the wrath of Intel, and what form the emulation will be in.

      [SIG] 10/28/2017: Soylent Upgrade v14 []
    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by frojack on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:12PM (2 children)

      by frojack (1554) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @09:12PM (#606408) Journal

      I think that ship has sailed.

      ARM sales are such that Microsoft has no leverage. The problem with Windows isn't X86. The problem is Windows.
      And ARM isn't going to help that.

      Also ARM designs are not all In-house. Its licensed everywhere. []
      Companies that have designed cores that implement an ARM architecture include Apple, AppliedMicro, Broadcom, Cavium (now: Marvell), Nvidia, Qualcomm, and Samsung Electronics.

      No, you are mistaken. I've always had this sig.
      • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:30PM

        by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:30PM (#606454)

        See my post below about UEFI on ARM.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Snotnose on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:43AM

        by Snotnose (1623) on Thursday December 07 2017, @12:43AM (#606497)

        This. When I worked for Qualcomm it was widely known that QC would take the VHDL from ARM, add sekrit sauce to it, and sell it back to ARM. The deets weren't known to lowly staff software engineers like me, and I never bothered asking about it, but it was well known within the company the licensing was a 2 way street.

        The journey of a thousand miles may begin with the first step being in a pile of doggie doo.
    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DannyB on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:29PM (5 children)

      by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @10:29PM (#606453)

      If I understand correctly, Microsoft CAN lock out other OSes on ARM systems.

      UEFI secure boot. See this [].

      In 2011, Microsoft announced that computers certified to run its Windows 8 operating system had to ship with secure boot enabled using a Microsoft private key. Following the announcement, the company was accused by critics and free software/open source advocates (including the Free Software Foundation) of trying to use the secure boot functionality of UEFI to hinder or outright prevent the installation of alternative operating systems such as Linux. Microsoft denied that the secure boot requirement was intended to serve as a form of lock-in, and clarified its requirements by stating that Intel-based systems certified for Windows 8 must allow secure boot to enter custom mode or be disabled, but not on systems using the ARM architecture. Windows 10 allows OEMs to decide whether or not secure boot can be managed by users of their x86 systems.

      So as ARM based systems take off, Linux may find itself excluded.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by LoRdTAW on Wednesday December 06 2017, @11:36PM (4 children)

        by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday December 06 2017, @11:36PM (#606472) Journal

        So as ARM based systems take off, Linux may find itself excluded.

        Not true as the brain damaged ARM-PC hybrid MS designed with UEFI is limited to MS infected hardware. So long as ARM licensees keep the fuck away from that Wintel disaster their chips will happily boot anything you ask them to. If you see UEFI or any other PC baggage on an ARM, run. Run far, far away.

        • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday December 11 2017, @03:02PM (3 children)

          by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @03:02PM (#608278)

          Yes. Agree.

          The problem is that ARM licensees might build systems pre-infected with Windows, and systems with open source. Now remember when netbooks first appeared. Existing Laptop OEMs decided to get in on the netbook fun. Microsoft did arm twisting: "if you dare to make a non-crippled netbook, then you might find bad things happen with your favorable OEM Windows License pricing. Just sayin', with love, Steve Ballmer."

          So an OEM might be subject to Microsoft extortion and arm twisting unless they don't make ANY systems that are pre-infected with Microsoft products.

          • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Monday December 11 2017, @03:27PM (2 children)

            by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @03:27PM (#608283) Journal

            I think Arm is relatively safe from the grips of MS as they are a small fraction of the overall market. They don't have the influence like they did with the IBM/PC Intel platform they were a part of since day 1. MS was thankfully late to that party meaning they don't have much say in it if any.

            • (Score: 2) by DannyB on Monday December 11 2017, @07:04PM (1 child)

              by DannyB (5839) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @07:04PM (#608385)

              MS is so "visionary" they almost missed the World Wide Web boat. And they completely missed the smartphone and mobile devices boat. When iPhone was announced, Steve "sweaty dancing monkey boy" Ballmer publicly laughed at the iPhone.

              But there are other Microsoft missteps as well. I remember back in the day of flip phones and candy-bar style brick phones. Google offered this neato Google 411 service. You call it, ask for a directory listing, and they gave it to you. Better than the existing Directory Assistance. And for FREE. Ballmer laughed at this and cited Google as not knowing how to run a business by giving away such a service for free.

              What was Google's strategy? To train their voice recognition models. Even if a human, behind the scenes, had to look up and type in the phone number(s) to return, this was training the voice recognition system for all types of speakers with all types of accents. Heh, heh.

              • (Score: 2) by LoRdTAW on Monday December 11 2017, @07:16PM

                by LoRdTAW (3755) Subscriber Badge on Monday December 11 2017, @07:16PM (#608390) Journal

                It's good that they made so many blunders as it finally smashed their grip on the computing market. Imagine if they didn't miss those boats(shudders)...

  • (Score: 1, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:22AM (1 child)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday December 07 2017, @02:22AM (#606566)

    So why would this be more successful than the Surface RT?

  • (Score: 2) by takyon on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:15PM

    by takyon (881) Subscriber Badge <reversethis-{gro ... s} {ta} {noykat}> on Thursday December 07 2017, @11:15PM (#607034) Journal