Windows on ARM is about to get a lot better thanks to a new move from Microsoft.
The Redmond, Washington-based company will allow developers to create 64-bit ARM (ARM64) apps. Thanks to an update of Microsoft’s Visual Studio 15.9, developers can now recompile existing win32 or Universal Windows Apps to run natively on Windows 10 on ARM hardware.
Ultimately, users should expect an improvement in 64-bit app performance — as along as developers recompile their apps.
Windows on ARM progressed steadily over the past year. Despite the progress, there are still some big issues. Namely, performance and app compatibility. The later should improve with ARM64 support.
Windows 10 also includes an emulation layer for x86 apps that run on ARM processors. Currently, it’s the way you’ll experience most desktop apps on a Windows on ARM machine. Unfortunately, emulation isn’t the best way to do things. If developers recompile their apps to run natively using ARM64, performance will likely increase.
While improving Windows on ARM is great for Microsoft, Intel will be feeling the pressure. As the company wrestles with its 10nm chip technology, competitors are closing the gap.
ARM says its Cortex-A76 chip design will have laptop-level performance that competes with Intel’s Kaby Lake range when it arrives in 2019.
Additionally, Apple’s in-house A12X chip in the iPad Pro is surprisingly competitive, surpassing the Surface Pro 6 with an 8th generation Intel CPU in benchmarks.
Ultimately, it looks like more support for ARM on Windows could lead manufacturers to ditch Intel for other processors from companies like Qualcomm.