The 'cellular PC' revolution begins: full Windows 10 and desktop apps are coming to mobile ARM chips

Myerson Windows 10
Myerson Windows 10 (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

Microsoft just dropped a tech bombshell in Shenzhen, China, at the 2016 WinHEC conference: Windows 10 for PC – the full desktop version – is coming to mobile ARM processors in 2017.

Calling them "cellular PCs", Microsoft has managed to get the x86 code for the Windows 10 OS running on the ARM architecture — a phenomenal technological achievement. Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson revealed the news at WinHEC, and shared on the Windows Blog:

To deliver on our customers' growing needs to create on the go with PCs with cellular connectivity, power-efficient battery life, and flexible designs, we announced today Windows 10 is coming to ARM through our partnership with Qualcomm.

Qualcomm and Microsoft ushering in a new age

The hardware required for Windows 10 on ARM starts with the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 flagship SoC based on the 10nm FinFET process.

The new Snapdragon 835, which is already in production and expected in devices sometime in early 2017, features 27% higher performance while drawing 40% less power than the previous 14nm Snapdragon 820/821 SoCs.

The new silicon also features Quick Charge 4.0 tech, allowing for a five-minute charge to be enough for 4-5 hours of life for a phone, and up to 50% in 15 minutes.

Myerson made a point to tout the benefits of Windows 10 on ARM:

Hardware partners will be able to build a range of new thin, lightweight, power-efficient and always-connected Windows 10 PCs that run x86 Win32 and universal Windows apps

Full Access: x86 Win32 apps through emulation

It's not just the OS: Windows 10 on ARM will also run traditional x86 Win32 apps and games through emulation.

Users will be able to install any x86 Win32 app – unmodified – from any source, no repackaging as UWP or delivery via the Windows Store required. The apps are not sandboxed and they will have full access to the OS. Apple made a similar emulation feature when the Mac line switched from PowerPC to Intel processors, but Microsoft's move to support ARM is a magnitude more impressive.

To prove the power of the Snapdragon 835, Microsoft demoed a device easily running the full Adobe Photoshop app along with Microsoft Office. It's not just for apps either — the popular MMOG World of Tanks was demonstrated on stage being powered by ARM and Windows 10.

Managing data and eSIMs

Additionally, Windows 10 will gain support for so-called electronic SIMs (or eSIM). The eSIM technology lets users switch providers and plans without the hassle of getting a new physical SIM.

Carriers like AT&T, Etisalat, Deutsche Telekom, Orange, Vodafone, and Telefonica are a few examples in the US and Europe that are already using or adopting the tech.

The Windows Store will host these 4G LTE data plans, allowing users to purchase plans and manage their account without a clumsy browser or account login. Windows 10 for Desktop will also gain data management abilities for users to monitor and control what data channel apps use.

Coming in 2017

Microsoft expects new devices to run Windows 10 on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 sometime next year and that they will leverage touch, pen, and Windows Hello.

Windows 10 on ARM will be available for Enterprise and Consumer editions.

Finally, these devices are anticipated to be tablets, two-in-ones, and Ultrabook-like devices. While smartphones with this tech might be in the wings, Microsoft's not dropping any hints on that front today.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.

  • What about phone class phones?
  • It will come logically. Today's smartphones are more powerful than desktop PCs a few years ago. You'll have everything in one device, only display size differs.  
  • That's not true. Today's smartphones are a lot slower than any PC from up to 10 years ago.  The "quad core" or "hexa core" doesn't mean nothing, they are power saving CPUs with a lot less power than PC CPUs. Even laptops that come with i7 are 30-40% slower than the oldest i7 chip.
  • I agree with you in general, but I have 5 or 6 year old Dell XPS tower with an i7 that is slower than my new Dell Precision M6700 laptop, also with an i7. This is as determined by calculating pi with the same utility on each computer. There was quite a difference in favor of the laptop. I don't have the clock speed or number of cores handy, but it could be the laptop version has more cores and a faster clock speed.
  • Plus, the optimization is not only in the GHz.
  • They will likely want to make sure this works as it should in the real world. Once ARM devices running full Win 10 and x86 Win32 apps have been put through It's paces by the general public, we will likely see a Win 10 PC phone near the end of 2018. Anything sooner than that and it will be a done deal on the phone front. Making sure that this works well is key to MS getting back into the smartphone business. I'm looking forward to a Surface branded Windows 10 cellular PC. With all the rumored and verified hype behind Redstone 2 & 3 we should see some some pretty amazing Mobile devices.
  • Totally agree to what you said. This shouldn't be a 'half baked' experience. If they are doing this, it has to be done perfectly otherwise it'll be an opportunity lost and Google's Chrome OS might beat Microsoft at their own game.
    But knowing Satya Nadella, he is gonna make sure this will WORK.
    consumers used to mock his 'mobile first and cloud first' idea and I'll be honest, i did too but this is a complete 180° he's pulled off and I'm loving it ! :)
  • This also indicates that Qualcomm has made the ARMs chips closer if not equivalent and in range of some Intel chips which then make's this possible.
  • Guys, when this comes to phones...are our Lumia 950 going to be supported?
  • Im guessing all new processors only
  • Yea they really should've mentioned that in the article /s
  • Im pretty sure that it hasn't been announced yet which devices will be supported
  • I just pray we don't get left behind again.
  • It's not "getting left behind" it's choosing to stay behind or not being able to move forward for any one of many possible reasons....I'm really glad I bought my 950 when I did because by the time this comes out on any sort of phone I will be ready to upgrade, I'm thinking in 2018 not 2017. I don't see how you could expect it to just work on much older hardware tbh
  • I phone has a Life cycle of around 2 years before you upgrade. If new tech after 2 years opens up the possibility for new features you are not been left behind just because your phone isn't getting those features! And any way! Windows 10 devices have some of the best support in the industry!
  • Demo show snadragon 820 and 4 gb ram. I am guessing ARM would need more than 2gb ram to run (because of emulation maybe). And besides if lumia 950 was to get this, all of the storage will be used up by windows OS. And i think it should be more than normal size  of windows. And 3rd thing is, "Finally, these devices are anticipated to be tablets, two-in-ones, and Ultrabook-like devices​" maybe its not coming for phones anyways.
  • Really! That's the Idol 4S Hardware! It's also got 64GB Internal Memory... Perhaps this will be one of the first devices to run full Windows! ^.^
  • @Dawood Ahmed; The Snapdragon 835 is a processor that will be in Android phones and will open the path for OEMs to build Windows( smartphones, tablets, and any device on up to the point if you need an Intel processor.
  • Does your current arm power device have a Qualcomm 835?
  • Well, you're sort of right since those devices don't exist yet.
    "The hardware required for Windows 10 on ARM starts with the recently announced Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 flagship SoC based on the 10nm FinFET process."
    I don't know what's so difficult about understanding that sentence.
  • yeah! but at the same time the demo they showed was running on a qualcomm SD 820 very smoothly. so why not give the 950/950xl proccessors the test too see!
  • Where did they mention it was an SD 820?
  • Watch the video. When he went to properties.
  • Cheers, have taken a look now.
  • And they only run certain softwares.  First, It is like Continuum and so nothing too surprising about smooth. He runs MS edge, films and tv, Photoshop, World of tanks Blitz and MS word. All these have a UWP version (except MS word) and MS word was available on ARM processors of Surface RT. I think these old processors cant emulate other programs very well. And new processors have something in the harware to make it possible. 
  • Watch the video, it was an SD20 device
  • "Poor" x3 owners ...
  • It says the new technology will require the new SnapDragon 835. So that's basically saying, this will only happen on new to-be-released phones with the SD835. Which makes sense, can't expect older hardware to efficiently run new groundbreaking software ability :p
  • I'm pretty sure
  • I'm pretty sure the Qualcomm 835 was specified
  • Video shows on a 820 though
  • IIRC they said its hardware based, which means its going to need the new snapdragon 835 chips and newer.
  • So funny.
  • Not likely, as they needed the newest ARM processor to make this happen. However, we may some new features that can be supported by current hardware. I'm not counting on x86 app virtualization on the 950 series. Then again, who knows what MS will do, when it comes to that. They have been working on refining Windows 10 to work on ARM. Maybe, just maybe...they will allow something to work. Only time will tell.
  • ITS ALREADY SAYS 835 not 821 and below, if you cant understand that then you NEED to buy a DUMBPHONE
  • Someone didn't bother to watch the video...
  • Stupid comment from a reader. Watch the ******' video dummy.
  • Thank God I didn't buy the 950xl I was considering. I'll hold on to my 640xl till the Snapdragon 835 phone arrives.
  • You can wait for a very very long time now. A 950 is a perfect buy right now.
  • Kenzibit, Funny! You know your not getting supported. its another "retrench". Microsoft and Nadellas nice catchphrase for REBOOT! AGAIN.....
  • Does your 950 have the new Qualcomm 835 inside?
  • @kenzibit; The article did state "Qualcomm Snapdragon 835".
  • I think Microsoft will concentrate on this ARM version for Surface Mobile and Windows 10 Mobile will be used by other OEMs for regular smartphones. I hope Microsoft will improve all versions (x86, ARM, ARM Mobile) equally.
  • if u havent realized, after years, microsoft is switching from the phone form factor to more moblie
  • Wow. Good number of article updates from WC came through. All of them great news
  • Holy ****!
  • you can say that again
  • Holy crap! 
  • Holy ****! There, i said it for all fans. Haha.
  • OMFG!!!! This can't be real. DAT SURFACE PHONE IS COMING!!!
  • If I can get a Surface Phone/Device that looks like the tablet/phone the engineers use on Westworld, that's all I'll need. 
  • You should think bigger.  I see a world where everyone is wearing a Hololens or similar device rather than carrying a tablet/phone around.
  • Believe me, when that time comes, i'll be ready, but in the meantime...
  • Bang! Right on the money. Display will mean glasses, computer will mean phone and input devices will be voice and hands.
  • OMG, DAMNnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn
  • I'll come back to a Windows phone once this happens. Been a long break..
  • From a Cowboys fan, "We'll leave the door open for ya!"
  • Hope to see ARM tablets with Windows 10.
  • I guarantee this will replace the base model Surface Pros in the Future
  • Yeah ironically we'll probably see the return of the Surface RT in the future. That being said, I'd personally still rather have an Intel Atom powered surface but since Intel is gutting their Atom line of chips, I guess ARM is the only place to go for the low end. I wonder how this will affect the HoloLens going into the future since it's also powered by Intel's Atom chip?
  • That is an incredibly good question!!
  • Well, it's Surface RT but not really Surface RT...  The ability to run x86 apps makes a world of difference! And yeah, I had the same thoughts about what would happen to the Hololens.  Since it's a special Atom chip, maybe Intel would continue to produce for Microsoft?
  • Excellent question! Btw. as far as I remember, Intel only dropped the SKUs aimed at mobile. They left the door open for tablets running Atom so it is not totally out of the question that an Atom based tablet could be released. But this gives us and OEMs more choice and that is a good thing.
  • Remember HoloLens is a mobile device, it has the same goals as smartphones from a performance and battery consumption point of view. So Qualcomm's integration goals perfectly match HoloLens' goals. HoloLens is built on two parts.
    ​First is the software, Windows Holographic, which are libraries and services for real-world & user understanding. Basically processing the sensors data to provide higher level room meshes, gestures recognition, anchored positionning,... This is probably mostly C++ and C# code, and should be ported to ARM without too much trouble.
    ​Second is the hardware, and as they only support UWP apps for now, the CPU isn't very important. The HPU and sensors are the big investment there, it does the heavy lifting (offloading the positionning and regognition from the CPU), and they can probably just as easily be connected to an ARM CPU. ​HoloLens v2 probably will use an updated version of their HPU, and use ARM64 as its CPU, this could provide improved battery life and better mobile integration (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cell integrated), which also helps with miniaturisation. They don't even need to include the x86 compatibility emulation as running native ARM64 UWP apps is perfectly acceptable and probably better for performances and battery life.
    ​So if anything, having a 64-bit Windows running on ARM is probably a good thing for HoloLens' future, as well as for every future stand-alone Windows Holographic headsets (like Intel Alloy), and later, holographic smartglasses.
  • Actually, Intel will be stepping up their act as well. That Surface Pro could be sporting a very powerful Intel processor.
  • Hope they'll also allow ISVs to provide ARM versions of desktop apps if they want to to avoid emulation overhead, probably improving battery life and performances.
  • Cross compiling for ARM might not even be necessary if your Win32 app is built on the .Net Framework and you compiled for AnyCPU. Thanks to the JIT compiler, it might work fantasically right out of the box!
  • So they will abandon old customers again.
  • Yup, this worked already on the Surface RT.
  • Just use the UWP model then? Win32 was only ever able to be compiled for x86 (purely a rules thing, not an actual technical limitation)
  • I don't see any reason not to allow ARM compilation of Win32 desktop app with a compiler update.
    I'm already cross-compiling and distributing different versions for x86 and x64, and used to also provide IA64... not to mention the number of different CPUs I used to compile for for my Windows CE software, also Win32. Providing native ARM would be very easy if they just unlock the compiler and support it in MSI.
  • You could already compile WIn32 Apps for ARM and run on Surface RT.
  • Not true, a number of architectures have been supported over the years including DEC Alpha and Itanium. I think there was even a Mips version at one point.
  • For anyone curious... Windows NT 3.51 and 4.0 were running on x86, Alpha, MIPS and PowerPC.
    ​Newer versions dropped support for these alternative architectures when they became less relevant, but gained IA64 (Itanium) and x64 (AMD64).
    A64 also became irrelevant, but more recently they added ARM32 and apparently soon ARM64.
    This is all thanks to the original portable design of NT, which probably helped for the Xbox 360 (PowerPC-based), and ARM support time-to-market. Windows CE has been running on x86, ARM32, ARM32 Thumb, StrongARM/XScale, SH3, SH4 (SuperH), MIPS (3000 & 4000), PowerPC.

    ​So yeah, Win32 definitely isn't limited to x86.
    NT is designed for portability, and the API itself isn't architecture-dependent and can even be implemented on another kernel, Windows 9X and Windows 3.x+Win32s were originally running the Win32 API on top of MS-DOS, and Windows CE basically has a Win32-based kernel instead of the specific NT Native API one.
  • You forgot Windows 8 RT. It has all the necessary Win32 libs onboard. With a little hack on the compiler side (because it was never officially supported by MS) you could compile Win32 Apps for ARM with a simple button press. And of course .Net app with "CPU any" directly run under Windows 8 RT (provided they do not use WPF). 
  • Didn't forget it, Windows RT 8.x is the consumer name for Windows NT running on ARM32.

    Unfortunately it probably won't be compatible with these new Windows 10 ARM devices even if they remove the signature check in the loader, because it was 32-bit while the new one is 64-bit (running on ARM64). Applications compiled for 64-bit Windows on ARM64 (new Windows 10 devices) won't run on 32-bit Windows on ARM32 (old Windows RT devices). And unless ARM64 CPUs have ARM32 compatibility and Windows 10 has a layer like WOW64 to support binaries for that target, 64-bit Windows on ARM64 won't be able to run 32-bit applications compiled for ARM32. This is very unlikely to happen as such a layer not only requires a development effort only to support applications that were officially not supported on Windows RT, but also because it increases the size of the OS by having 32-bit versions of most system binaries.
  • And Apple is sitting dead in the water! LOL
  • really? haven't you read?? They have a touchbar!!
  • It's funny, I've heard some call that touchbar "revolutionary".  Uhmmm, the whole OLED screen on my new laptop is touch enabled!
  • Judging by the sales figures, apple is doing JUST FINE. This is all talk...just like ALOT of things from the Nadella led team.
  • While sales wise, they are doing just fine, but on the technological innovation side of things, they have a lot of catching up to do. People GENERALLY buy what they're convinced to buy or are used to using. If the commercial makes it look great, then they're going for it. We will see how things pan out shortly with this ARM and full Windows thing. I for one can't wait either way!
  • @Steve You mean on phones. Everything else Apple is down. Their watch sales are even >50% down. And it will get worse and worse in 2018. Be prepared to defend Apple a lot more in the future :)
  • Yes, It has BEGUN, the death of Windows Phone has been greatly exaggerated!!
  • Lol Windows Phone will remain dead. ARM chips can't run x86 Windows Programs.
  • I guess in your eagerness to post a snarky comment, you skipped reading the article eh.
  • I guess you didn't either? Or you don't know what emulation means?
  • These apps definitely need emulation but kernel on both devices is same so only user-mode emulation is required and user-mode emulation have very less impact on performance or they can use binary translation at installation time, in that case there will be no performance overhead at all at run-time
  • Installation time translation works only if MS controls the installation, which isn't true on desktop. Anywho, will be interesting to see how well it works, and if it will bring better 8" devices (or other).
  • Emulation or not it can still do it. My Xbox one runs 360 games on it by emulation and I can't tell the difference by sight. By your logic my Xbox one can't play 360 games. Different ways to do it, same end result.
  • Technicality...  But if the experience to the user is transparent, what difference does it make???
  • You've official won retard of the day award
  • Well I still don't have a perpetual degree in that like you but I'll make an effort to reach your level.
  • DJCBS, guess you didnt watch the video of Full x86 Adobe running on an a SnapDragon.. Let me help you out with an example, My Xbox One runs Xbox 360 games through EMULATION just as good as my PowerPC enabled Xbox 360...hope that helps
  • Don't bother trying. DJCBS had always had some sort of blinded hatred for either MS or at the very least, WP/Win10m. You can place all the evidence infront of him and he'll brush it away with a ignorant biased "it'll never work" even if there's evidence it does work. Let him enjoy having a biased ignorant view. Doesn't effect anyone else. Also DJCBS last year you bet with me that MS would have gutted and stopped Win10Mobile development by now. You going to admit you was incredibly wrong? Or you gunna renew that bet for another year? :)
  • Now that you mentioned emulation on the XBOX One, I'm wondering if that was the stepping stone to what we're hearing now.
  • Whatever your weird beliefs are, they are rendered moot by both the article and the video above. Apparently Microsoft isn't as narrow-minded as you, thankfully, and have indeed achieved running full x86 programs on ARM.
  • ignorance is bliss I suppose.
  • QuickCharge 4!? I can't be buying new ones all the time.
  • yes you can, I know you can! :)
  • Heh. 800$ Surface Phone, 300$ for 10 new chargers, Satya smiling from ear to ear, priceless
  • sell a kidney and a lung? ;)
  • You in the market?
  • no, looking to sell mine too for the goodies that are coming ;)
  • Anyone else remember this old Building Windows 8 blog post? (Written by our old friend Steven Sinofsky in 2012 of Surface RT infamy) ... This was before "Windows on ARM" was renamed to "Windows RT" and the announcement of the Surface RT. Running Windows on ARM has been in the works, and in the wild on the Surface RT and other devices, for a long, long time. Good stuff.
  • Hope price of Windows with arm PCs is comparable to chrome books
  • Microsoft makes free Windows 10 and versions of Office available to OEMS for devices under 10" and there are larger devices similarly priced so it's safe to say someone will.
  • Oh my god!!! Is this the real life?
  • Windows RT has returned!
  • Now all that's left to do is incorporate this into Windows 10 Mobile and launch a Surface Phone that contains a true Windows 10 desktop.
  • This sounds nuts but I'm looking forward to what comes from it, whoa.
  • I can't wait for reasonable prices on windows 10 phone. Kind of tired paying $850+ for my idevice. 
  • I mean it will still be just as expensive if not more since you'd be paying for full windows 10 licensing and a bigger hard drive.
  • Oooh. Could we see Surface 4 with this?
  • I wish some developer could find a way to showcase big windows on a phone just to give us an idea even if Microsoft secretly paid them under the table to do it lol
  • I must say I normally hold myself back from commenting or sharing my thoughts to the world but I feel the urge of doing so at this moment after reading and watching the article and video especially to address Microsoft and the technology world. My comment may sound extreme and exaggerated but this is my personal opinion and insight in general.   
    I'm extremely ecstatic and blown away by the technology Microsoft has developed and will develope in the future. They've shown to the world their true potential with everything they have now and more in the future. I believe and admire Samsung, Apple, Google, and other tech companies of their potential, innovation, as well as their commitment as they're admirable companies. With Microsoft, I also feel the same way but at a much passionate and higher level of admiration and trust that they will lead the way. Even though the technology we have now is already truly amazing, it's really only scratching the surface and I can't wait for these companies to keep pushing boundaries! Technology is truly life changing and thanks to the like of all these technology company, life continues to prosper, grow, evolve, and change for the better. Kudos to everyone! -C
  • Mind = blown.
  • The question is will it run Battlefield 1?
  • Or World of Warcraft?
  • theoretically it should but the power both of them need is a bit higher compaired to World of Tanks I suppose.
  • The demo in the video used the Snapdragon 820 and not the 835, unless my eyes have deceived me.
  • I noticed that too but since it's only in production, I think the OS doesn't recognize the newer version/name of the chip... Unless I'm wrong, I'm even more exciting but afraid not :)
  • Just because they used the 820 for testing purposes doesn't mean they will allow any devices older than the 835 to use windows 10 on arm.
  • Microsoft is demoing it in the video on an 820 and the HP Elite x3 has the Qualcomm MSM8996 Snapdragon 820... Sure would be nice is they throw Insiders a bone and curious how it would preform (if it can) on a Snapdragon 810 for the 950XL.
  • Don't forget they are talking about tablets, laptops etc. at this point. If it comes to Mobile phones (when it does) there needs to be a way to run the W10 Mobile OS when not connected to a display. A phone running the PC Desktop at all times would be crap.
  • I'm really excited about this news, but just a little skeptical about the performance though :-( Will this really perform like say, a Core M3 at least?? Or will this just be another slightly-better-than-Atom-like performance? If it performs as well as a Core M3, at a fraction of the price, it is a true game-changer!!
  • When running native code (e.g. ARM code) these devices should perform somwhere between the fastest Atoms and Core M3...most likely very close to M3. In emualtion mode they should be quite a bit slower than Atom of course. Thing is of course, that emulation is just an enabler. More and more programs will be available as native ARM apps over time.
  • Native ARM apps in Windows 10 is UWP apps though, for most of us (I know you can compile ARM native code and using W10 api for ui etc but who want to go there)
  • I am afraid that the demo is an terminal emulation, with a stronger pc remotely behind. The Elite x3 provide such service.
  • Correct me if I'm wrong but with the hp, it's a paid service which is expensive and and can not be justified for the end user unless they are enterprise or IT whereas this is more consumer level.  May be wrong.  
  • Actually, at 1:01:10 of the full Keynote, Cristiano Amon, Executive Vice President at Qualcomm and President of Qualcomm CDMA Technologies states that the engineering device being used in the demo as he holds up the HP's Elite x3, states it's the same exact chipset and device.
  • our dream will come to reality! ohhh yeah!
  • Don't hold you breath.....!
  • And finally its happening. This is something I've "dreamed of" for so many years. Can't believe we will be able from next year to have literally a cap le PC in our pockets... So wtf will we call them? Cellular PCs isn't fun or cool enough for the magnitude of this evolution I think.
  • Holy s*** balls. Here we go folks!
  • Why would consumers want to have Windows 10 desktop on a smartphone?
  • Not just smartphones, phablet and arm tablets
  • because Continuum.
  • They won't want it when using it as a phone. But this would be very good when connected via Continuum for a lot of people. They aren't talking about this on phones yet, and I think there's a lot more work to do for it to be a good consumer experience. It needs the Mobile OS when using it as a phone, nobody wants to try and run Photoshop on a 6" phone - They'll release this on other devices way before it comes to a phone
  • It's not necessarily consumers yet, but it's businesses. Instead of providing workers with a work phone, work laptop and office desktops, give them a monitor and a phone that can do it all just as well and keep things moving fluidly between environments. The phone connected to any screen brings a complete desktop experience to that monitor. The desktop wouldn't appear on the phone itself, the phone would just output it. It might not be there yet, this is still early days, but if this catches on in the future it means your digital working environment can flow with you everywhere and anywhere spontaneously.
  • What about mobile application ,Like WhatsApp and others...
  • If there was a UWP version then yes it would run it
  • We clearly didn't see that coming This quick of course. **** smartphones. MSFT really proved it can reinvent things in the true meaning, NO MORE SURFACE PHONE.... SURFACE GO/MOBILE is what i want :D
  • But can it run Crysis?
  • Probably! I'll test it when I get it :D If not, it'd probably be able to stream xbox one games (y)
  • This is HUGE!!!!  I hope this will bring users back to the Windows platform.  Congrats to MSFT for achieving this!!
  • The last time MS introduced Windows on ARM, Windows 8 RT, it got Intel scared stiff. Intel duly sent out their improved Atom x86 chip that compete with ARM on both price and performance. That killed Windows RT and Intel duly decided to cease producing the affordable Atom processors. Looks like history is repeating itself for Intel.
  • The funny thing is, I think Intel sped up the development of this when they scrapped the Atom processor.  What would Microsoft use for their Surface 3 replacement?  This might be the answer. I don't think Intel has anything to worry about though.  For Desktops and high powered laptops, Intel processors still reign supreme.    
  • If the 820 can do it the question is can the 810 of the L950xl do it? Is it that every time a new feature comes one has to replace your device? It is childish that enthusiasts' move easily from lumia device to device then the idol then the HP elite and now the mirage of the surface... I would have changed phones every two months!. The
    feature should be backwards compatible to allow the remaining Windows Mobile fans to support it.
  • No
  • INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!!!!! 
  • It's nice to hear that Vodafone is in this. I work there, and everybody is like "nah eSIMs are still just a thing of the future. The closest thing to this now is the Alcatel Plus 10 LTE 2in1 / tablet, but I guess it still works with a nano sim, and is powered by an x86 or x64 processor. Btw, I wish I chose it as my employee tablet instead of the iPad Air 2, but it only became available after I submitted the request for the iPad. Don't get me wrong, the iPad is also good, but I'm a huge Windows fan after all. Owning two Windows phones and a Windows laptop proves it I think :D But I'll get a similar device as the Alcatel anyway, because I can't help myself :D
  • Not really random. ALOT of people own way more devices than that and still dislike MS's handling of mobile.
  • Throw an Xbox 360 in the mix, because I forgot it. Is this enough now? xD
  • HA HA, NO. I don't have time to list all the MS powered stuff I have / had/ and still MS botched mobile in a massive way. No way around it.
  • Anyway, I just said I'm a huge Windows fan :D And that's true. One thing I learned using my iPad is that I don't feel at home while using anything other than Windows 10.
  • So basically it will be what everybody thought Windows RT would be.
  • And then shitcanned in 1 year when it fails....just like RT! ha ha ha ha.
  • I am guessing that it MAY say Qualcomm 820 under System Properties, but the OS may not be correctly configured for detecting that it's an 835 (CPU ID string detection). The OS may run on an 8xx processor for UWP support, but it may require the virtualization feature of the 835 and higher to do the x86 emulation/translation.
  • It was a dev kit with 820 not 835. 
  • Surface 5 devices to use ARM instead of Intel processors, then?
  • I think for now, the Surface Pro 5 devices will be Intel and the Surface 5 devices will be ARM.
  • This is amazing news, really exciting to see what the manufactures and Ms can do with this.
  • Windows-10 Mobile ist tot. Lang lebe Windows-10 Mobile PC.
  • Hopefully this is why there has not been a Surface 4 (non-pro) announced.   Fingers crossed for a Snapdragon 835 powered Surface 4.
  • alll that sound surface phone 
  • I am thrilled! Mannnn~~~~ I'm thrilled...
  • This will be huge for Windows Mobile/Phone.  If you can install the full operating system on a phone you not only get the PC in your pocket experience, but now the the full Windows 10 app ecosystem is available for your phone.  This will greatly reduce the app gap.
  • In what way will this help remove the app gap? This is Windows RT all over again.... nothing has changed.
  • It is not windows RT all over again.  This wil be the full operating system on ARM.  not Win mobile or Win RT.  It helps remove the app gap because instead of loading windows mobile only apps on your phone you can get apps from the Windows 10 PC store, wich means access to a lot more apps,
  • Yes. Windows RT is Windows 8 on ARM. Now Windows 10 RT has got win32 desktop apps emulator. But Pokemon go still doesn't work on Windows 10.
  • Who needs Pokemon Go when you can play Dota, WoW ;p
  • So its a mess then. This will run but that wont. If we are to have "true" Windows on a mobile device, it has to act like a "true" windows machine. We are entering the same mess we had with RT, hey, its Windows but not really.
  • Does this mean that I will be able to run Blue Stacks on my WP phone?
  • So you expect to run a emulated version of android to an emulated version of windows to a first generation CPU who does that ! Loooong Shot
  • Goodbye W10M. Hello Windows 10 Phone. W10M is officially dead, no current phones will work with W10 for Arm.
  • Doesn't mean W10M is dead though, does it? Just means it's moving on.
  • Didn't you watch Lost...Its dead.
  • Game! Changed!
  • W10M is the new Windows, YEESSS!
  • If I can run the full desktop Outlook (not the app) then im a very happy chappy indeed
  • Big blow to Intel.
  • In what way?  Microsoft still has to implement this on their phones which have nearly nil marketshare.  Intel's demise has been in the coming for well over a decade.  Still waiting, and will continue waiting into the distant future.  And considering Intel has a solid collaboration going with the Surface line... Might even help them out with marketing of some variety. 
  • Just curious. In video it's mentioned it runs x64 version of W10 Enterprise. So how is it, it runs on 64bit ARM processors, supports 32 or 64 bit applications?
  • Listen carefully, it's not the "x64 version of Windows 10 Enterprise", but "64-bit Windows 10 Enterprise", meaning this is Windows on ARM64, not x64.
    ​They didn't provide much details yet, but that means it can at least run 64-bit ARM applications, and they mention their emulation technology makes it possible to run x86 applications, which are 32-bit (you can see them flagged as 32-bit in the Task Manager at 0:34 in the video).
    ​It is however not clear if 32-bit ARM applications are also supported (like WOW64 enables x86 apps on x64 Windows), and is very unlikely to support x64 applications at all as that would be a complete new instruction-set to emulate.
  • Really? The instruction set for 32 and 64 bit of x86 is the same? It's just memory addressing that differs? or?
  • It's not only the address space, that's only a consequence of the added 64-bit instructions. x64 (AMD64) can execute x86 instructions natively even when running x64 code at the same time, but the instructions are not the same.
    ​Even when instructions look similar from the outside, the 64-bit version take 64-bit operands every time a memory address is passed, making the actual instruction different from its 32-bit counterpart. Add to that the new 64-bit registers (doubling the number of registers), 64-bit arithmetic and logical operations, 64bit precision​ SSE instructions,...
    So x64 really is a huge superset on top of x86. ​x86 code cannot jump into x64 code and execute as if nothing changed, even calling conventions are different.
    So Windows x64 includes side-by-side versions of all its commonly used dlls and some other components, which are loaded instead of the x64 versions when requested by an x86 application. Basically only a few 64-bit system dlls can be loaded by a 32-bit process (Ntdll.dll​, Wow64.dll, Wow64Win.dll, Wow64Cpu.dll), to provide the thunking from 32-bit environment to 64-bit kernel.
    ​Even in-proc COM components have to provide both x64 and x86 versions of their binaries if they want to be available to both x64 and x86 processes. This is the reason Microsoft still recommend installing Office x86 on Windows x64, as most Office add-ins are x86 only. If you look at your \System32\​ folder, you'll see the x64 binaries for system dlls (and some other components), and you'll find the same libraries in \SysWOW64\​ but targetting x86.
    Same goes for 3rd party components, software that provide components for both x86 and x64 will have to copy the two versions of their files to "\Program Files\" and "\Program Files (x86)\". Most software will only install to either one of these, assuming that you'll only want x64 when running on Windows x64, but that means any component they provide won't be available from x86 software running on the same computer.
  • Ok this is obviously awesome news and may potentially mean a "surface phone" device eventually, but for right now the article says it's targetted for ultraportables, 2-in-1s, and tablets. Suppose this was out right now and you had a choice between say a regular surface/surface pro and a surfaces/surface pro with an ARM processor, what would you pick and why? In other words, what would be the advantage/disadvantage for both choices? I was thinking about this and kind of became unsure of why I would want to pick windows 10 for ARM over regular windows 10 if I am buying a tablet/ultraportable/2-in-1. Like for a phone it makes complete sense to go ARM considering there is no intel processor equivalent anyways, but when it's closer to a laptop/pc it gets fuzzier for me. I hope my questioning makes sense here! Secondary terms of the long term plan, is it to support both intel AND ARM processors? Or would it eventually be a shift towards one side. Edit: I guess an obvious advantage of ARM is the power saving/battery and data connectivity (without having to have a LTE chip). Also, looking at some other comments and now just reading the other WC article about how this can fight chromebooks, I guess ARM would be lower end devices for people who don't need really powerful computers. Look at me answering my own questions, haha
  • This is a game change.
  • ARM and Intel chipsets cost more or less the same, the advantage is arm power efficiency.
  • Intel doesn't offer an x86 chip that includes cellular, wifi, Bluetooth, accelerometer, orientation, gyroscope and fingerprint last time I checked...
  • Cost more or less the same?  So a Snapdragon 820 processor is over 1500 dollars?  Or are we looking at the mere 6700k which clocks in at a lower 350+ dollars?     Or are we looking at the literal Intel chipsets which is decidely lower since it isn't really a CPU? 
  • Folks Emulation software to many folks has not been as fast or smooth as the original Hardware/software platform. Therefore the X86- Win32 Inte hardware/software platform will not go away too soon but it is nice that this new Microsoft Emulation software sems to be working quick & smoothly enough to be useful. let's hope it get's even better. I bet we will seel some prototypes at CES 2017 for people to give a few basic fast test run with
  • There are different ways to achieve emulation, and they gained a lot of knowledge when working on Xbox 360 Backward Compatibility on the Xbox One.
    ​I wouldn't be suprised if they used install-time or first-run opcode translation to improve runtime performance. You can think of it as an x86 binary image to ARM recompiler.
  •   It just needs to work as well as 68k emulation on PowerPC, which was pretty good, but nothing spectacular.  Emulation is going to end up being for legacy apps where the developer won't recompile. Most developers are going to recompile.  
  • So, this likely pushes out any 'Surface Mobile Device' to approx 2018, no?   
  • Why? Seems to me like its even more for sure that a late 2017 surface phone will be launched.
  • Is this version of Office the ARM version that runs on RT or is it the x86 version?
  • They don't mention clearly if their demo of Office 2016 is an ARM or an x86 version.
    Technically both are possible, but running x86 is more likely even if that introduces a performance hit simply because many enterprises have x86 add-ons they want to use.
    They could however provide both and let users choose, just like today you can choose to install the x86 or the x64 version of Office on Windows x64 depending on wether you prefer 64-bit improvements (like huge sheets in Excel), or x86 add-ins compatibility.
  • Excel 32bit is the recommended install to have max compatibility with add-ons and all features. 64bit is for those working with large data sets also both cannot be installed on the same system, the last time I read to do an install.
  • Explains why Softbank bought ARM for £24B in August
  • Interesting idea! But will it be able to run any apps(x86)? I mean do the devs have to change their codes in their apps in order to do this?
  • As said in the article... no no modifications needed.
    "Users will be able to install any x86 Win32 app – unmodified – from any source, no repackaging"
    You didn't bother to read...?
  • Hey, you seem to be knowledable on the matter. Do you think devs will have to make any modifications to their code in order to run win32 apps on this? Thanks..     /s
  • No changes required. But the apps are probably going to have huge performance overhead due to emulation. Probably would be better to make code tweaks.
  • Does it mean that by mid-2017, people will be able to manage their iPhones using these cellular PC's? :) Well, I would like to know what those Apple guys will say to this idea. ;)
  • Very much enjoyed watching the clock flip forwards and backwards in time. Curious as to why it took three minutes for Edge to launch...
  • Doesn't mean it took three minutes. Have you ever done video editing before? The only thing I saw suspicious was that the clock was indeed sped up by a short time in the Photoshop launch. Between app launches is just prep time or them cutting out dead time in the video as they looked over the parameters of their next demonstration. If anything it shows there are actual humans operating the thing.
  • Intel couldn't do it :)
  • As much I like this idea I wonder what would happen to the Lumia 950 and 950 XL and anything before that using Windows Mobile 10.
  • waaahaaa... I wan't the new Windows phone, not the PC! Tired of my low on apps Lumia phone. I just want a 4.7" Win10 phone, faster with all apps available. Is that too much too ask?
  • Emulation is always at least 2x slower than running natively.  This is DOA and another half baked idea...
  • And another person who thinks their narrow opinion matters.
  • Programs copiled for x86 architecture can be recompiled for ARM architecture and run without emulation. For example Putty has already done that.  
  • The 32 bit programs are being emulated in  current 64 bit processors and they are not noticeably slower. I think this is a good holding strategy for a starting point to put the apps at the forefront. The hardware improvements can then be ironed out along the way not the other way round. Running adobe photoshop is no mean feat on the 835. Nearly everything else is less processor/graphics intensive.
  • Give me this solution to dock my phone into a desktop dock with an external GPU for more demanding games, and computer processing and we truly have the future of mobile computing. 
  • Does this mean my Surface RT will finally get that Win10 update?
  • No. Perhaps you should read the article.
  • This is where Microsoft is heading !! project your screen on laptop form factor and experience, a complete windows 1O.
  • So x86 apps on arm will only work on qualcomm cpus, or other arm chips also?