The path to a Surface phone is clearer than ever with Windows 10 on ARM

Microsoft's announcement of Windows 10 on ARM is a momentous occasion. Companies like Apple have been rumored since 2012 to be working on bringing macOS to ARM. Even just weeks before the MacBook Pro refresh rumors were swirling that Apple's new laptops were ARM based. Yet it is Microsoft who is the first to do it for real (and not just for a Touch Bar).

To be clear, Windows 10 on ARM is about PCs and not phones. Nonetheless, the prospect that these two systems will come together is feasible. Here is how a Surface "phone" could happen, but first some background on why ARM even matters.

x86-64 versus ARM

ARM is the architecture used in modern smartphones. Whether it's Apple's A10 Fusion chip or Qualcomm's Snapdragon line, these processors are all based on the ARM architecture. ARM differs significantly from x86 and x64, which is what Intel chips like ATOM, Core M, and Core i are based, as well as AMD's processors.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 on x86-64. They share OneCore and UWP, but there's a yawning gulf between the architectures.

Windows 10 Mobile runs on ARM; Windows 10 for PC runs on x86-64. Both share OneCore and UWP as their center of overlap. The difference is also why you cannot run x86 Win32 apps on your phone. Architecture matters.

Because ARM was made to be efficient for small batteries and reduced thermal loads, it's ideal for smartphones and slim tablets.

Historically, ARM chips were significantly less powerful than desktop-class x86 processors. That's been changing in the last few years. Apple's A10 Fusion chip, found in the iPhone 7, is often compared in performance to the 2013 MacBook Air — which sported a 1.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor.

So, if ARM's so fantastic, why not just put your desktop OS on it? The task requires a tremendous amount of engineering and work. Microsoft, evidently, has finished it. Apple is likely still working on something.

Why it's a big deal

The ability to run a full PC operating system on a tablet, two-in-one, or laptop powered by ARM has been the dream. Battery life in such a device gains a few hours with excellent thermals. The PC is now always connected to the internet. It can also be thinner and lighter than any x86-64 system — there's less battery needed for an acceptable lifespan and reduced thermal dissipation demands.

We already have that with smartphones, but now you can run a full OS for apps and games with minimal compromises.

Such a scenario changes concepts around gaming, using digital inking, productivity, reading, exchanging information, and creativity. It's the power of a PC but with fewer limits.

To make this tech dream come true, ARM's performance had to improve, batteries had to get better, and someone had to port their OS. Well, that all just happened and none of us are dreaming anymore. This is the coming reality.

Cost counts too

A performant x86-64 processor is also much more expensive than ARM. This pricing matters to companies trying to create new categories of devices with greater abilities. For example, an Intel ATOM chip is around $37, a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 runs about $70. But an Intel Core M processor starts at $281 and a Core i7 can go over $600.

That problem of Core M PC sticks being fantastic, but crazy expensive now disappears.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoCs also have everything on board including Wi-Fi, LTE, GSM, Bluetooth, Quick Charge, and camera technology all for a fixed cost. Manufacturers choose which features they want and license it. Hence why your Qualcomm-powered phone might not have Quick Charge 3.0.

On the other end, x86-64 is just the processor. Any LTE modem support is extra, as are all the other radios. Because of this difference, PCs range in feature sets, price, and even size.

The additional components make x86-64 systems hotter, more expensive, larger, and harder on batteries than any ARM counterpart.

Microsoft's problem is they need something stronger than an ATOM, but cheaper and smaller than an Intel Core M. A processor based on ARM does all of that, plus adds in 4G LTE support, radios, and is significantly more efficient than an x86-64 system.

How to go from Mobile to the phone?

All this news and talk of smartphone components raises the next logical question: Why can't we run Windows 10 for ARM on a smartphone?

Why Microsoft keeps working on Windows 10 Mobile: ARM, cellular, and the next big thing

In theory, you now can. The reality though is more complicated. Nevertheless, you can bet Microsoft is very much likely working on such a scenario for a 'Pro' smartphone experience.

Here are a few reasons why Microsoft has not put Windows 10 on ARM on the phone… yet:

  • Pricing: Such a phone will be more expensive. Additional RAM, a large SSD for significantly more storage, and the license SKU for full Windows 10 will make this "phone" costlier. Full Windows 10 takes around 20GB of storage versus ~4GB for Mobile. Full Windows 10 also ideally needs at least 8GB of RAM, compared to 2GB for Mobile. Most modern flagship smartphones have 4GB of RAM, with a few select Android phones sporting 6GB.
  • Continuum in reverse: The interface experience is not there — even the touch-friendly Windows 10 design isn't going to work on a screen much smaller than 7 inches. Microsoft needs the Mobile shell (UI) for when the device is acting as a phone, but shows the desktop when docked. It's Windows 10 Mobile Continuum, but inverted.
  • Phone support: While Windows 10 on ARM supports LTE data, it still lacks proper telephony abilities like phone calls, visual voicemail, SMS, and the like. Presumably, those features from the Mobile system will be incorporated into Windows 10 for ARM, but that still needs to happen.
  • Let the dust settle: Microsoft wants to get Windows 10 on ARM into devices like tablets and two-in-ones first, build out UWP some more and refine the whole experience. Once emulation has improved and deployment has expanded, hardware costs will come down, Windows 10's power efficiency will improve, the processors will be even faster, and then a phone that can run Windows 10 on ARM makes sense.

There is also the idea of an external GPU (eGPU). That tech becomes an interesting extension for Continuum when docked and using Windows 10 on ARM. That technology, however, hasn't even been developed yet for ARM.

Windows 10 Mobile for budget

Despite some of these hurdles, it should be evident by now that Microsoft sees Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile scenarios colliding and overlapping.

A device that runs full Windows 10 on ARM can be positioned as a 'Pro' device for those who need it all.

Windows 10 Mobile through Continuum and even x86 emulation becomes more like a desktop PC. Meanwhile, the desktop PC becomes more like Mobile. Cats and dogs living together! Windows 10 Mobile can still hit much lower price marks, yet deliver a similar experience, compared to a device running full Windows 10.

When you break it down that way, then Windows 10 Mobile makes sense. It will be the "light" version of Windows 10 both in features and cost. A device that runs full Windows 10 on ARM, however, can be positioned as a 'Pro' device for those who need it all. Perhaps someday when even the base ARM processors are powerful enough, then a separate Mobile OS won't make sense anymore — but that's still years away at best.

The future is mobile

I think this is where Microsoft is headed. A "Surface phone" would be a Pro device that is high-end hardware, but capable of being a full PC when docked at a desk (or with a Lap Dock). Windows 10 Mobile can still be used for entry level and mid-range phones where such OS overhead is not required or even desired.

The future of Windows Mobile – Does Microsoft want to reboot the concept of a phone?

I think we also have our answer to why there is no Surface 4 yet and why manufacturers bailed on Windows 10 Mobile tablets. Microsoft obviously had something much bigger in the works that's more tantalizing to both them and their partners.

There are a lot of dots getting connected here between the realities of today's technologies and the Surface phone, and it's becoming obvious how Microsoft's going to bridge the remaining gaps. Inking, mixed reality, UWP, OneCore, Windows Hello, Windows 10 on ARM, far-field speech-communication, Continuum, and more all promise a world where the device in your pocket can do much more than just run dinky phone apps. You are seeing that world being created right in front of your eyes.

Windows 10 on ARM is game changing. Make no mistake about it: the path to the ultimate phone just became much clearer.

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.

  • It has BEGUN!!!!
  • "Microsoft hasn't just been waiting for the next bend in the curve, they've been creating it." -AkiraX
  • It's more hairpin bends that they have been creating. Haha. They are cool again. !! And W10'M' is gonna replace iOS and android very soon.
  • Well, W10M won't most likely won't because it will be reserved for low/mid devices, and will eventually be phased out, but W10 on a Surface Mobile Pro device could give them some serious competition...
    Well if anything, MS will have the enterprise mobile market under control... You'd be an idiot not to buy a Pro Mobile device for your enterprise, or BYOD, needs.
  • Well when you're using it as a phone it needs to have the mobile-like OS. A Windows PC desktop on a phone would suck, if this comes to phones they need it to transition smoothly between being a PC device and a phone device. Tablet mode doesn't anywhere near cut it in it's current form. I don't think they will (and don't want them to) rush bringing this to a phone too early. Windows 10 Mobile is a better tablet OS in a lot of ways too, so hopefully tablet mode gets a ton of improvements to make it more like W10M in RS3
  • I would give the phone all three view's... Let the consumer decide.
  • That's what the Elite X3 already does, Rodneyej. Basically, we're gonna experience Elite X3 2.0 in 2017-18.
  • Good point but what you said is just really logical. They wouldn't suddenly KILL the current W10M and force ppl to use the FULL Win10 on a mobile display (7" and less as I see it). .
    IF they really do need to kill W10M for whatever reason and still force full Windows 10 on consumers then they should do it "properly", i.e., make sure the OS has pen support, can make calls just like it does now and is able to run at least the built in x86-64 apps with a decent performance. I would LOVE to try out inking with pen support and Paint 3D in my Mobile. :)
  • Г
  • Hahahahahaha
  • Yup! :)
    Daniel Rubino, do you think it's possible to 'upgrade' phones like the HP Elite X3, Alcatel Idol 4S into 'Full' Windows 10. Forget the licensing bit for a while. Is it technically possible because of the reason that they've got a Snapdragon 820?
  • Why would you want to? Full Windows 10 is barely good enough to be considered a tablet UI, let alone a phone.
  • Why would you want to? Full Windows 10 is barely good enough to be considered a tablet UI, let alone a phone.
  • No no. Not quite like that. Obviously we wouldn't want W10 on a 6" device. Full Windows 10 can always be run using the "CONTINUUM" docked mode as Daniel said it himself.
    So this will be better than HP's workspace solution right? Cheaper for businesses too.
  • I think Daniel did mention something on this in a previous post. Something in the lines that it would be possible with continuum. If I'm not mistaken MSFT will try to enable a "fuller" dekstop experience over continuum with redstone 3 for mobile. I think the 2 magic statements are multitasking and support for legacy apps/programs. But how it's going to be implemented out of the box will be the big question. Ultimately it would be awsome to see the legacy apps open natively in their window with redstone 3. But with mobile and pc still being slightly different itterations despite a common core I think we could still expect an emulation solution, such as a virtual docked solution of the app in a window, with Docker in a window solution. Another solution for MSFT and legacy apps to meet each other half way is that developers use Windows Universal Platform Bridge to contain their legacy apps into the UWP platform which would even make it even easier to install the apps via the windows store and make the legacy apps work more fluently in the current windows 10 core. Another solution could be that microsoft could support their own universal remote desktop connector for pc so that you could emulate your business or home pc on your mobile device. I can image though this latter option will have real life performance issues in the long run. I think the elite x3 should be upgradeable in due time. It will be interesting to see though if hp and microsoft will still continue its terms of serivces by that time for upgradeability to support the redstone 3 features.  
  • It'll be a while until it comes to phones. There's a lot of UX issues they need to work around and decisions they need to make (Having the PC desktop in Continuum only makes most sense to me). I hope this doesn't mean they are abandoning the Continuum updates they showed off such as windowed apps.
  • I agree. Windows 10 ARM will be useful only on smartphones with continuum, otherwise it will be just another Windows 10 Mobile. On the other hand, we will see cheaper tablets and laptops which is great :)
  • Did you read the article? It will obviously have the Windows 10 Mobile UI when you're using it as a phone.
  • Yes, that's just logic. It has to be a mobile UI while, well - Mobile !
  • But, can still pack full blown W10 desktop mode from the phone screen if you like.... And, why not? Even MS condones using desktop view (when necessary) on a smartphone screen..... Think "Remote Desktop"... Ummmm, I've been saying for years that full blown W10 on a smartphone could replace remote desktop apps, especially if they could still show remote desktops... It would just be much better because the desktop would be native, and the information/configuration would just be in the cloud. Awesome sauce! Continue to the MAXXX!
  • Works fine on my dell venue 8. No issues even with photoshop use.
  • I didn't get you, Jay. What works fine on your DELL venue 8? And isn't that an Android tablet??
  • Dell Venue 8 is a small tablet running Windows 10. He's saying he see's no problem with Window's 10 in a small form factor when others have claimed it's not suitable for a tablet, let alone a phone.
  • I agree on my HP Stream 8 that even has T-Mobile connectivity; just cannot use it as a phone. Works great but slow, which is why ARM would be better.
  • The X3 doesn't have the horsepower, the capacity to handle full W10.  Look at the article again.  And remember, minimum REQUIRED specs are NOT the same things as RECOMMENDED specs.  Ask any PC gamer.  I can tell you that W10 runs unacceptably on every device I'm testing it on, even a machine with an i7, 12GB of RAM, and nVidia GTX680 and 1TB hard drive.  It's deplorable on the NextBook 10.1 tablet I've been testing it on.  So, I can say pretty confidently that there is no smartphone hardware out currently that would run full W10 worth a darn.  Heck, W10 MOBILE runs like crap on the 950.  Rest assured, Microsoft will reveal what they think are the right specs for a next-gen W10 smarphone.  But probably not before mid-2017.
  • Valid point there.
    And about your i7, 12GB of RAM, 1TB HDD, GTX 680. Did you even try a fresh install of the Anniversary Build of Win10? Try that. It'll help.
  • W10M runs like crap on the 950?
    Really? IMO It runs very well even on the 640! I have a 950 XL and I runs like butter for sure. I also have W10 on a Asus T100, which is an hybrid tablet with 10" screen with 2Gb RAM powered by an Atom and It runs very well. I just don't run photoshop on it of course. I think W10 is actually pretty well optimized.
  • No, this is being developed in partnership with Qualcomm to do the x86 emulation at the hardware level on brand new chips. To do it in software would be such a performance hit that noone would want it. So Qualcomm is developing new flagship hardware with Microsoft to make this a reality. The first chip that will support it is the Snapdragon 835 due in 2017 and then devices using it will be late 2017. I would assume those devices that pilot this (Surface Phone???) will be ungodly expensive, i'm guessing $1k and marketed heavily for business like the Elite x3. They are also talking about releasing Windows 10 tablets and PCs powered by ARM (think low power Chromebook killers). Because of the app gap, I'd worry about tablets doing very well vs android. But a Chromebook killer that's a 12 inch laptop and cheaper than anything powered by ATOM would be pretty hard to pass up for people with basic needs. I'd get one for my 10 year old as his first, cheap laptop.  
  • Thing is, lower cost devices isn't really the initial target with this. It would need to perform better than Atom AND be cheaper in the long run for the average consumer. Maybe there will be an HP Elite X3 v2 down the line that will be a test device. Also, once Qualcomm have developed this does that mean anybody can do x86 emulation on ARM devices that use the right chips?
  • And they will sell like the no one.
  • It could be running native Win32 dll calls natively and emulating the rest of the code. Microsoft was able to emulate an Xbox 360 on an Xbox One without a performance hit.
  • Guys, when this comes to phones...are our Lumia 950 going to be supported?
  • I think it is possible but we wouldn't have enough RAM and newer processors are just better
  • I just pray we don't get left behind again
  • Same here, amd the chances are we won't. But I am not getting my hopes up. Would love to be proven otherwise
  • I think we will not. I hope they do though. If I look at my lumia 1520 continuum supports a mirroring of my phones screen. When I look at continuum for my 950 XL I see the current itteration of continuum for phone. Both perform well on a larger screen. The way they perform in real life I could easily see them squeeze out support for a Windows 10 mobile "light" for both devices. I hope they are willing to do it. If I could have at least support for continuum with support for opening two apps side by side in a tablet mode like configuration that would be a big deal. Because that's how I use my windows tablet device most of the time for personal and business use. It could potentially change my workflow and device use with mobile with my current devices. I would think that's a significant impact. I think I wouldn't ask to too much for that simple upgrade on current high end devices. Maybe collaborate with xda developers to make something possbile. The snapdragon 800 and 810 are still beasts of processors, despite their ram limitations.    
  • Its all about costs and work to put behind. To put such work behind the SD820 or higher makes sense for them than for the 810/808, because the newer chipsets could result in higher market share, plus HP Elite could use this upgrade. The 950 series won't do that unfortunately, and though they might be testing all this, we will need to wait and see to what extent we get updates. Like I am sure we will get support, just not sure to what extent. Plus we don't have 64bit Windows 10 Mobile yet - I think if we had that, it would utilize the SD chipsets way better
  • BUT yes, Microsoft can surprise us. They do like the fans. I have two 950 XLs, here's to hoping for new things down the road
  • I'd argue chances are actually quite high that current devices will be left behind.
  • Yes, that's from history and logical company decisions
  • Everybody stop saying "left behind". If you aren't willing to upgrade your device (to a completely new class of device) then you are choosing to stay behind....Do you really think by the time this comes to a phone that Microsoft have some obligation to try and force it onto older hardware? The emulation is ultimately supposed to occur at the hardware level to work at it's best which existing chips may not/probably won't support at all.
  • Chances are, when this technology released for public use, it'll be in the late 2017-mid 2018. By then the 950 would have run its course and people will be looking to upgrade their phone to the next. You'll be far from left behind, you still have about year or so to enjoy your 950 before this becomes reality for the public :)
  • Yep. Thank you for clearing that. The time line is longer than we realize :(
  • Left behind? By the time this comes out we will be well past the 2yr point for the 950/XL...which is the average lifespan for 'current' specs in mobile devices. In other words, you're only 'left behind' if you choose to be. If you want the latest and greatest then you choose to buy it.
  • MS did it three times! Pray in vain, as they will do it again.
  • Windows can run on 1G RAM.
  • Windows can yes, but a lot of programs can't
  • 950 has 3G RAM... That's plenty.
  • Again, they have been developing the software with Snapdragon 820/835 as far as they have announced. No doubt they will be attempting to run it on SD810 too. But they're priority (understandably) lies with SD820/835 because that's where newer hardware partners will be heading, where possibility of new market share lies. The 950/XL are soon going to be the past :(
    I really hope they do support us but logically the chances are 50/50. MS may just surprise us
  • You said RAM was the issue.
    It's not that important whether it can run on current phones or not.
    The customer will upgrade.
    But I was pointing out to you(and the article) that RAM is not the issue. If WIN32 goes to phone, it will not be the 20gig Windows installation highlighted on the article.
    1. There is no bios setup on phone.
    2. Device management will not be like full PC
    3. No legacy control panel stuff will be ported.
    4. OS Installation will be done at the factory... Therefore no 'covering all bases scenario' of shipping the OS with drivers for many devices. It will be a slim version.
  • Firstly, my comment comment about the RAM was in context of it being able to run on current phones. It seems you didn't follow the original comment that I responded to. Secondly, I believe they will need 4gb of ram to be able to run windows 10 on a phone with continuum, 950/XL have only 3. 4gb is the basic requirement of certain x86 apps as pf now. And if you are talking purely about running windows without considering software/apps, what's the point of that? Why not just have windows 10 mobile instead. Lol now it just seems like you're losing
  • There is no winning or losing here... this is a discussion.
    Its a fact, Windows runs on 1gig RAM.
    Its a fact that 3Gig is enough to run many EXE programs... including Microsoft Office, AutoCAD, Revit, Photoshop etc. Infact I have a 2003 Pentium 4 x86 running them on Windows Vista with Aero enabled. They run just fine. Windows 8/10 are even lighter without Aero.
  • AutoCAD needs 4Gb RAM, Photoshop claims lower but combined with need for the scratch disk, it needs more space. And I still believe installation is not the problem. They got Windows 10 running on ARM, so I'm certain they have taken care of the BIOS and system files running etc. Factory flashing of a phone could in theory be done via the WDRT like software, or a simple shipping to a Microsoft Care Centre. They could channel an official update in stages over the air. And still, you could have explained your view, instead of making small comments like "It runs on 1GB of RAM", and when I responded, saying "But you said it needed more RAM". Like why are you focusing on my RAM comments, when the discussion is about supporting the 950/XL in general, where you could have put your said discussion from the start. Weird man. Interesting valid points still weird. You remind me of a 9gag user
  • @Hiswona, you're right, we are having a discussion. Sorry for being aggressive, it was uncalled for. But please next time you could explain your side better
  • That could actually be taken care of, installation of full Windows 10 on mobile. Software optimization and long run support would be a harder act for MS.
  • Since the Anniversary Update, Windows 10 requires a minimum of 2GB of RAM. It used to work on 1GB, but no longer.
  • That's not the point.
    You can get to desktop with 512mb
    The point is 950xl has 3Gig...
    That means if it could run EXE, the ram would be adequate
  • That is still a very vague point to make. Like yes 500ml of petrol can run a car. Doesn't matter how far but it can run the car. Your point is still pointless
  • 500ml won't reach the engine.
    The pipe run is too long.
    1litre there is what you looking for.
  • Haha, wow, you're still missing the bigger picture
  • Loll. Won't start
  • Meaning that MS should decide to support us. It'll involve extra cost considering not many devices use the 950/XL processors
  • Meaning that MS should decide to support us. It'll involve extra cost considering not many devices use the 950/XL processors
  • When you purchased the Lumia 950/XL, did Microsoft include any promises of what would be supported in the future update wise? Nope...I'd be surprised if they pushed to support a phone which will be 3+ years old by the time this functionality is available to phones
  • Don't count on it. I think they're going to want you to have better hardware to ensure a good user experience.
  • The main answer is... "NO" The Lumia range will not be supported with Windows 10 on ARM. They are purely Windows 10 Mobile devices.
  • Super niche market
  • Trolling? Niche? It doesn't even exist... ...much like mobile phones 30 years ago, smartphones 14 years ago, 2-in-1s 4 years ago. ... Point simply: demands change. Build a longer life tablet, while reducing component costs AND size? Nahhhhh... can't see any OEM going for that!
  • Birth of the $1200 phone.
  • But arn't arm socs cheaper than x86 cpus and all the components?
  • Yes but MS is just to dumb to realize no one would spend such a price on a windows phone, even with continuum x86 apps. They continue to fail to understand the way the mobile phone market is going these days....Maybe in business they will succeed but again, what retard CEO would spend over 1000$ for a business phone :)))
  • What planet are you on? The cost of (capable) phones will be the same as any other high end 83x+ series phone??!! Yes, Surface [Phone] will be highest end pricing, but there will be a range of OEMs at competitive rates. Way to take speculation and assumptions to new levels guys. All we are talking here is 1) Step change technology development (this is DAMN exciting guys!) and 2) the next generation of Qualcomm processors.
  • In terms of the 'retard': Strange definition, given a wise CFO (not CEO) would decide to purchase a SINGLE replacable device on a two-three year upgrade cycle for (your speculative) $1000 alongside a dumb terminal (screen, mouse keyboard ~$150) rather than a phone AND laptop for (? ~$1500+++). That's a scalable saving of ~$500x number of staff x (1/2) years in forecast period. (e.g. 50 staff over 10 years that'd be a >$52k saving, conservatively (3 year upgrade cycle)).
  • You guys said the same about the X3...does it sell? it barely appears on usage charts.
  • what has begun? UWP didnt change anything yet.. the app markert is still a big ZERO compared to others. The costs of a mobile phone with full W10 support will be huge but who will buy it if the interest in such a device is low (not mentioning Microsoft fanboys)?? Dont forget Android and Apple developers, they are not sleeping and wont loose this match without a battle To gain new users on a half dead platform is very complicated. The theory is nice (obviously) but the reality is something else. Basic Android/Iphone users will never leave their platform without a reason and the x86 app support is not a BIG thing for the average users (majority).
  • To the average consumer, it means nothing...but this is a big PLUS for Microsoft when it comes to winning back the Enterprise. It's current continuum efforts isn't enough. This is a pretty big step in the right direction to bring life to Windows in the Mobile space. Microsoft pretty much knows they have no way of defeating Android & iOS in the smartphone world.
  • UWP did change "things" for me. I now have Garmin Connect, Fitbit, and Ring apps on my 950XL. And others are appearing now. Yes, there are some apps missing but progress is being made.
  • With this type of scenario you need to look at the "bigger picture".  Enterprise is going to love this.  Heck, the company I work for would love something like this. Now for consumers here in the United States and most industrialized wealthy countries.  The idea of having a smartphone, tablet, laptop and desktop isnt outside the realm of possibility.  In developing countries, however, it can be difficult for someone to afford multiple computing devices.  If a device would be able to run full windows programs but also be a mobile phone, that would be a huge win for microsoft in places like India (which Apple is struggling in currently due to the cost of their phone).   Then even here in the US it would make sense.  I absolutely HATE having a desktop, tablet, smartphone and laptop.  If I could have 1 device, that would just connect to different screens for different uses, I would love it!  No worrying about transfering data, no worrying about if I'll forget something or need to think about access to certain program out in the field, nothing.  Just one device to do it all. We are also reaching technology fatigue here in the US.  We are getting tired of purchasing multiple devices for "use-case" scenarios.  It is prevelant just by the decline in not only PC/laptop sales but also tablet sales (the iPad continues to perform below expectations, even for Apple).  Before this current job I am in(was in mobility), tablet sales were on the decline across the industry.  We are at the point where people really just want ONE device to do it all and be done with it.  It is a pent up demand that, whomever can get it right first, will be the market leader in 3-5 years.   And about your half dead platform.....Apple for a long time was considered on its way out before the popularity of the iPod and iPhone.  It literrally takes 1-2 breakway products to get a company to come back from the ashes. Just my 2 cents...
  • I think the current W10M Continuum (with it's coming improvements) will still have a market in lower end devices for a good time to come in places like India. Right now there's a few mid and top end W10M handsets that support it, but performance of say a 950 will eventually filter down to the lower end where a device can run W10M Continuum in it's current form, devices with enough power can run a more full PC experience. Both sides covered, and eventually the whole PC experience can filter down to the lowest end phones as the years go by.
  • Since the x86 emulation software for ARMS CPU's is here Microsoft can now make the "Surface smart phone" that can run some  Desktop PC programs. If microsoft makes a Surface smart phone I think it will have at least a 6 inch 16 by 9  screen. but do not be surprised if Microsoft skips making a a Surface smart phone but instead makes an ARMS CPU 2 X 3 screen 8 inch  Surface mobile Tablet that runs full Windows 10 and has a Smart phone inside it.
  • Nails in Apples coffin, I hear them being hammered!!!
  • Nah Tennisguy, that's just you beating your head against the wall with lack of support from MS.
  • Yeah. One of the most valuable companies in the planet is doomed because MS might be able put ARM chips in tablets and make chrome book knockoffs.... They must be terrified.
  • Still worried it will lack tons of essential apps.
  • MJF: "I realize this year was a year when Microsoft planned not to release any new Windows Phones itself. But the question I keep getting is why is Microsoft wasting time updating Windows Mobile when the market share is one percent? You don't have that many phone OEMs. Why not just say, you know, maybe we'll come back some day, but for now, let's just stop playing around with mobile."
    MYERSON: "Technically, there are really two things that are unique about Windows Mobile. One is cellular connectivity and the other one is the ARM processors that are there. And I think both cellular connectivity and ARM processors have a role in the technical landscape of the future.
    So we're going to continue to invest in ARM and cellular. And while I'm not saying what type of device, I think we'll see devices there, Windows devices, that use ARM chips. I think we'll see devices that have cellular connectivity.
    When you stop investing in these things, it's super hard, super, super hard to restart. And at Microsoft we have a few of those examples where we stopped. Sometimes, when you're investing into growth. it's easier, but when you're investing for technical strategy or things like that, sometimes people can question it -- like you're doing right now. But especially among your readers, I don't think there's much debate that ARM processors have a role in the future. And cellular connectivity does as well."
    . He wasn't kidding when he said that ARM and cellular have a role in the future.
  • Lets do this..
  • Yeah, let's bring the cost effectiveness of Windows 10 to the world.
  • Before everyone gets overly excited, it should be made clear that this will NOT solve the app problem at all. And that true Windows programs will still not run on the ARM devices as they're, as you pointed out, x64/x86 programs. So forget seeing Windows Phone resuscitate. So what is Windows 10 on ARM? Well, it can turn out to be just Windows RT 2.0. It's meant to be the cheaper alternative to X86 Windows but will keep the same restrictions RT had.
    Of course a miracle could happen and developers could start turning their x86 programmes into UWP apps... But we all know that's not gonna happen...
  • To counter just about everything you just posted.  Go read Paul Thurrotts post on this.
  • Except he's wrong in regards to Windows programs. The only way to run Windows programs in ARM processors is through emulation. Not natively because the architecture is different. He admits that himself.
    And then says "to do so with what I am assured is excellent performance"... Yeah, because they'd say "we did this but performance s*cks". Again, restrain the enthusiasm. So far this is just Windows RT 2.0. It's an improved version with promise to it. But until the promise is fulfilled there's a big path ahead.
  • You should read this article:
  • Yes, to your point about Paul's reporting is that it would run through some type of emulation.  But if that process is smooth and without any major flaws then it's a winner.  I'm always thrilled and enthused about new technologies or else I wouldn't be reading any of these types of sites.  My only problem with Microsoft they begin to go down one road then suddenly take a detour to some new project whilst leaving their previous notions to go by the waste side.  FYI, if you get down voted it won't be from me.  I try to respect other peoples opinions even though I might not agree with them. Unless if it's obviously baseless.   :)
  • There are a lot of "if's" around this. Which is why I started by recommending refraining enthusiasm. Unless people like to set themselves for disappointment.
    This is a different Windows architecture, it's relying on emulation, on developer support and on Qualcomm's ability to push a lot of stuff forward while not creating another Snapdragon 810.
    IF it succeeds on lower end tablets and laptops it will be a great push into segments like education (although the Chromebook classroom invasion people keep talking about is limited to the USA actually). However this will not change the phone landscape for Microsoft at all. It can push forward some sort of business oriented phone and obviously an ARM powered phone with Windows 10 will always be better for enterprise than any Windows Phone 10 powered device like the Elite X3 etc. But in the consumer market - which is the market for 99% of people here - nothing will change as none of this solves or has the potential to solve the app problem. I'll just sit and watch. I have an opinion on how this might go down. Now I'll wait to see if I was wrong or right once again. Oh and don't worry. I don't give a rats a*se about downvotes. It's a system to entertain childish people around here, nothing else. They could get me to 100 downvotes I would still not care lol
  • Oh come on.....You LOVE getting downvotes...ha ha ha! I agree with you 100% on the phone thing btw!
  • Agreed on the "lots of 'ifs'" part, but it is at least possible and it's been done before. Apple moved its OS from PowerPC to Intel architecture and forced all of it's developers to support the new architecture. Here's to hoping MS will do the same. If they leave the door open with continued support for x86-x64 then lazy developers will stay on it, but if they force those apps to run with emulation then (hopefully, surely) those developers will port their apps to ARM. Also, while I'm not "in the know" on such things, I would assume that programs/apps built on .Net would be significantly easier to port? Or may not even need a port at all (can they be JIT'd on the ARM device)?
  • @djcbs but I thought that's the point of having UWP. It scales according to the device so I think it'd fair to say Windows 10 mobile is actually being upgraded to full power of windows instead of a watered down version.
  • Wouldn't matter if MS said they were giving away free cash while adopting 10,000 homeless children, you'd argue against it and troll away as per usual. Boring.
  • Definitely a LOT of "ifs" right now, and lets not jump the gun and forget that the immediate target for this is not phones but tablets, laptops, etc. It will be exciting what they can do with this in the future and a big step towards a true PC in your pocket - I'll still need a "full" PC because I work with dual or triple monitors etc.
  • You missed the article earlier where Microsoft also announced they built in an x86 emulator to run any win32 application. They even demoed it live run Photoshop and World of Tanks. The article compares it to Apple's Rosetta they used to have in older OS X to run PowerPC apps. So yes, people are very excited now because we have an x86 emulator built by Microsoft that has near native performance.
  • He didn't miss it. He even commented on it, saying the same things he is saying here. Like the announcement never was. He is just a pissed off Microsoft hater. My sympathy.
  • where is your common sense??
    You want to play World of Tanks on a mobile with 5 - 6inch display? You want to edit your photos on a mobile phone?? You will do that on a bigger screen - tablet, laptop or anything bigger but not on a mobile phone.
  • Where is your common sense? Something like that would obviously run on through a computer monitor.
  • Ever heard of Continuum? @Pappale
  • Ever heard of a laptop?
  • That's why you plug your phone into a monitor or dock... That's the whole point is this, that's the whole point of continuum. Where have you been these past couple years?
  • Do you know Continuum?
  • Lol, completely missed the point
  • But isnt the emulator built in to the OS itself? Yes, performance would take a dip but in the end if these ARM processors are better than Intel equivalent in the same price segment, the performance dip would easily be compensated by additional juice the ARM chipsets have. But yea, I agree with you, there's a big path ahead. Hope MS does this properly.
  • more power = less battery life, your phone will be dead in 3 - 6h. is that what you need/want?
  • Apple used to do this too with OS X Tiger to Snow Leopard. It was called Rosetta and allowed Intel OS X to run PowerPC applications through an emulation layer. Performance was pretty decent, barely noticeable, and it did not take a huge toll on battery life. In fact back then, Macs had some of the best battery lives of all laptops. Emulation has come a long way and Microsoft is very good at it to the point where I don't think it will take a huge toll on battery life or performance.
  • The upcoming Snapdragon 835 is only rated at about 10% faster performance than current Intel Atom chips. One would be amazing if emulation only took a 25% hit, so in any realistic world, any device is going to run significantly slower than any 3 year-old Atom chips. We are talking sub-$99 Intel tablet or compute stick performance, likely on the highest end phone you can think off. I don't know about you but my $149 Intel tablet is painful on most tasks.
  • Each time you compare this to an RT 2.0 you show you didn't understand either how this works or what RT was or both.
  • Ah, DJCBS, always a pleasure to have you around. Why am I not surprised to see you with your negative BS here?
  • To which you reply with a BS comment. Congratulations, mate!
  • You call it negative, I call it realism. Everything he said was true, not BS. I've been using and developing for Windows Phone/Mobile (and ONLY this platform) since 2002, how about you? Educate yourself before you call BS on someone!
  • It is irrelevant to what the article discusses.
  • Except that it's not "true" in that there are no verifiable "facts". Those are his opinions and in that context they are valid, but don't mistake someone's extrapolations for universal truth.
  • The only thing he said that's true is it won't fix the app gap. Microsoft even demoed running desktop apps on Windows 10 ARM.
  • It wont fix the app gap, therefore, it will not sell to regular consumers. Without apps, again, it's dead in the water.
  • Agreed. This announcement is not going to all of a sudden lead to Android & iOS app developers to start making apps for a MS platform. If the changes to Visual Studio & Xamarin did not truly get devs interested in the platform, I cannot see this news making the decision to make Windows Phone/Mobile relevant again to devs.
  • @DJCBS; What app problem? Most in a population of a billion smartphone users only use a small amount of apps. Even if an app is not available use your browser which might be safer and you can pinned the site to your start screen. I have apps that came on the my phone that I never use including Instagram.  
  • Spoken like a true fanboy. The browser on a mobile device is crap. Apps make it possible to make your phone/mobile device useable and user friendly. If most of the population never used apps, Windows mobile/phone would not be where it is today.....Sorry
  • The more I use android the more I get stupid notifications the more I miss the simple "WEB+some messaging and social apps" experience I had on windows.
  • yeaaah, use the web browser... hak dude, I tried to use web browser for SNAPCHAT.. try it yourself. I tried to play fancy games on my 950XL.. hack.. even logged into my Google account just to purchase Android games via EDGE.. but I couldnt install the games on my phone... BUT I TRIED THE WEB BROWSER... :D
  • Snapchat? That child crap? Snapchat it will be dead in 2 years.
  • Hello. I used Snapchat for a while in a middle-low end Android device (Samsung) and uninstalled, the same with many apps included in the "glorious" app store the Android fans are proud of. Those apps I did mention are pure CRAP. Quantity does not mean Quality.
  • You really believe yourself :)) First of all Edge on mobile is a battery killer and is slow, second, most people do use apps, third, apps currently on win10mo are slow, buggy or missing completely. Good luck using ebay on you winphone with Edge...
  • I'm using ebay on edge everyday... What's the problem?
  • You might be a bit too pessimistic about this. Enabling x86 programs to run on ARM is a great step forward, especially for the tablet market. You are right in that this does not fix the app gap, nor is it clear whether this will ever come to phones as the x86 apps tend to rely on subsystems which do not exist on the W10M currently.
  • I saw someone commenting Bluestacks on W10M
  • @DJCBS, technically, it really is like RT 2.0, but I think you underestimate how that could affect a Windows Phone. Yes, you are right that the classic mobile apps, and the ones most important to a full mobile experience, would still be missing, just like now. However, people include various factors in their purchase decisions. At a time when MS can provide an OS that is short on mobile apps but offers some of these other "RT 2.0" benefits, some portion of the market will find that intriguing enough to go for it. Fold in better Xbox integration and a growing suite of MS's own mobile/UWP apps that already (as of today) work better on Windows Phone than on iOS or Android and it's easy for *some* users to make the switch. Even if it's only 5% - 7%, if developers see Windows Phone usage on the rise again and a clear vision from MS that they are executing on, coupled with the ease of cross platform development with Xamarin, and you'll see developers start to fill in the app gap. With a closing app gap and the unique Windows Phone-only features, Microsoft can quickly (meaning over a couple of years) become dominant in mobile. I'm not saying this is a sure thing, but there's nothing that requires a miracle in there. That's all following standard marketing history. Of course, the rest of the industry won't sit still so the future is inherently unpredictable, but the path certainly appears to be navigable and MS's to lose at this point.
  • You really have no clue what you're talking about. This is not Windows RT. Windows 10 on ARM will run all desktop apps via emulation. You know something that didn't exist with RT. But yeah, reading is hard!
  • this would possibly have saved RT if it had been available when RT launched
  • It technically IS Windows RT + x86 emulation. The x86 emualtion layer is a tiny part of the whole OS.
  • Wait! This cannot read x86 files???? Then what's the point?
  • Your an idiot. The point is that the exact same Windows 10 pro will run on ARM processors using advanced emulation. I always see you posting dumb ****. Your a waste of space.
  • Well, I agree with you that it's no guarantee of windows phone success (if such a thing still exists- there is UWP and One Core, and you and I both agree we need UWP ecosystem), but nothing in business world is. You give it your best shot. And, Windows 10 on ARM (fully featured unrestricted Windows 10 with emulated win32 programs) along with Windows Holographics is the best bet they have to grow UWP ecosystem. Here's how.
    Windows 10 has over 400M+ market share as of now. Let's say 300M of them are PCs. Now Microsoft has made their ambitions clear of reaching 1B users in next 3-4 years to come. Now there is this recent industry push towards VR and Microsoft with its Holographics platform and PC hold (Oculus, Vive etc. still need PCs to power them and they lack any substantial platform and ecosystem to back it) is best poised to make strides in not only VR but AR/MR as well. Let's just say, with Windows 10 on ARM on phones, some of those nearly billion PC users migrate to a phone form factor device exclusively for their computing (traditional PC) needs. And more and more users begin to appreciate the utility and immersion of Holographics. Can we dream that 200M people will be on either Windows 10 based phones (for their computing needs) or using holographics (either for consumption, gaming or utility). Will developers develop apps for this 200M market then? Where on holographics UWP is the only app development platform, and on phone form factor devices which, though, technically could run emulated win32 programs, why not just use native UWP to develop apps for this market. Remember 200M isn't a small figure developers could just ignore, it also makes 10% (that sweet spot) of estimated existing 2B smartphone market which has already begun to stale. Obviously, this is a huge if, market may never respond that way.
    But like I said, nothing in business is ever certain, and this is the best Microsoft can do to win over some of the software (app ecosystem share) that they lost to get their hands on. And with it, maybe just maybe, some of the market of android and ios users as well.
  • I'm excited for this.
  • Yeah let's kick it.
  • This is a great way to close out 2016.....for Intel however, this is HORRIBLE news for them. They're basically going to exist only to serve the power user.
  • That Intel cancelled the Broxton SoCs suggests they've already moved on from low-end mobile devices.
  • @TheCudder; Which is very important because in wake of reality ARM chip have to become more powerful in their own right to process 4K media. We are seeing Android phones with 4gigs of memory and I think some will eventually hit the market 6-8 perhaps in 2017. As we go forward ARMs will have to eventually make a techological leap.
  • There are already Android phones with more than 4GB of RAM, like the One Plus 3.
  • Intel CPUs power virtually all the servers on the internet and 100s of millions of PCs, laptops, tablets, and 2in1s. That's not going to change any time soon. I wouldn't count them out of the game just yet.
  • Microsoft were aiming for a billion devices to be running Windows 10, of which a significant proportion would be Intel. Now with Windows 10 running on cheaper ARM tablets, intel's market just dropped.
    New PC sales have really dropped off, in my view mainly because there hasn't been a need to upgrade like there was in the past. Processors from 5 years ago are still comparable to newer models being released now.
    Since SSD's became common place, my 7 year old i3 PC (overclocked) that I do my software development on is still more than adequate.
    Intel need to really innovate and push the boundaries to make more sales, unfortunately they also require the software to push the requirements along. That hasn't really happened since Windows 7, everything is now low power. Both Windows 8 and 10 didn't require a jump in processor, some find Windows 10 actually runs faster than 7 on the same kit. Who is going to spend £000's to replace a machine simply because they are concerned about a few watts?
  • @TheCudder, yeah bad news for Intel, but maybe good for what Intel does next for us as consumers. I think Microsoft has been trying to get Intel to offer chips to do this for years. Now that they've finally solved the problem on the software side (and maybe with some help from Qualcomm), the pressure is really on Intel to compete with this or see their CPU sales wither further. Intel has the warchest and now more than ever the incentive to invest in this space in a way that will be good for the industry. I'm excited to see how they repsond.
  • AMD's Zen chips, if (the rumors are true about cost) are going to disrupt Intel as well...Intel are the Lannisters, AMD the Starks, and ARM the Whitewalkers...heard that analogy the other day and loved it.
  • Coolio :)
  • Awesome announcement.
  • Can't wait. Just like we have the 32-bit and 64-bit download option for some applications, ARMvX will be an option! If you want to see an example of this, look at FTDI's driver offerings for Windows CE. Modern CE only supports x86 and the latest ARM, but the older ones supported other architectures like MIPS, and xscale.
  • drivers != programs
  • Apparently, the "gulf" between the two architectures is very tired. ;-)
  • I feel like this phone will decide Microsoft's fate in the mobile market
  • GREAT article and GREAT analysis.  This is very good news.  I always thought (and still do) that a delay in the 'next' version of hardware means there is more development going on than just new 'look'.  I'm hoping the stars will align and once they do, lets hope it will be 'the next big thing" that Panos and Satya have been dreaming about and challenged their designers to come up with.
  • That will be great.. Cool 😎..
  • No need for full Windows 10 (20GB) on mobile. They just need emulation for win32 apps, and better Continuum. Which is already in plan for RS2.
  • Surface 4?
  • Very interesting!
  • will this be installable on my surface 2?  
  • Unlikely. As per the article, it sounds like it is dependent on the latest and subsequently newer versions of ARM processors. They probably had to make adjustments both in the OS and the chip to get it to work.
  • I can see this now because of the new HP computers in our new building is smaller than a cigar box but larger than a pack of cigarettes minus the CD/DVD player connected to a 22"+ led monitior.  The new hardware advances will soon be hitting the market SSD, etc and stackable memory, etc., all make this possible. Gigs of data can be put on a chip the size of a fingernail.  
  • A iPhone esque price for the surface phone with the added phone features in win10 would help make this a reality quicker. The only hurdle left would be the UI. How to make the entire OS especially x86 apps run on a phone and how to not drain the battery so freaking quickly like the desktop
  • As much as I would love to see Windows Mobile become truly relevant again to non-enterprise customers, unless companies and developers actually create useful & fun applications for the platform to appeal to the average user I cannot see the needle moving.
  • It'll be one time investment on 4gb~ phone...
  • The good news is that this should bridge the gap between IoT devices, and PCs. I expect we will see a lot of integrated electronics running Windows. Things like refrigerators, infotainment for cars, smart TVs and media boxes, and pretty much anywhere that there is a built-in screen for info and entertainment, from commercial airline seatbacks to the portable units carried by airline staff. And of course, the requisite tablets and lightweight laptops. This bodes well for Microsoft if they make things user-friendly and relatively bug-free, and without relegating hardware to the junk pile after its first generation in search of faster specs and more RAM. More seats means more market saturation and use of Windows, which is Microsoft's objective, after all. The bad news is that Microsoft is being consistent in the worst way possible--yet another complete reboot for mobile. As the timeline for full windows on ARM phones is the long-game for this one, it likely means that their current mobile presence is dead-in-the-water. Not that they had much market share to lose at this point, but I suspect there will be nothing left to recover from if Microsoft does not have some surprises for mobile--beyond bugfixes--left in 2017. To their credit, they have made good on keeping the lights on for the 950/XL ownership, and third parties aren't turned away at the door. To the topic of Continuum on the phone display itself, I own a 950XL and have never once used Continuum on it. However, I constantly am using Remote Desktop to control my work PC, either from another room, or from afar. It is a bit tiny, so clicks must be precise, but it is workable. The WP8 version actually had better mouse control, as it did not allow the stupid "flicks" of the current version, which constantly move the cursor as one is lifting their finger off the screen. At any rate, I feel that offering a temporary PC-in-your-pocket is far more compelling than connecting your phone to a half-dozen peripherals to build a makeshift PC in the name of Continuum. Really, we should take advantage of these quadHD screens instead of the giant-buttons-everywhere interface. Lastly, I hope they improve battery performance, because as things now stand, the 820 Snapdragon is WAY less efficient than say, an i5 processor at the same tasks. Here is an excerpt from my comment on a test of the HP Lapdock for the Elite X3: "How is battery life so dismal?! The Surface Pro 4 has a 39Wh battery, and rated with an i5 processor, a 12.3" touch display with 2736 x 1824 resolution, it will run for 9 hours! This package, running a 46.5Wh battery (over 19% larger!) with only a 1080p screen of similar dimensions, and driving an 820 SoC processor normally designed for efficient operation off its 4.15Wh phone battery, can only squeeze out 7 hours, and in real life 5-6 hours of use? That is nuts!"
  • And this is how they do it. For over a year they give us zero reasons to have any faith and then they announce things like they have today. Very impressive, on paper anyway. I will say this, they have absolutely no excuse not to go all in on "phones" now. They want to create markets, this is how you do it. You make phones, capable of running any program in the world and you hire a marketing team that actually knows how to convey a message. This can be a game changer, the issue as always is MS themselves. They always have great concepts, they just excel at making them fail. Would be great if they do this and do it right.
  • *Marketing*. That's what's required now. :)
  • "less battery needed for acceptable lifespan" Gimme a break! Current form factors are thin and light enough, keep the current batteries and extend usability to a full day. Kids can drain a tablet in no time at all.
  • I guess I'll return the HP Elite x3 and Lap Dock that I just bought... :)
  • I wouldn't go that far, it's not ready yet. You have at least half of a year to wait.
  • Yes get back you $800 please be saine.  
  • The iPhone 7 does not have sustainable performance anywhere close to an i5 for single or multi-core performance. Benchmarks that suggest otherwise are based on browser testing that favor their version of Webkit. The iPhone also benefits from relatively low resolution for many of these benchmarks. It is ignorant to compare their performance in anything that resembles the real world. Outside of that, Windows 10 on ARM rocks. Just can't stand overly simplified narratives.
  • Man, I cannot wait for whatever is in the wraps. Future is exciting!
  • Very exciting news and also bad news for Intel I feel? If everything eventually goes ARM where does that leave them?
    I'm assuming gaming would move over for the most part eventually?
  • Competition is always good for us consumers :]]
  • I think if WIN32 apps come to Mobile, we well probably get the old 'supported but it's upto developers to enable', like UWP
    You won't just install the program you want.
    It will need the developer to "enable for Mobile"
  • That's not how emulation works. You would be able to install anything you meet the system requirements for.
  • But the strategy will be the same as UWP.
    Developer not obligated to give you a mobile app if he thinks you should only get desktop
  • Microsoft already announced all x86 apps are supported. This is meant for tablets and laptops so why would there be restrictions?
  • Supported does not mean enabled
    Why are some UWP not enabled across all devices? Xbox supports DVR but it is not enabled.
    950 supports CDMA/EVDO but its not enabled.
    Continuum is supported across all UWP but needs to be enabled.
    Windows Mobile supports multi-tasking but two apps side by side not enabled. It's Microsoft, there's always a curved ball You get the picture.
  • Those examples are all specific features though. This is just an emulation layer. This is also not the first time Microsoft has done something like this. When Windows moved from 16 bit, they created the NTVDM which is an emulator that allows 32 bit windows to run 16 bit DOS and windows apps. There were no restrictions on that. Then later when 64 bit Windows came out, Microsoft created WOW64 which is an emulator that allows 64 bit windows to run 32 bit applications and once again there were no restrictions. All 32 bit apps were supported. And now we have Windows on ARM (WOA) and there's no evidence or precedent that Microsoft will place any restrictions on what x86 apps can run on this.
  • Windows on ARM and Win32 can fit on the same screen Windows on ARM Phone and Win32 cannot fit on the same screen without adjusting icon arrangement. It is impossible to blacket all EXE programs and assume they will fit a 4inch phone without modification. Without modification all you will get is a similiar setup to remote desktop. Thats why it will be the choice of developer
  • In that case you missed the part of Microsoft's announcement that this feature is meant for tablets and laptops initially. It's supposed to make Windows 10 a better competitor to Chromebooks. They didn't actually confirm this feature for smartphones yet. That's just speculation, likely to happen though. Also, I take it you never heard of Continuum before? Of course you most likely won't be able to run x86 apps on your phone screen. That's what Continuum is for. When you plug your phone into a monitor or dock, it switched to a full Windows desktop. Your phone remains a phone and retains the phone UI. But on the monitor, it runs in desktop mode. I have no doubt that in desktop mode you'll be be able to run whatever x86 application you please. That is the ultimate goal of Windows Continuum after all. Right now, Windows Continuum can only run UWP apps on high end phones like the Lumia 950, but it's clear that Microsoft will most likely bring Windows On ARM to Continuum. And when that happens, I guarantee there won't be any restrictions to what x86 app you want to run. Why would there be? Also FYI, nobody makes high end phones with 4 inch screens anymore.
  • What we are looking at here is the birth of a WIN32/64 Universal App
  • No use. Bank app, hotel app still won't come to phone
  • @newnews, it's been a chicken and egg problem -- apps not on phone, because very few users, very few users because of missing apps. But if you give users enough compelling other features, this being a part of it, while at the same time making it super easy for app developers to put their apps on Windows store (Xamarin and iOS bridge), and this problem fades, apps increase, and round and round in a virtuous upward cycle. Or, to put it another way, just think of the bridge to a Windows "Phone" now being through a 6" Surface Mini, which also happens to double as a phone. PC first, but no need for a separate phone. Instead of Apple's and Google's phone first, so no need for a separate PC. That won't appeal to everyone, but it doesn't have to -- just enough people to get the app developers back on board so the app gap problem fades. And without that obstacle, Microsoft is the best positioned of the three main mobile OS makers to dominate going forward.
  • @newnews, it's been a chicken and egg problem -- apps not on phone, because very few users, very few users because of missing apps. But if you give users enough compelling other features, this being a part of it, while at the same time making it super easy for app developers to put their apps on Windows store (e.g., Xamarin and iOS bridge), and this problem fades, apps increase, and round and round in a virtuous upward cycle. Or, to put it another way, just think of the bridge to a Windows "Phone" now being through a 6" Surface Mini, which also happens to double as a phone. PC first, but no need for a separate phone. Instead of Apple's and Google's phone first, so no need for a separate PC. That won't appeal to everyone, but it doesn't have to -- just enough people to get the app developers back on board so the app gap problem fades. And without that obstacle, Microsoft is the best positioned of the three main mobile OS makers to dominate going forward.
  • Run Bluestack and can use all the droid apps.
  • No need to have an app for every bloody website, navigate to their website they all have mobile-optimized web apps...
  • especially when Edge is a battery hungry crap! and slow on many mobile optimized websites
  • This article is a reply to the people that hate Nadella
  • 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.
  • While this would be wonderful, the RAM and storage needed would out do the 950XL in my mind. It may work but it would be like using continuum on a low end device... sluggish and rough at times. In reality this is another game changer for enterprise computing where a company will gladly spend $1200 on a mobile device that runs well especially if it helps their employee get their work done and makes them happy. I do this all the time with our company when computing devices are needed and this just gives me even more weight when telling the higher ups that we don't just want it but we need to move to this due to what it can do over similarly priced technologies. Therefore when we want something to run correctly, we will get it new and keep it on a life cycle (which will hopefully be more than the 2 years of a current phone).  
  • 810 won't back this up and the current devices mostly won't be updated to the arm windows 10 new version. it has happened before, so get ready for another ditch users fiasco.
  • The memo did not mention that your sd810 powered phone stops working.
  • :) do you really think MS will continue to support and improve windows 10 mobile in it's current form?? after the ARM64 version is released? Are you really that naive?
  • Aaaahhh...first,complete the apps...and make the OS faster...plz
  • We lack apps....😣
  • This is as big as the first ever Smartphone releasing. Google are screwed because they don't have anything outside a dinky phone OS. And it appears that Apple missed this next boat by about 5 years. MS will own mobile computing by 2020.
  • Even IF that ever happened, unlikely, google are so aggressive they will have all their apps running on MS phones in 5 minutes and sabotaging the OS at the same time, just like they do on PC. Won't slow them down.
  • Your profile picture has your mentality right Richard, you are on heaps of LSD to think that MS will own mobile space....ever. You think apple and google are just sitting with their thumbs up their asses.....?????? If you do, you have delusional fanboy syndrome. It does affect a lot of people in this forum however.....
  • The plan has never exactly been a secret, when the apps are all available for Windows on ARM that'll be the difference maker. Also there should be no difference between Windows 10 on ARM and Windows 10 Mobile apps with the exception of maybe higher supported screen resolutions on the desktop.
  • Lacking Apps😫
  • Blah blah.....same old
  • "Grandpa, what's an app?"
  • "Its something that Microsoft forgot about in their verison of the mobile phone..ultimately causing its failure young one"
  • Folks Microsoft amd HP and other Microsoft partners making Windows 10 mobile smart phones are creating a new catagory of products the Smartphone / PC hybrid. this device can get it's NEW or redone Smart phone Apps through the Microsoft UWP "Universal" apps Program but the primary use of the NEW type of smart phone wil be it's Capability to RUN  the MILLLIONs of Desktop PC Programms that already exist. Also Microsoft's OEM partner want to make Cheaper ARMS CPU LAPTOP & TABLETS that run full Windows 10 Desktop PC programs that is why Windows on ARMS CPU's wil first appear in ARMS CPU Laptop and Tablet Computers. For the consumer it means= they will will be able to buy cheaper Windows Laptops and Tablets that have better batery life and are thinner and lighter. that is very cool. Microsoft no doubt will make a Surface" Smart phones that uses this X86 Emulation software to enable it to run Full Windows 10 Desktop Programs on a larger screen in it's "Continuum" mode however Microsoft it appears is betting more on making money with Windows on ARMs being used on Light Laptops and Tablets with GREAT BATTERY LIFE AND BEING VERY THIN. THERE ARE NO APPS GAPS ON THESE DEVICES SINCE THEY HAVE BEEN WINDOWS  FOR YEARS NOW. THE BIG QUESTION IS WILL BE WILL DEVELOPERS MAKE APPS FOR THE NEW HP ELITE X3 type Windows 10 mobile smart phones that are already on the market place and  MORE COMING NEXT YEAR. Microsoft has had a tough time getting developers to make Apps for Windows smart phones that is why Microsoft had to create another type of smart phone the "Smart phone / PC hybrid" which has Millions of desktop PC programs available for it to access and use. As time goes enough prople will buy them to make them worth Microsoft and it's OEM partners making them because having a Windows 10 PC in their pocket appeals to them.  
  • So basically you have a full blown PC in your pocket...AND then if they can manage to get Windows Holographic to work on ARM processors, Microsoft will be trend setters.
  • So do you think this is the beginning of the end for x86, or will this allow ARM & x86 to live together in greater harmony... high end x86 on desktops & servers and ARM on all forms of mobile devices with one Windows development model tying them together...
  • Now that X86 Emulation software for ARMS CPU's is available The Surface smart phone can become a reallity and will run some Desktop PC programs However folks x86 Intel processors still will be needed to run some of the more robust  Cad programs and VR device programs.
  • Why would people need CAD on a small screen? Optician overload! ;-)
  • It is only for use when DOCKED to a docking station and in Continuum mode. Seriously? You dont get that?
  • That's why Intel is still in business. They are not going anywhere.
  • So basically when can I run the the "light" version of Windows 10 on my Surface 2 that I have not turned on at all so far this year?
  • I don't know if they will be so kind to bring support for (a few) old devices...
  • Superlative
  • im confused this focus on windows10 desk top on arm intended for mobile phones. then what was the point of building windows10 mobile OS to begin with? is it just going to be trashed for windows10 desk top on phones? i get the w10m will be sold as "light phones" but still this all seemed pointless now for w10m, the toy phone os that everyone doesn't like how buggy it is
  • I would guess that W10M is a stepping stone. It'll also be the fall back for those not able to go W10. W10M is a great OS. I don't really suffer any bugs to talk about, even though I'm on insider. Yes there have been issues here and there, but no more than Android. I wouldn't say its pointless. More like is it relevant? For me it is relevant, for others, pointless.
  • It was mentioned too on the podcast last night that they will have the mobile shell available, if it is needed. Not sure how exactly this will play in the role here. So if Full W10 runs on ARM then they have two operating systems that are compatible with the same HW platform. Will be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • I get the feeling the point of creating mobile was to have the interface created and then merge that into windows 10.  It would just be a different interface that loads dependent on screen size/configuration.  Kinda like how a 2 in 1 laptop goes from laptop to tablet mode.... now add in the mobile interface and the OS can become a 3 in 1 dependant on hardward configuration.   I'm confused why people are having a hard time grasping this......
  • Hmm...W10M when not docked. W10 when docked. Yep that makes total sense.
  • If, and I mean IF, things start to happen in this direction, they need to drop the mobile tag if they want to be taken seriously. Use HP for example, the X3 elite. No real mention of "phone", but a 3 in 1 etc. MS need to do this as well, as the term 'windows' mentioned with 'phone' means toxicity to developers and 'consumers'. As for the ARM devices running W10, bring it on ( at some point ;-) ).
  • I was just waiting for this.
  • Ohhhhh Mr. CEO why don't you arrange a meeting of developers to at least develop apps for w10 mobo...what the **** you are doing stupid idiot
  • On the YouTube demo it was on a QC 820 SoC. Maybe the x3 has a good update coming next year!
  • No. It's either going to be a modified chipset as qualcomm has been working witht hem to make it compatible or the soc will be passing it off to another chip that MS made much like with the hololens.
  • Possibly, the Qualcomm guy on stage came out holding an Elite x3 in his hand, and said it was powered by the same chip as the phone. Hp will have to decide an upgrade path or not.
  • Maybe HP already has the guts for it, just waiting.
  • Wonder how the average consumer will react to this news/future products. And if the new devices don't cost an ARM (pun intended) and a leg, how is this different than today's cheaper than iPhone Windows Phones that still lack what others have, like lots of 3rd party app developers. All that said, I hope this is a success and like someone once said "I'd give my left ARM to be ambidextrous".
  • I am a consumer and a business user. My response when I heard this was to simply jump ship :))
  • Wonder what's on Intels road map the next 5 to 10 years? I think moto mods with a slap on vid card and battery to power for gaming would be sic. MS needs to get their platform out there and not just as a beta like win 10 mobile. When Apple drops their bomb people are going to act like it's the second coming so MS better be ready and get a foothold.
  • Here is the video  
  • Member when Windows running on ARM was a big deal? Member Windows RT? Member Chewbacca? It could help them in the cloudbook market, but if anyone thinks this will help Windows Mobile they are a fool. People want apps, not Win32 apps on their phones. Microsoft stll has no answer for that. Full Windows 10 on ARM does not answer that issue.
  • The more device that run UWP get in the wild the more UWP apps get created. Trickle down to mobile.
  • I have a hard time with that one Daniel, Most of the UWP are desktop only. They have not even turned on the mobile side of things....
  • It's scaling. It doesn't matter if it's desktop only. As long it scales in a window to a small window it'll work on a 'mobile' device. Microsoft is going to take advantage of UI scaling on a UWP app. 6 inch minimum for a full WIndows 10 ARM experience Continuum for a Mobile shell Full PC Windows 10 PC UWP Scaling to a mobile phone sized Window = Mobile app
  • Whatever it is....symantics..... YOU CANNOT GET MOST UWP APPS ON MOBILE. Simple.....go into the store, most are labeled PC/HoloLens and whatever, NOT mobile.
  • Oooo I 'member! But in all seriousness, the ability to run x86 apps is huge and will solve the app problem. There is an x86 app called BlueStacks that lets you run Android apps on Windows. Just install that and all of a sudden you have access to every Android app out there, in addition to continued access to all x86 apps as well as Windows 10 apps.
  • General Heed, IF that works on the new "device" I will have one.....that is if the camera etc is up to snuff as well.
  • Fantastic news can't wait to try it out :)
  • So, wait:  doesn't full Windows on ARM, effectivelly make this yet another mobile 'do-over' that makes devices like the 640, 950/950 XL and the HP Elite X3, unable to upgrade to the newer OS? Because that's what it sounds like to me.
  • Yup, this I believe is the DNR for W10m as it's just not going to be MS's focus and none of the current handsets will move to a 64bit W10 on ARM, if anyone thinks otherwise then I have some magic beans for sale over in the classifieds.
  • Did you not read the part where they said that Windows 10 Mobile will continue to be developed for some time because only the beefiest phones could possibly run full Windows 10? By the time it becomes practical to truly have a single Windows OS for all devices, anyone still using one of the phones you mentioned will have people pointing at them and laughing in the street.
  • Just like windows RT?  Current hardware is Dead.  Spend your money if you like on it and sell it if you can to the uninformed.  
  • No current Windows Phone will run Windows 10. Windows 10 requires a brand new Snapdragon processor that isn't even out yet.
  • I was incorrect. Windows 10 will run on current Snapdragon processors.
  • Yes it is :)) like it has been many times before. They even said that only future devices with QC835 and forward will be able to benefit from this change, so all current ones will be left over...something usual from MS.
  • Well its not real progress as it does not solve desktop apps run on mobile at all. Thats the point, what is expected to be solved.
  • That is not a problem worth solving and anyone who wants it solved hasn't really thought it through. Desktop apps are not even optimised for touch on a big screen, never mind on a small screen. Trying to use your average Win32 app on a phone would be a ridiculously frustrating experience.
  • im going to start queuing so i can get it first!!!!
  • so windows 10 should be available for surface rt on arm greeeat!!!!!!!!
  • Those devices will be, what, 5 years old and 3 (or more) versions out of date by the time this rumoured OS is available?
    That'd be a stretch for MS to support.
  • Windows 10 will never come to the Surface RT. RT line is dead and buried. Windows 10 on ARM requires a special new Qualcomm processor.
  • I was wrong about Windows 10 requiring a new Qualcomm processor. The Surface RT and Surface 2 are dead. 
  • No you were not, only devices with QC835 and forward will be able to run this new windows 10 ARM version. they even stated this a search and see, so all current devices will be D.E.A.D in terms of software.
  • So are we talking possibly updating my surface 2 rt to Windows 10? I'd do it in a heartbeat even if it's the mobile version
  • By the time I actually have a Surface Phone in my hands...well, it's not gonna be next week. I'll be getting a Galaxy S8 until the Surface Phone comes out.
  • Nice try but I won't fall for it this time. I was tricked twice in the past by Microsoft empty promises. So no thank you...
  • Twice only? :)) lucky one, I was f**cked up three times by these liars
  • Well Actually I bought the lumia 920 a couple of months before Microsoft bought Nokia to destroy it. And since then, like a retard, I was defending Windows phones/Mobile, and believing all the lies Microsoft was saying and the empty promises that WC was relaying like the features that will be announced during the Build events and that will turn tables in favor of Microsoft. And the rest, you know....
    I ended up buying a oneplus one and getting an S7 edge as a gift. And it light years ahead of Windows Mobile.
    For those who are saying that google doesn't respect the private life and android is not secure : Unless you are the President or the king of a country, I don't think it really matters.
  • Had a Lumia 900 just before MS said that it won't upgrade to WP8, and even after saying this they were still advertising this model :)) totally pathetic, then had a 1020 that had issues on 8.1 and took MS almost a year to fix them, then, when MS delivered this crap called windows 10 mobile that was running like a broken record on the 1020 I decided to get a 950...nice phone, enough specs for me, but the SW experience was a failure. LOL MS was really selling the x50 phone with that beta broken piece of crap OS to real people! There was no mention that it has tons and tons of bugs, not for me, I knew it was still problematic, but others, average Joes, did not! Oh and let's not forget the Surface RT fiasco... ohh come and buy these tablets, only after to simply f*ck users up and ditching the entire OS...
  • So instead of UWP and Continuum it would be enough just to project that little screen on a big monitor, done. Is that another reboot which I see before me?
  • Does it mean that Windows 10 Mobile is dead as its support/improvements ?
  • No... It might means that Continuum will be able to run both Windows x86/amd64 binaries and UWP apps. Pure Windows 10 doesn't work will with such small screens (and the fact that pure Windows 10 is _huge_. I wouldn't want a mobile phone OS which is +10 GB.
  • That's right, the emulation software will do the magic for you when you connect to a monitor, keyboard and mouse. And BTW this is much better than a USB HDMI stick since a stick doesn't have phone functionality.
  • in it's current form, YES! The next windows 10 running on next gen phones will be X64, and NONE of the current devices will support it! only the next ones coming with QC835 and forward, which means your 950/XL/X3/Idol 4S etc etc will be again forgotten by MS as it has happened before so many times. They will come with a bunch of pathetic excuses and reasons like they always did: WP7.5 -> WP8. Lumia X20 not getting windows 10 mobile after they all around screamed about it=incompetents!, Surface RT not getting windows they have a heavy past of f*cking up with users and sh**t on their trust.
  • by the downvote I can see a complete retard thinking, or more like dreaming that his beloved current WP will support the nextgen windows 10 arm :)) check again the info before voting down stupid fanboy.
  • And this is why I did not buy into the hype, becasue I know Microsoft.  They do that crap all the time.  Well I did buy a 950 XL but it was so buggy I sold it and moved on to my 1st Samsung...which died in 6 a new one gave it to my wife...picked up a N7 and it was recalled now I'm on my 1st iPhone.  It's okay, but honestly it kinda sucks, but it has every app I want (mostly finance apps).  Anyway I want WP back but man the constant abandiing of the "current" hardware is just too much.  
  • An awesome article, thanks!!!
  • From what I have already read in the other articles on Windows Central, this analysis does not match completely.
    What I understand it won't be the current full PC Windows on ARM, it will be an enhanced Windows Mobile with an emulation for X86/64 for as long as we need it, as X86/64 is legacy after all. Hence, Windows Mobile will be the new Windows.
  • I wonder whether Intel knew this was coming when they discontinued development of much of their Atom line of processors. We were all disappointed because it meant that Windows phones running desktop apps was then less likely but if Intel knew that Microsoft were looking to support Windows 10 on ARM then they'd know that the couldn't compete in that space.
  • It's very doubtful that this news will sway many current Android or Apple users to MS mobile anytime soon or at all.
  • it won't :))) I've just jumped ship after hearing this :))
  • No you haven't, you're still complaining here.
  • Not complaining, just checking about the truth fanboys here refuse to see, that MS is bullshhh**g again with the mobile OS :)) they call it business ready :)) and not even VPN is working properly.
  • Can't wait til this launches in 2019 and is then quietly cancelled in 2020!
  • Does this meana that hopefully we can expect a W10 version for our old Surfaces 2 (not pro)? Pretty please
  • The operative word in this entire article is "could". Microsoft could be working on a Surface Phone. I had trouble running Win 32 apps on an 8" tablet. Manipulating Win 32 apps on a 6" phone would be even worse.
  • To run x86 code effectively you need an x86 chip. Hardware emulation of CISC x86 architecture on RISC ARM is an interesting idea but still questinable. Will it be more efficient than ATOM?
  • As usual, no one is talking about this aside from this site. I get being fans of something, hell I absolutely LOVE Win10 on the desktop and notebook. But in regards to the mobile? This is desperation at it's cringeworthy finest. I don't know what's more painful to watch - MSFT continuously chasing its own tail like a mad dog, or you lot squealing for now, only to start grumbling in 2 years time when it fails - AGAIN. When will you learn!
  • Maybe for consumers, but as a developer I don't want to carry a smartphone + Netbook, I rather carry just one smartphone that can replace my smartphone and my netbook in 1 device.  Even if it emulates x86 programs is pretty good for developers that don't do 3D models or animation.
  • But x86 emulation is really a transitional step toward UWP... over time many developers will move their apps to UWP and recompile for native ARM or Intel code (UWP in Visual Studio does this automatically).
  • devs won't come, stop dreaming like you all fanboys have been doing for the past year and so. Nothing MS is planning with this will ever bring popular apps, MOBILE APPS, that users want and use. You won't see any Google apps, you won't see a decent pair of Facebook apps, you won't see Snapchat or an updated Waze app, you will never see apps from shops,events,banks etc any more than the ones that are now.
  • For many of us, Snapchat is irrelevant. Ditto for Google apps. Never heard of Waze. And Facebook on the web works great. And most of the other apps on the app stores are rubbish that no one will ever download.
  • With such a CEO that simply hates their own mobile sector, it's no wonder they are chasing their own tail...Look at windows 10 mobile now. VPN is broken ever since, many design wise parts are plain and ugly, bugs over bugs...and all because MS does not have competent and enough resources for it, all of the good ones being either fired or assigned in other departments. Panos's team is doing a fantastic job, because they have the budget and the qualified resources to do it, so they prove that MS is capable where it wants to.
  • I wonder how much of project midori's findings / workings are being used :P. Finally got round to watching the WinHec 2016 presentation on channel9 and to me it appeared that Intel and Qualcomm where having a little competition who could showcase their excitement more haha. Now if you excuse me while I go buy some RT tablets ^_^.
  • Ok. Good news. I'd love to see Samsung note 8 running full windows. Great!
  • Fac
  • Samsung may have been complete retards with the Note 7 design that caused the boom effect :)), but they are not that stupid to trust MS again.
  • Hum... I wonder but I think I saw a Samsung laptop with windows 10.
  • I was talking about phones.
  • @juan almanzar; You got downvoted but I thought with this new note that got cancelled because of the battery issues that Samsung would add a wp which would help expand the product line because both OSes can run on the same hardware.
  • I wonder... What if the phone itself has its storage and RAM, but when it's hooked to a dock there's some additional (fast access) storage that can house the desktop apps, data, etc? That'd be pretty neat and a way to keep the cost of the device itself down.
  • I'm sorry. I find it difficult to see that full Windows 10 on a mobile device would win back consumers. Apps are liked because they are simplified versions of programs or websites. Now we are getting the the heavy operating system on our mobiles. Can you see yourselves recommending it to your friends and family. It will be a device for those interested in it because of the tech or those who are forced to use it because of work. Left in a drawer on the weekend. But hey I get it. Microsoft (Nadella) doesn't need consumers. They are all about bringing services to companies. Not the people working there. Sorry for the rant. You can start your downvoting now. ;).
  • The marketplace as shown that you are correct in your thinking...  WIndows Phone was available for everyone, and it showed that APP DO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.  I got about 40 people on Windows Phone and you know what ? About 95% of them are now on Android or iOS... Why ? Because not having apps puts too many limits on a phone, even basic stuff like local news apps, or the supermarket discounts around the corner, or how about the local radio station ? OR even a smarwatch app ? Yea, I saw the light... Was a WM fan from the start, was PocketPC before it, Had 6 WP devices, ONLY knew WP apps, nothing from the others...then tried Android, the OS sucks but, the apps are OMG... it's a whole new world... But, I depend on some apps that WP could never provide, although it's a great OS, Microsoft screwed up marketing on it and it flopped (1-3% of the market is a flop, ask any expert). Go head, down vote me but, you know it's the truth...
  • Well, one answer is to make great apps. So where are the app developers that are putting their code on GitHub and getting the community to test and debug and give feedback?
  • Having full windows 10 on a mobile phone will make zero to none difference in consumer zone. It will make some difference in business area as it will be much more useful than having limited continuum apps like now, but most companies will go on with using a standard ultrabook or a high spec notebook plus BYOD for phones.
    All I see is another let's kill the win10mobile as it is now, anyways is a hot mess, f**ck the users and we bring again something new...sorry but even as a company I would never trust MS again with such a move, as it is not their first ditch and run "technique"
  • Ok... Go play with you robot or rotten apple and leave the adults work.
  • Maybe... just maybe. I guess it all depends on the performance.  I will use my Mom for example. She has a phone (an handed down iphone 5), and she has a 10 month old laptop (fairly new and nice performing). I always end up with the support calls (I dont mind, it is MY mom). The support end is....How do I get videos from my phone to my computer ? How do I move files from my computer to my phone ?  90% of the calls are about making the PC and the phone work together. If you can see where I am going with this, If you had one device, that performed very well (non hardcore gaming, maybe candy crush type games), you would not have to deal with transfering stuff, and you always have everything with you, take a picture and it's aviable on your compute when you get home, Your apps and games come with you, If you use outlook on your desktop, no extra settings to use it on your phone. Oh, the other side, If performance is only SO,-SO(your taking a OS on a phone and dumping it on a 1080p screen, it could have questionable performace), it will be flop for most people. For me, x86 or forget it. I have too many programs that I use that ARE NOT, Windows store programs, and it would be nice to carry them with me but, with out that and the lack of applications on Windows Phone, or even Windows 10 (Same thing as WP, very limited, it's growing but, a LONG way to go), I would not even attemp it unless I can run my x86 apps...As the RT type thing is as bad as WP on this aspect (they killed off RT anyway) And then there is always the Verizon thing....getting a kick A$$ Verizon phone that does all this...good luck..
  • @DavidinCT; I agree but I also believe that some company is going to make a play putting wp on the market giving it that kind of support and begin building market share which Microsoft let go the Nokia staff which did a great job in support of the Lumias and was growing market share until Microsoft let lose a barrage of phones with hardward that didn't have the value of a low ended Android phone.  This is to your prior comment...
  • it started with Ballmer
  • Ballmer wanted to do it before it was ready for prime time, since his era was about to end. We know what happened for rushing it out.
  • Just saying it is not credit only the current ceo
  • Ballmer didn't have the Snapdragon 820 even the 835 which has yet to hit the market but soon yet he attempt brought it much closer to mainstream.
  • Yes but the development started on Balmer era. This is not a 3 years development
  • Shut up and take my money, as a power user I was waiting for this, this will replace my Android Xperia M4 Aqua phone in 2017 when my contract ends. I expect a phone with 4GB of RAM, 64 GB storage, I'll install Java 8, Eclipse and Vuala I'm ready for the device that does it all for me.
  • This is the next step, not only one OS but also one name W10
  • I'd bet that this step is bigger than looking. There are already great ARM chips, I'm thinking to nVidia ones (K1 and especially the powerful X1) that can sustain intensive tasks. The X1 coupled with other heavy stuff and a full Win10 can be a great step toward what I'd call "full desktop mobility".
  • slowly but steady, surface phone in the makings. It is going to be there. come spring 2018 :D
  • With a Snapdragon 835, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, and 128 GB fast-access storage. :'D
  • ARM, as it's nice for mobile devices and in time will provide cheaper price points with tablets and laptops, A X86/x64 will always for years at least be the head of the game here. No other way to put it. Till the "horse power" is there to go head to head with a $600 Intel i7 (as you quote but, they do go far higher than that, some intel CPUs are thousands, mainly server CPUs tho), I dont see any real change in the market for people who NEED to do work, or even gamers that like higher end computers. In the real world where busness is done, most companies use software that is based on a x86/x64 platform, Odds are is the hardware will not be supported with drivers under ARM (yes, you will need new drivers for new CPU type, just like 32bit drivers will not run under 64bit), and of course applications based off x86 will not run on ARM. The main succcess of a OS is not consumer, it's business, if the corporate world accepts and OS based on ARM it will be successful. Microsoft makes a lot more money on Windows in the corportate world than they do off the Windows 10 fanboy sitting at home playing minecraft or candy crush. To make a serious dent in the market's going to take many years and will need a CPU that can go head to head with a TOP intel chip and I think we are not even close to that yet.
  • I still do real work on a company PC running Windows 7 32bit version on hardware with 2gb of RAM. I can wait for my company to replace these with ARM powered laptops/tablets/phones. The power savings will be immense.
  • I'm looking forward to the day i can carry my phone into work, dock it and run Visual Studio on it :)
  • You can do that today :)
  • Your characterization of Windows 10 Mobile vs Windows 10 desktop is a little simplistic.  Windows 10 Mobile is mostly a marketing term that captures a bunch of features.  Under the covers, however, there are flavors of Windows 10 mobile that run on x86 H/W.  For example both the Surface Hub, and Hololens use flavors of Windows 10 mobile as their operating environment.  Windows 10 is highly componentized, and various pieces can be put together to create the operating environment desired for a particular device family.  Not all devices that are seen as "mobile" by MS's various management tools (like MDM, Intune, SCCM, etc) use all the same components.  Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile have a lot more commonality that just OneCore and UWP.  Even since the beginnings of the winrt API back in the Windows 8 days, MS has been natively coding much win32 api functionality to run on ARM.  With each iteration the amount of desktop stuff that can run on ARM has increased.  However, the things that could be used by a developer in a desktop app is immense (MSDN has a web page devoted to things that could be used -- it goes far beyond win32). Given that history, full Windows 10 on Snapdragon will involve some stuff that MS has natively coded for ARM, and some stuff that will be handled by emulation.  Presumably, telemetry is telling them which high use pieces need to be coded natively, and which rarely used pieces can be emulated.  How well they do this will determine how well the full Windows 10 on Snapdragon will fare.  The past history with emulation is not encouraging, but we will see.  Much of the old Win RT operating environment was hard coded for ARM, and much of that will be carried over to this effort.
  • I believe you in your 'componentized' talk about W10, though it makes me ponder something.   Why are the touch interfaces for W10 and W10M different? Why is Continuum for W10M different from the KB+M GUI for X86 W10? If these were truly componentized and working together like we'd think, wouldn't they have the same interface elements?
  • There are limits to what can achieved with componentization.  One area where this breaks down somewhat is in the area of UX components.The different interaction modalities with continuum is an issue that MS acknowleged at the recent Ignite conference -- one they promised to fix as part of a whole range of upcoming continuum updates.  Continuum as seen today is very much a version 1 implementation, and I'm guessing it was done by a team somewhat separate from the main W10 groups. UX elements try to adjust to the device form factor that they detect (this was the primary goal of the first iteration of continuum).  However, UX is not totally under MS's control.  App developers can use Xaml coding to cause their apps to rearrange themselves based on device characteristics, but there's no guarantee that all devs would do so.  There are some areas like phones vs desktops where the limitations of the form factor are going to make UX conformity difficult to obtainn.  That said MS did say at Build and again at Ignite that they will strive with each new release to make the UX elements be as similar as possible where they have control of the situation.  Some of these problems date back to the W8 days (and in some cases back to WPH7) -- back then the groups were under separate managements, and didn't always communicate effectively.  Sometimes getting a product shipped will trump (:grin) crossing all the T's and dotting all the i's.    
  • “There are those who take steps and those who make the great leap forward. Those who stay as they are… And those who become more than they ever thought possible. They discover, explore, compete and are fearless. There are those satisfied by common pursuits, and those for who the extraordinary will never be enough.” That's from the Xbox One 'Jump Ahead' E3 promotional video (correct me if I'm wrong). Well I just think it's a very fitting description of where we are heading with Windows on ARM ;)
  • Full windows 10 on a mobile device ? My word ... Do you know how absurd that sounds ? That's absolutely shocking!
    I'd be all over it honestly. Not far along the line phones will start having nvidia graphics cards in them lol. Honestly this is revolutionary. I think microsoft will take over from Apple and Google soon. This is the future.
  • Take over what? average Joe wants mobile apps on his phone. Having x86 apps on continuum mode on your phone won't even break the dent in marketshare. Aaaand by moving to arm64, current windows 10 mobile will be history, again another product killed by MS and users ditched, like many times before.
  • It isn't so much phones that he and others are referring to; it's the breadth of connected devices (like tablets, laptops, consoles, and yes, even phones) that will start to blur the capabilities of the form factors. It's not about chasing what is now popular, but creating an ecosystem that will take advantage of what comes next.   What comes next might be a jump too far from the phone for Apple and Google to make. If MS's gambling pays off, the other two companies will likely be playing catch-up... And be worse off for it.
  • @aespix; I think this is what the market has been waiting for Microsoft has been in times past had ideas that were ahead of technology and is good to see that those ARM chips power evolution is bringing it close enough to try run an X86 application even with emulation though some applications as always will have some issues because of the way they were written but that is to be expected but hopefully the majority will work to some satisfaction.
  • Honestly who cares...I love WP, but W10 on a phone still wont have apps and you'll have to hook it up to an external display to use the apps you want.  I just dont see this being a game changer.  No apps is no apps.  They make universal apps now and developers are not jumping in with both feet.  How many times have you purchased an app on your desktop from the W10 store?  
  • I use Store apps on my PC now. I have bought some too on PC or Phone (pay on one platform for all platforms). Facebook (I often revert to the website so I can open notifications in tabs, though)
    Messenger - I hate using the website for Messenger so this is great
    Windows Central
    Skype Preview
    My Colony - great concept for a game but falls short
    myTube - for general browsing (though I use Edge on PC/Phone 95% of the time) I have it but never launch it: Twitter. There's a few others but these are the ones I use on PC almost daily - not just the phone as some (such as Tubecast) are.  
  • That would not be full Winows on a mobile device, it would be a simulation of full Windows. Not good enough for me, I expect nothing less than a phone running on a native X86 processor and full Windows, or it will be the iPhone 8 for me. I kinda had enough of Windows 10 Mobile over the last 3 years; I don't really care what the guts of the apps are, but this browser-based strategy is so poorly implemented by Microsoft itself, that you cannot expect more from 3rd parties. With the last updates, the "invalid login token" thing is now the ultimate fun. An nVidia X86 chip would be a great thing, but Microsoft is out for scalping - get every cent you can without putting much into it, Microsoft is not out for game changing partnerships, products and strategies.
  • I want it already
  • A dual 1.3 GHz CPU is not quite "fantastic".
  • A dual 1.3 GHz CPU is not quite "fantastic".
  • When update on my Lumia 2520?
  • Probably never, same as with my 1-gen Surface :/ There are some hopes that when W10 will also run on ARM we would finally get update to W10 but IMHO our devices are already abandoned by support team and even if there would be some work to do with optimization for RT devices they won't do it. We are paying for signing to early stage of new Windows ecosystem. Might happen also to Continuum.
  • Today I replaced my final windows sad....been there since the Samsung Blackjack..irony is I replaced with a much hope for WP, but years of disappointments and lack of apps have led me here..maybe one day our paths will cross again
  • And the path to another ditch and run, another kill, is even more clear: The current windows 10 mobile will be history along with the devices currently running it once this win 10 arm64 becomes public :)) Great job MS, you've done it before, several times so it's not something new :))...and they still have the guts to ask for trust from users, so pathetic. Yes, surface phone seems to be getting closer to reality but it won't make a dent, users need mobile apps, the fact that it will run x86 via continuum won't make even a noticeable dent in the marketshare. As long as Nadella keeps running this company, nothing good will come out of mobile on their own platform.
  • Well, before they didn't have an ARMs chip capable to do this efficiently. Now these chips have been through evolution getting powerful especially starting with from the snapdragon 820 and now with the upcoming 835 I would say that the next chip pass the 835 will trully allow Microsoft an even better chance of putting win10 on an ARMs chipset and better efficiency though I don't believe all X86 will run efficiently because of the way they were written which is to be expected.  
  • I agree, yet another reboot.  While they pass off $800 DOA phones.
  • I don't think it being PC/Tablet only and not phone form factor has to with cost or other mobile hardware's (RAM, emmc flash storages etc.) capability. We have had $200 Windows devices with 64GB flash storage and 4GB RAM before. I think it has more to do with the development for full Windows 10 on phones. Obviously, it will need telephony stack. Then there are UI issues. I think what they need to do is to find a compromise between what they currently have on PCs and bring it to phone form factor. Add backgrounds to existing full screen start on PCs/tablets in continuum/tablet mode. Add transparency to tiles. Add transparency slider. Even better add background blur sliders. Left hand pane/area for all app lists, search bar on top, alphabet jumplist, and hamburger shortcuts, quick actions, settings, turn off, restart, log off; all the existing goodness. Right hand area for 3-4 tile grids, with options to group them or not, edge to edge for phone form factor like we currently have on windows 10 mobile, folders support, make it more like w10m. Use the same consolidated bottom taskbar with windows, back and cortana/search key, on left hand side, app pins (if there is enough space), time/date/calendar, wifi, sound, action center, cellular, radio, battery (indication) icons on right hand side. Option to bring one of them from a fly out window to choose what to open and then open them as a fly out of the bottom just like PCs (in case of audio volumes and controls could fly out of bottom on pressing volume keys). Consolidate the gestures to what we have on PCs, swipe from right to bring action center/quick actions, swipe from left to bring task switcher screen, swipe down from top to close apps etc. Program the existing desktop UI shell to UWP as a legacy UI shell for legacy users and ones more akin to android/ios UI. Convert existing Win32 file explorer to fully featured fully functional UWP. Snap, snap assist UI Up/Down portrait orientation for phones. Convert win32 task manager to fully functional fully feature rich UWP task manager. Then there is conundrum of if to allow Win32 programs through emulation on phone screen. Add an option under settings to enable/disable it. Bring this reworked UWP Shell, One Core, Holographics shell platform for phones and supercede the existing w10m shell. It will also solve the issue of landscape start and browsing that mobile users have been asking for some time and will bring some more feature richness of full windows 10 to phones and bring more consistency to UI. Add to it latest mobile hardware with QHD OLED screens, latest Snapdragon 835 or better, high speed high bandwidth 128GB storage and 8GB RAM with the usual mobile goodness of multimedia hardware of cameras, speakers, microphones and we have a winner Surface Phone. Bundle it with a free lap dock/12" 2K touch screen for better execution of phone form factor penetration into market to get more developers to write UWP apps for those convenient service utility on a phone form factor. Microsoft needs to realize that it is not only the battery efficiency - high power combo that is the winner. It is the pocketable and single-handed-handheld portable form factor that has won over the consumers and for that to have, you need scaled apps for better service and on the move utility and for that you need to sell more phone factor devices and have more of its market. Fingers crossed.
  • Let's see what happens!
  • So we get to live though yet another reboot and wait 3-6 years for them to get it right before moving on again....ugh
  • Yeah, that was my first thought too. BUT this is Microsoft, and they can actually make great products on the first try if they really want to. Just look at HoloLens! :)  
  • Great article, looking forward to it, and hopefully with a full function edge browser for all streaming services out there...
  • this is interesting! although I want to know what kind of consumers are these mainly targeted at? what would make them buy such a device, just to use desktop and phone?
  • Why buy a desktop and/or a laptop if you're on the move all the time? You can just have a dock at work to plug your phone into and a lapdock for a laptop experience - all powered from your single device. ​It won't replace desktops, laptops or phones - the Surface Pro's never intended to do that - but for those that love tablets they could and DID do that. So this will just fill the gap. There are currently no mainstream pocket PCs like this.
  • Personally while, yes, Windows 10 for mobile does need some things added (mostly apps) I firmly believe that a Surface Phone will be what starts bringing Microsoft into the mobile market.