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Windows 10 Mobile could get full x86 app emulation for 'Redstone 3' by late 2017

Microsoft still has big plans for Windows 10 Mobile Continuum despite the near abandonment of the consumer market for the last 18 months. As to how Microsoft plans to evolve and make Mobile viable remained a mystery, but a new report today begins to highlight the path.

A new report from Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet claims that Microsoft is aiming to build in x86 emulation into an ARM64 device. That means that a Continuum phone could run actual desktop apps when docked to a monitor or laptop completing the 'PC in your pocket' metaphor.

Project Cobalt is a name we have heard ourselves internally as "something to be excited about," but until now details about what it is was unclear. In a tweet from @h0x0d ('WalkingCat') reference for "CHPE" was found regarding "Windows's hybrid x86-on-ARM64". Foley cites her sources that "C" stands for "Cobalt" while the "HP" is literally for the company HP and possibly about the Elite x3 (that device reportedly will be supported and produced for at least two years). The "E" in "CHPE" could be a direct reference to "Emulation."

Reports for ARM64 support (64-bit Windows 10 Mobile) go back to January 2016. That support is needed to get past the 3.5 GB RAM limit currently being hit by devices like the Elite x3 and Idol 4S.

Currently, devices like the HP Elite x3 rely on cloud-based emulation through HP Workspace. While the solution works well enough having native emulation would be much more ideal.

Additionally, we have heard from our sources that three reference boards are in development by Microsoft for Mobile with one running MSM8998 (aka Snapdragon 830). That chipset is rumored to support 8GB of RAM with a 10nm process down from the current 14nm.

Interestingly, the Snapdragon 830 (now called Snapdragon 835) is not expected for release until later in 2017 around the same time as Windows 10 'Redstone 3', which follows the Creator's Update due in the Spring. Per Foley, Redstone 3 is where we will see Cobalt take form lining up with some new hardware possibly from partners like HP.

While we won't reveal the codenames for the other two Microsoft Mobile engineering designs, we can hint that they are astrological in nature. That clue will come back later for another astrological codename that revolves around further significant shell developments within Continuum.

The three engineering designs are not necessarily indicators that Microsoft will release those as consumer or enterprise products. Rather, they are testing units meant for OS evaluation and development of new features for Mobile.

Windows 10 Mobile on x86 too?

We also hear from a reliable source that Windows 10 Mobile could also be positioned on actual x86 hardware. We have been told that Microsoft has a "Windows 10 Mobile x86 dev kit", but it is unclear what they are doing with it.

Building in x86 emulation ("Cobalt") into Windows 10 Mobile could open the door for Chromebook competitors. While these 'lite' laptops would run Windows 10 Mobile for improved battery life and faster performance they could also run real desktop apps via x86 emulation.

Google is limited to running only phone apps on its laptops neutering their power for "real" work by companies.

Mobile is still the future

One thing should be clear from all the recent leaks: Windows 10 Mobile is not only alive and kicking, but Microsoft has some big plans for it.

Being able to emulate x86 apps in particular environments while keeping the benefits of ARM is the dream scenario for enterprise and prosumers. While x86 may be on the way out for consumers, it is legacy users who need support for the next 5 to 10 years while the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) evolves and replaces that architecture.

Phones that can emulate desktop apps in Continuum and laptops that run a Mobile OS with Cobalt makes the Windows 10 Mobile gambit suddenly a strategic win for Microsoft. Nonetheless, the company has a lot of engineering ahead to get from where we are today to that point.

Recent demonstrations of what's coming next to Continuum demonstrate that the blurring of what is Mobile and what is Desktop will only increase until the distinction fades in 2018.

As to any Surface Phone (or Mobile) rumors, there is no new information to add. It should be clear that if and when Microsoft releases a mobile Surface device it will showcase these and other abilities (see 'Why Microsoft keeps working on Windows 10 Mobile: ARM, cellular, and the next big thing'), but there is no indication that such a device will be out in the next few months. Indeed, Zac Bowden and I have heard that things could be pushed back until 2018.

All we know at this time is Windows 10 Mobile looks to become a lot stronger in the next 12 months.

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

304 Comments
  • so can they update WinRT to 10 now? Still rocking the SF2 somehow! LOL
  • Still rocking the Lumia 2520. So RT has effectively been re-named, while the fan and user base for the initial Surface and Lumia devices has been abandoned. Nice.
  • This will be huge.
    Hope MS will manage to deliver.
  • So this is why I've been seeing all the clickbait recently on "surface phone". In the last few weeks everyday an article on the Surface phone. The domains hosting the article all had similar naming to them like techncrunch or this that..
  • Exactly what I thought. It seems like they can engineer just anything they *want* to. If they wanted, they could update Surface RTs to run anything. I'd be happy to have them just run UWP apps.
  • Unfortunately, Tegra is the problem.  ARM is not quite as predicable as x86/x64.  With Intel and AMD as the only real players left in that space, it's easier.  With ARM you have many vendors each with their own implementation of the reference design.  So an ARM processor from Nvidia will behave much differently than an ARM processor from Qualcomm, Ti (shut down), MediaTek, Apple, or Samsung. You can see this today when you compare Galaxy phones for different markets.  The Exynos (Samsung) processors have much different benchmarks than the Snapdragons (Qualcomm).
  • I see, so the fact that they can make this work for the Qualcomm processors doesn't mean it would run on the Tegras? A pity.
  • One thing for sure.... This current concept of mobile applications that are OS exclusive has an expiration date, and I don't see that being as critically important in the future... And, MS aims to do something about it.
    Missing out on mobile, for literally a decade, might be a blessing in disguise for MS. It has forced MS to think outside the box, get a head start on new mobile technology for 2020, and could position MS as the mobile innovator going forward..
    If MS actually pulls this off I got a lot of "I told you so's" to hand out to a lot of haters.
  • Ten years of failure followed by finally figuring something out that will be copied within a year or two isn't exactly an 'I told you so' moment.
  • I don't think this is something that can easily be replicated. Apple and Google would have to start from the ground up to produce a unified OS experience across all form factors, and Google doesn't even really have a desktop OS. By the time they do that, MS would be well ahead of the curve much like they were with the smartphones.
  • iDroid will not be able to replicate Windows desktop market share within a few years, or be able to make their offering as cohesive, and widespread, as Windows,, in a couple of years.
    ........
    I would be able to say "I told you so" if W10M does survive in It's current form just for the fact that the start screen along is practically an evolution from WP7... Either way, the world will see it as WP survived, and flourished.. Yep.
  • Well that's certainly something, let's just hope it doesn't get swept under the rug.
  • as usual!
  • Damn, as soon as I am out, I am right back in....950xl coming soon to my desk....Not my primary device, but will have one with the dock when they go on sale with the 950 free!
  • Don't get too excited. There's a good chance you will need new hardware to be able to do this. It's not at all clear you can just upgrade a 32-bit mobile OS to a 64-bit one or if the SD 808/810 is capable. If any current Windows 10 Mobile devices were to get this my bet would be on the Elite x3 since the 820 supports ARM64.
  • Come on Dan, telling windows mobile fans not to excited about what you just reported is like telling a kid not to get excited about possibly getting sweets ☺. Either way doesn't matter to me whether my 950XL is supported by this advancement. I viewed it as a 2/3yr investment and ill be ready to upgrade to whatever MS releases.
  • good point. I do enjoy my iPhone because the apps are available...but this is interesting. I have been using windows 10 instead of my mac again recently and since the last update, its been MUCH better. THANK GOD. hmmm what to do!
  • Love the downvotes people!
  • Always knew you were reasonable Steve :)
  • REALLY? I never! ha ha !
  • What's an iPhone? Never heard of it....
  • I bought the Idol 4S recently. Do you think that phone maybe supported?
  • Dan's speculation would also apply to the Idol 4S because it uses the 820 just like the Elite x3.
  • Daniel i have a question
    Off topic
    Does Lumia 950 support usb-otg in ntfs format?
  • Would the new Alcatel fall into this as well? I would think so with similar specs as the hp.
  • In theory, it could. Not clear if this would have a consumer angle out the gate.
  • I would love to be able to play light indie games on my phone (though I'm disappointed they're already available as apps on iOS). Or even being able to install the encryption software I need to access my email from my phone.
  • Yup. I'd go further. I'd bet no current hardware will support x86 emulation on ARM, or at least not in a way anyone would consider usable. Without some hardware based decode support, which would translate x86 instructions into their ARM counterparts, this idea will result in slow-as-molasses performance. I'm not aware of any currently available ARM chip with such a feature. Build a phablet and plunk in the smallest core M CPU. That sounds like a far more likely scenario to me. All of this completely ignores the software side of things, which basically boils down to the fact that we can't run x86 desktop software in W10M. For that we'd need all the other stuff that ships with full W10. I'm not calling BS, but at the very least, a very large part of this puzzle is missing.
  • yeeeah, i can see how "good" will native x86app look on a device with 5 - 6inch not to mention the power consumption, the phone will last 3h. straight without charging + you will need more ram so the costs of a phone with full x86 emulation capabilities will be around 700usd. This idea is as dead as continium
  • You missed some key details like how this would only work in Continuum mode when docked. That is how HP Workspace works too with the Elite x3. In other words, your whole "the phone will last 3h. straight without charging" and your critique about how apps will "look" on a small display are moot. No one is talking about running emulated x86 apps on your phone as a phone. That'd be stupid.
  • Yeah! And guess what, no stealing of info from the office computers, cause the all the PCs are at home. Maybe the thief can dock his windows mobile and play GTA 5 on it. Man I am playing a lot these days lol.
  • First it is called "Continuum", second: For some users including me it is far from dead but being lived every day. There is a difference between not widely used by harry and dick all over the world and being dead, otherwise any non-mainstream-product or idea is automatically dead, which is just a stupid thing to say. Actually these stuff is the most innovative and interesting stuff out there and often is not understood by the masses for a long time before it is spreading. The same happend with smartphones, computers, cars and most technologies available. First people just need to adjust to the possibilities and learn where they can use the technology then they will start making it mainstream.
  • You again....
  • Consider devices like the HP Stream 7. Spotify and other apps scale just fine on mine. It wouldn't be much different at all.
  • Well actually the full win32 api is available on w10m aswell as the registry. Of course those programs using memory alteration of the system32 runtimes are going to fall on their face but at some point MS really has to stop supporting those hacks anyway. So, actually with the emulation of the x86 instructions almost everything would already work, especially as all x86 calls to the win32 api could be translated to their ARM win32 calls performance for a nicely programmed exe might be alright.
  • The SD 808 and 810 support ARM64 as well-- in fact, that was the very point of those products. Qualcomm was not planning to launch 64-bit chips until Kryo was done and SD 820 shipped but was caught completely off guard by Apple's A7 chip, which would've opened up a multi-year lead over Qualcomm in ARM64 (not that it was critical for performance, but it certainly was for spec sheet battles). So Qualcomm decided to rush the 808 and 810 to market by simply adapting stock ARM cores (A53 / A57), to tick off the ARM64 box until 820 shipped with Qualcomm-designed cores-- and we know how that turned out (see SD 810's big thermal issues).
  • ah interesting, didn't know about that bit of history there
  • While True I don't see it being worth the support to make sure something that will be 3+ generations old with its own set of problems. And that's also ignoring the whole you can't really upgrade your phone OS from 32 bit to 64 bit. You'd have to completely flash your phone and I'm not sure that would be officially supported because of the associated risks with that. I can see HP going out of its way to support it on it's x3 because its a business device that comes with HPs extended support anyways. But I think this will basically be for new phones from next year on. Which I'm OK with because most people upgrade their phones regularly enough for it not to matter, particularly the customers who shop on the higher end.
  • Absolutely correct. Current devices won't get any of this.
  • I thought the 808/810 were 64-bit CPU's? That's not to say our phones will be upgraded.
  • You'll get all the new features except the emulation. Which by the time this comes out shouldn't be a shock to anyone since a) the processors will be over two years old b) no one bought those specific devices with any promise of that feature ever even existing in the future.
  • Daniel. Technically, the Snapdragon 808 & 810 used in the Lumia 950 phones are ARMv8-A capable. However, will Microsoft update these phone to a 64-bit OS with x86 emulation is the big question.
  • Even the Elite x3 should be cheap enough for usual consumers by the time things are ready to roll, but I would still get the 950xl for its camera before the new stuff comes around
  • in short we need new devices and it's all about continumm but where are those new devices???? most of the devices are for business people...what about normal customer?? Alcatel launch it's 4s but not available for all global market. Specilally I'm from India and here Microsoft India just exists on paper.   So tell me sir we wait for change or we just move on??? It's too much time taking for the situation to be changed in this platform now.
  • Well, the good thing with that is, the Elite X will likely be reduced in price, giving average consumers an opportunity to try out this new feature. The only thing I'm hoping is that this feature, if and when it comes, does not come partial. I understand updates being pushed out to enhance the experience, but the experience out the door...box in this case has to be on point.
  • Even without your sound logic, history dictates that anyone who buys a Windows Phone can expect it to be abandoned in less than 2 years. It's been that way for the better part of a decade.
  • It gives sign pure VR flavor is coming to windows phone which can integrate kinect too
  • feeling motivated.
  • Great news. I still believe they need to be able to run Android apps in order to go after consumer market share. An innovative designed Windows Mobile product that could run x86 AND Android would have real chance at changing the game. FYI - Yes, I know UWP is supposed to close the app gap, but honestly isn't. Yes, I know that sucks, but it's the only realistic way to close the app gap. Yes, I know the project bridge was cancelled, but that doesn't mean it isn't still needed. Yes, I know iOS would be better, but iOS is down to 12% and dropping. If that doesnt change soon, developers may start dropping iOS on global apps too. Etc.
  • Developers won't drop iOS anytime soon, because iPhone users are known for being able to pay for apps far better than android users, so they generate more income. And btw, running android apps on Windows would kill off most UWP development, and that's a bad thing in the long run.
  • Yeah, I see no indication of "Android apps emulated" coming to Windows 10 in any form. Could be wrong on that, but last I heard from people that kind of thing is not going to happen. It's UWP or bust.
  • to succeed in the consumer space in any way MS would need to have android apps on Win10. This couldn't be more obvious
  • Again, at this time for mobile, (1) they are not overly concerned with consumers and (2) they are betting long-term on UWP/bridges/Xamarin for the app-gap issue. In 2018 they could return to focusing on consumers, until then they're at 1% now and will be 1% then.
  • I believe people understand, but we're talking *IF* Microsoft wanted to have a Win10M based successful consumer mobile device. If (or when) they do, UWP isn't the answer for obvious reasons. Xamarin could help in conjunction with UWP, but UWP alone isn't enough. They would need an easy bridge.
  • infosage, but MS doesn't have any expectations for W10M consumer mobile devices. Rightfully so. By their own words they don't want what readers want because they recognize they failed :-( Why does anything think a bridge (i.e. total rewrite of existing app) would help in any way? MS has no phone partner to make consumer phones who carriers trust. No carrier support basically worldwide especially USA. MS can just tread water and compile mobile builds but nothing will get consumers using them. Why buy a windows10 mobile phone for the same price over an iPhone 8 or Galaxy s8 next year? This is the problem MS created and can't undo.
  • Because the Idol 4S is currently several hundred dollars cheaper that the cheapest Iphone 7
  • Because it is twice as much as a Moto G which doesn't have the limitations of Windows 10 Mobile. Also, you can buy an iPhone SE for the same price.
  • If by limitations you mean the app gap, the Windows Store is much better if you compare it with a scaled version of Android. I have apps for everything I need(though FB Messenger has periodic touch issues) and more games than I have hours to play. As for the Moto G, it is cheap but has no SD820. I don't know how much is an Iphone SE but I doubt you can get one and a VR lite kit for 470$. It all gets down to preference and after 3 years on WP and W10M, I will not let go of the live tiles, the all apps menu and the settings menu
  • How would 2018 improve anything for W10 mobile? No consumer w10 phones for 2017 and more an app gap simply means devs aren't motivated to release/test/update mobile apps for windows10 "mobile" also when 99% of the users are not using W10. Xamarin only goes so far and isn't used by Snapchat for example. Who would buy a new W10 phone xmas 2017 and why? what carriers would push it? 2018 nope. 2019? 2020? Get real now. Look, it's a tough read but nothing and i repeat nothing will improve w10 for "consumer" except Android apps in the next few years x86 emulation is useful for business space.
  • Your negative speculation while making you feel superior isn't rooted in anything factual.  If they pull this off and a family can actually have one lightweight computer or even a computer shell and every family member can just dock their phone to it and have full computer access, I think there's a market for that outside of business.   Android apps aren't a magic elixir.  If they were, EVERY Android OEM would be making huge profits. They aren't.  Microsoft is choosing to go in a drastically differnt and not a "me too" direction. It is bold and I think it gives them a shot.  I'm not guaranteeing victory or defeat because I don't presume to be an oracle like some around here. I will say that it is very interesting stuff and I'm one that will give it a go. I'm excited for something like the Nexdock.  Now, Nexdock isn't really ready for prime time, but I still got one.  If a truly awesome laptop shell can be made and I can use ONE wireless account, ONE license for Office, Adobe, Final Draft, etc., then we're talking about HUGE savings.  If I can connecy my device to any SmarTV, Windows 10 computer, etc., I'm truly mobile with my full tool set.  That has some big benefits for businesses AND consumers. While you are judging the future as if the rules will be the same as the status quo, Microsoft does have some people trying to change the future paradigm.  I know people will still bash what they don't understand or what they don't think they'd use, but this is how innovation happens and there's always some resistance based on what is dominate in the moment. 
  • dalydose, people will always want phones (smartphones) and MS has no answer for these people (88+% of the worldwide smartphone market using android). Apps give meaning to their $59, $199, $299, $499 or $699 smartphone. Without meaningful app support the "phone" is just a text/phone/web device boring and not useful vs an Android device on any carrier at any pricepoint. For example with WM10 you still can't pay at Dunkin Donuts, deposit a paycheck at TD bank or use coupons in the real world on the go, can't control your Line6, Harmony remote, etc. the list goes on and on and on. Having programmed/sold "pocket PC" wm5 business apps back in the day i can tell you what i posted isn't about making me look superior only providing a reality check to windows fans of which i am one. Daniel has little working first hand knowledge about emulators or xamarind or bridges. He doesn't understand how MS gutted VB6 devs with VB.NET for example. The source of this info is MaryJo who uses NOTEPAD, the prime example of a Microsoft enthusiast if there ever was one. Even back in the WM5 days MS was behind Palm and ironically never recovered. They gave up. Nothing will change this anytime soon they just gave up WM10 basically 15 months ago before the 950 (own one) and XL (own one) even shipped. MS' mobile play is simply cloud and apps for any device. A good start would be all the win10 apps on android & ios for real continuum from desktop/laptop to their android/ios phone. You can't even share bookmarks from iOS to win10 for example. Edge a total waste limited to win10 people who haven't had Chrome install with some other app or Java update. MS is at 1% of mobile for a reason. It's a shame cause some talented people are spinning their wheels.
  • Nothing is "always" and the rest of your post comes from a perspective that the future will always look like today. I'm actually glad that MS has some things for WM10 that aren't on iOS. That's kind of how it should work. They would "always" be at
  • Again, one carrier pushed the Idols 4S and the x3 will be soon spreading in enterprise area. Plus I bet HP will release another one next year in collaboration with MS
  • Both of those phones will flop. T-Mobile will drop the Alcatel in 6 months and updates will be over. Businesses are not going to buy the massively over-priced x3. That much money just so you can use Windows RT? Makes no sense, especially in business. When I want to get work done, the last thing I would ever want is Windows RT, especially if it is as gimped as Continuum is.
  • @bleached Your negativity is as at the very least commendable for it's consistency, as is your ongoing assertion of opinion as absolute fact. How can you so definitively state that both those phones will flop? How is it that you can assert the X3 is massively overpriced for business? Why do you continue to state that W10m running Continuum is Windows RT. While there may be some similarity in appearance, they are totally different systems (OS, hardware, configuration, use case). And what exactly is gimped about Continuum? It provides functionality and opportunities that haven't been provided previously. That's not gimped! (even if in your opinion that functionality is less capable than you'd like). While it's interesting, antagonistic, and a little fun to call you out on your ongoing tirade against Microsoft and Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, I'm confused about your purpose in continuing to comment. Are you hoping that you can influence other readers into abandoning the platform? Do you think you can influence Microsoft into changing their strategy? Is it some sort cathartic outlet for you to vent your frustration to the rest of the world?
  • It's not just about Xamarin... It's about the iOS bridge once fully fleshed out. And it's about windows having bigger market share than iOS in the tablet department at that point. The good will Microsoft is building with developers from Windows, Linux and Mac (which for the first time can now build Windows apps) It's 4+ factors that go into the future looking better than now. It won't be tomorrow but many forces are converging to a brighter future. And it's not just blind hope but trends and data and sentiment. But you're right it won't just happen from the phone alone because if that were the case it would've happened by now.
  • Windows tablets never went anywhere. Touchscreen laptops are not tablets, even if the keyboard comes off. Even if convertibles surpass iPad sales, it won't matter because they are used as laptops, not tablets. Microsoft's app store will continue to get ignored by users and developers.
  • Where is your proof? Windows 10 gives Microsoft telemetry to show as proof. At the rate of growth they just need a fraction to use tablet features to have a big enough market. Nice picking apart a single point. Seeing your other comments you seem miserable.
  • I remember they already cancelled that porting Bridge for Android apps, so they will stick to native apps(uwp)
  • NO ANDROID APPS ON WINDOW 10!
    THAT WILL KILL UWP IDEA OVERNIGHT.
  • Yeah, UMP has been so successful so far...
  • Microsoft killed UWP when they decided to "retrench" from mobile, thereby giving up the hard-earned 5% global marketshare they had achieved (without really trying, mind you). Now they're at 1% and companies aren't making UWP apps that run on mobile, even as they're making them for Windows 10 proper. Microsoft needed to double down on Windows phones in 2014. Instead, they destroyed it in a very short-sighted move.
  • No, they didn't. You're looking at UWP from a smartphone consumer standpoint.
  • Yeah, and it's the consumer market that drives mobile app development.. He's right.
  • So tired of this argument, UWP is basically lifeless.  Saying that it's not for consumers doesnt make it less lifeless. 
  • Bluestacks!
  • Yeah, because you can emulate Bluestacks natively at that point.... I just wonder how the installation of apps like BS would work. Very interesting.
  • Well in theory if it can emulate x86 programs then you could run blue stacks on it or some other android emulator
  • Emulate an emulator? :D It would be slow as hell I guess :D
  • What are you talking about? Developers make the most money from iOS.
  • Dude... It's all about the iOS bridge. Android isn't and shouldn't happen. When the iOS bridge is fully fleshed out to juts be a few clicks and a few lines of code then we'll see true progress. Until then well...
  • The iOS bridge is dead. They expect a non existing community to fix the fact, that it doesn't support Swift and that it is only supporting iOS7 APIs. And still, you would be far away from a "few clicks". Astoria was actually something that worked, and would still work on any Windows device, where there is the odd game or two not available on Windows, requiring one to set up Bluestacks, enforcing a Google account and lowering the barrier to go all in on Google.
  • Want to post a link to that fact? Last time I checked it is in active development along side of xamarin. I like how you're judging a really early version as a final product when they clearly said it barely works but you can get a few kinds of games to run. Or now you will say xamarin development stopped at iOS7... Lol
  • Wonderful news. Hopefully it can mitigate malware also. Sandboxed properly. By then I hope we can also get ad blocker for mobile.
  • Being emulation I'm not sure an x86 app could affect the shell/core of Windows 10 Mobile. My hunch would be it couldn't.
  • So in essence, what is happening is that you would have the program/app on your home computer, and log into it through your phone/device and use it that way?
  • No, the win32 apps would run actually on the phone, in an emulated x86 environment. Connecting to your PC from anywhere is already possible via Continuum.
  • No, the program will run on your phone but sanboxed and will be limited in what it can do similarly to UWP apps. Essentially what it does is allows Centennial apps from Windows Store to run on ARM devices without developers changing the code. The app though already needs to work via Centennial bridge and therefore cannot affec the OS too much.
  • Thanks for clearing that up. Interesting.
  • Thanks....interesting for sure!
  • The tech has been around for years. But never used officially on mobile. VDI/Citrix/HP Workspace. However I not certain if the "emulation" will be done remotely or not... Now are the times when it is leaping.
  • Well, actually it is possible for malware to "leak" from a sandboxed environment to the host. A couple years ago there was a Polish security researcher, I forgot her name, that was actually working on possibilities of malware running in virtual machines and infecting host OS. It does exist and it does require some steps to mitigate that risk. An example of this can be found here: http://venom.crowdstrike.com/
    Bad guys are always one step ahead :)
  • If the emulation is similar to how xbone runs BC games (and I suspect it is) this will only support win32 apps converted to the store which runs on a VM wrapper protecting the system.
  • I imagine thats what it would be like
  • Everything at Microsoft is just a year away... This is the final evolution of "Coming Soon™"