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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
Daniel Rubino

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™"
  • Can say the same about Google (Android and Chrome merger) or Apple (when touchscreens?). This is just technology. Windows phone users are just at the bottom of the heap and like wallow in their misery.
  • I wonder how powerful an ARM processor has to be to emulate x86 natively.
  • Combo of more RAM, SD835, and a 64-bit OS, evidently.
  • The real question is how good this emulation would be.
    It's obviously not for hard work.
  • What are you basing that on? More RAM and thus the 64bit OS are obvious. I don't have any info on the sd835 however. What about it makes it a viable candidate for such an endeavor? Just being a somewhat faster ARMv8 chip isn't going to cut it for x86 emulation.
  • Depends on what you want to emulate. 
  • Dan--not to be snarky, but didn't you all but guarantee us that we wouldn't see x86 Win 10 Mobile just weeks ago? ;)
  • Nah, I said no Intel x86-based Mobile phone. We already have x86 emulation (Citrix, HP Workspace) for Mobile today. This is the same thing sans cloud connection. My rants are against people who want native x86 support with an Intel ATOM or Core M chip in their phone. Just not possible/plausible.
  • So what i am understanding by this statment is that at not time do you foresee being able to run desktop apps on a phone, correct? If true, than this kindaq sucks. I would love to be able to run some full desk top apps on my phone and not care of the "App Gap" that everyone says cripples W10M.   For instance, i use webroot for my pc security and noticed andriod has an app for it, but i cannot DLd it to my L950xl to secure it. that and other minor things that i could really use. Like i also use vivint for my home security but there is no App for it on MS store and when i go to the website it has limited features. Any advice you can suggest?    A side question, which do you think will last longer going forward until MS releases its next great mobile device, the HP Elite or the Alcatel? 
  • Windows 10 mobile don't need a antivirus or a security suit it already is unhackable its the most secure os on the market
  • Yeah, but still would love to run desk top apps to not worry about the lack of apps it the MS store. 
  • Name me a single Win32 app for any meaningful online service! Win32 is a far more cocked up development environment than UWP.
  • Nothing is "unhackable".... Well, maybe your toaster, but that's besides the point.
  • But still no Continuum in the car. Where is MirrorLink? Windows 10 Mobile is a terrible experience for those who drive cars. I don't get why they won't do anything about this.
  • Unless in car screens don't bigger and better, there not much use. Anyway, I have screen mirroring, display dock to video in.
    Besides that BT fulfills 90% of what is needed. And Windows 10 Mobile is the same as with other phones.
  • That would be a consumer feature for the most part. Microsoft isn't interested in the consumer market.
  • They are interested in the consumer market... They just don't have anything ready to offer at this time...
  • Bingo, any company saying that just merely means they've given up and it's a good way to say it nicely. It's exactly what BlackBerry did. "We are enterprise focused now" What does that even mean, the goal should be getting two phones out of people's hands and get them one that's good at everything. Few people want to carry two phones and this strategy just keeps it going. Everything is consumer even if enterprise.
  • Yes
  • ...according to you
  • Hey dick-head, can you NOT respond to every post in this thread, tis the height of poor etiquette to necro-post, *especially* when you're necro-posting to just about every fcking post in an old thread. Thank-you. N.B. I don't disagree with many of the points you've made, but the SPAMMING is really poor form, esp. given the redundant content of some of your posts (typically the really short ones).
  • x86 emulation on ARM64 gives MS some mobile device hope and opportunity. Not just for phones (5-6" devices) but for the 8-11" win tablets with Atom CPUs that have disappointed from day-1.
  • For example the small, med and enterprise scale businesses that rely on Office365 and need some win32 apps.... currently these users have UWPs that are lacking (compared to iPad versions) and worse no real tablet choices that are good (reasonable cost and speedy). One more year of improved MS UWP apps, Win10 mobile updates (just release updating bits not the whole system 1GB download each update) will dramatically bolster things for these customers and using Win10 "mobile" tablets will allow x86 apps also. That is a winning strategy (vs for example forcing everyone to iPads or rewriting in-house apps to the web).
  • The twin in me is guessing "Gemini" as one of the code names....
  • Interesting times ahead. I had wondered where things were going, especially with HP jumping in. It kind of cements my thoughts that us early adopters of W10M, are the Guinea pigs for future developments of certain aspects. Take continuum. To me, although it works as it should, it always felt like it was a product in development, with the lack of multitask etc.. I use it a lot, but with an emulator, continuum could really come into it's own, for enterprise and prosumers to start with. The more we hear about background 'happenings', the more the 'retrenchment' exercise make some kind of sense. It is becoming more obvious that enterprise is the main concern, with the rest of us picking up the pieces left over, although a small, compact netbook running W10M could be an interesting development. Mmmm At least the Journey with MSFT isn't likely to be dull, although the doom mongers will always state that it's dead, but with all these engineering projects going on, it's far from dead!
  • It's a good 'news'. Just like the news that MS will focus on mobile for RS2. For MS, mobile is not dead, it's just on a ventilator. Though I appreciate a lot that they're working on mobile, but the progress is like 1 year behind PC. I mean that if they start focusing on mobile from this day on, after a year it'd have some desktop Anniversary and Creators update features. I really like W10M, and I also believe that all these plans will be implemented. But the way MS keeps pushing development for mobile (to focus more on desktop), I don't think that even after 12 months it'll be mature enough to match PC... UNLESS MS really focuses on it.
  • They're doing things that have never been achieved before. Moving Mobile from 32-bit to 64-bit is one challenge; emulating x86 on ARM is another. Then you have building out UWP, adding features to Continuum, bringing PC and Mobile shells closer together; reworking your entire backend to support updates and engineering...none of that is something that is trivial, easy, or can be rushed. Some of this stuff you can't even do yet because the actual technology is not yet available e.g. SD835. What Microsoft is doing is a massive pivot with OneCore. But here's the thing you forgot to mention: they have a 2 year lead on OS unification over Apple and Google. Those companies face the same issues going forward and it's not an easy problem to fix.
  • One thing that bothers me though is that ARM is just too weak compared to x86/64 when we are talking performance. It can barely keep up running it's own native apps, let alone emulating the mighty x86 apps. How do they intend to pull this off??
    I think of the CAD tools I use everyday that typically take hours to run on 20-core machines with over a hundred gigs or ram, and I wonder when ARM would ever get to this level (if ever). I guess this x86 emulation would probably be limited to simpler programs, not heavy productivity level ones, which makes me question the utility of the whole venture. Why not just build native UWP apps? And when we say mobile is the future, I guess we should qualify it by saying the future of consumer products? I'm still finding it hard to conceive running aircraft design simulation tools for example on these ARM chips :-(
  • "Why not just build native UWP apps?"
    Oh, that is what MS wants. But two issues (1) Building UWP takes time and (2) UWP is 1-year old. It still needs a ton of dev work to get it anywhere near as powerful as Win32. It'll happen, but this is a long-term change that will take years. Some Win32 software that companies use is not even in development anymore or is custom. You need something to help them along. As to performance, big mystery. Perhaps the dock though could have some additional hardware to boost things a long. eGPUs are a thing now, right?
  • Strictly speaking, that's right. More broadly, UWPs base tech exists since 2006 as WPF/Avalon, based on a platform independent framework, shunned by the Windows division, which now pays dearly for not being platform independent.
  • Why not a dock with the upcoming 10nm cannonlake later 2017?
  • Exactly. This is quite pointless as x86 is not the future. This would only help a few niche use cases that will slowly disappear. Dan even says this in the article.
  • x86 is not the future
    For consumers. For enterprise and business it very much is the here, now, and immediate future. That's who this is for, not consumers who couldn't care less (except for prosumers)
  • Perfectly said. As a consumer I don't care if my phone can run x86 software, especially if it requires a kludgly monitor dock continuum experience. This is purely an enterprise/business user feature, not sure why so many commenters are so geeked up about it...
  • Perhaps because if windows mobile can get a foothold in more enterprise, it might not only slow the depleting market share but also slightly increase it. I believe if more people got a chance to use w10 mobile than there would be more interest. 95% of ios and android users have never used or much less seen windows mobile.
  • Even the people who bought Windows phones don't continue using them. All those people that purchased the Lumia 520 didn't upgrade to a new Lumia after. They left the platform as soon as they could afford it. There is a reason Nokia abandoned Windows phones. People didn't like them and didn't continue buying them. It is dead end, even Microsoft has said that.
  • Well I agree 100%. And this vision is the reason I really like W10M and MS approach with its products and services. But sometimes the App development process seems really slow (eg calendar live tile is still broken, plus other small issues that stay persistent for months), and it's possible that they cut out some Creators update features from mobile (like ink workspace in Anniversary update) (for now), but i just hope things come out well with time. Btw, other than OneCore, other companies still have to understand the power of a good Feedback system.
  • Win32 ported to ARM - would it be enough for apps converted with Desktop bridge?
    Or does MS/HP need real full x86 emulation? Eltechs ExaGear seems to have had that covered for a couple of years.
  • It's pretty much a compiler problem, that has been solved a long time ago on Linux. I would be really astonished, if Microsoft couldn't compile Windows for ARM with a couple of tweaks. The problem is not the OS itself, it's all the native code including drivers that needs to be adapted. The thing is, they have no interest in doing this, because they would weaken their Intel partnership, which would invite Intel to hedge by spreading their bets.
  • Need new hardware, need buy new smartphone window mobile... Money²... -_-
  • Wait till q4 2017 ;)
  • Could someone explain the main draw of being able to run these apps, but only while connected to a monitor by continuum?  I am failing to see, from a consumer standpoint, why everyone is so excited about this - and no, I am not being passive aggressive.  And while this "enterprise....enterprise...ENTERPRISE" stuff is always so professional sounding, it's never been a path to success for mobile hardware of OS developers.
  • The idea is eventually - for some people - you have just one device to carry around as your PC/phone/laptop. It's the same argument for the Elite x3, just refined and improved. Listen to our podcast where we talk to the VP of Mobility at HP.
  • What one device can replace all those things? Carrying around a laptop shell or relying on monitors and docks means you still have multiple devices that now have heavy limitations.
  • No because the dock will stay on you desk at home the only thing you cary around with you is your phone and maybe a laptop shell of you chose
  • Did you listen to the podcast he was referring to? If not you should, they answer that question. One of the reasons they give is because its not multiple devices. Its one device so important company data isn't bouncing back and forth between devices. Its on your phone and if you need a laptop you connect your phone to the laptop accessory. This makes data less susceptible and whatnot. There are other reasons too so listen to that podcast ;).
  • Wouldn't your company data be on the VPN, not your device?
  • It seems you are still thinking in the status quo today. Imagine a paradigm shift where rather than carry a dock with you there are docks, screens and keyboards everywhere. Imagine that your phone with continuum is the key to all you do. Rather than generic computers with screens at every business with which you interact, there are docks, keyboards and screens. So you go to work and rather than a full blown computer you have a dock and you connect your phone, there is your business apps and business desktop on the screen from the business server. That dock has the muscle to accomplish your business needs through external GPU's and maybe even external processors? In the design world this would be awesome as you don't always have the same desk, but move from a drafting table, to a conference room, to your desk, but now you can add, outside?, on the patio? in a lounge? at a standing collaborative zone? You don't need a computer at each of these locations with a different experience. You take your experience with you by docking your phone. After work you stop by the library, and rather than use their computer and a thumb drive, they have a dock and a screen, you dock your phone. Your phone reads the dock and a library program appears on your desktop to interact with the libraries system. You do your research, download it to your device, not a thumb drive to transfer later. At school, rather than a computer lab, you bring your phone and dock it to a screen and keyboard. Now you can interact with the universities systems and capabilities to complete your assignments. When you write a paper though, you are no longer using their Word processor with their defaults, but you use your Word processor with your defaults. And again rather than saving your files off to some other thumb drive or cloud storage, you save it to your device. In class, you dock your phone to your desk. The professor takes roll by who is docked and sends your homework to your phone. The lecture he has prepared is interactive with the screen integrated into your desk. You can save notes and mark up powerpoints with windows ink while the professor is talking, rather than attempt to redraw every frame of the powerpoint in your notebook as the professor speeds through everything. Everything is saved in real time to your phone for studying later. On a plane, you dock your phone into the headrest TV, the TV is your experience, not the airlines, although the airlines can provide additional functionality through the dock to your experience. You go to give a sales presentation. You dock your phone, there is your computer for the presentation, not a thumbdrive you plug into their computer and hope it works. You get in your shared car service, or Uber or lyft. You dock your phone. Suddenly the car adjusts everything to your car settings and needs. You stop by a restaurant to get some work done. They have screens and docks, not computers. You dock and get your apps and experiences. You get home, dock your phone, your home desktop appears with your home programs. Everywhere you go, your phone docks to get your experience. Places where you interface with a computer no longer require the businesses have computers loaded with programs, you may already own, that they have to upgrade, manage and repair. You bring your computer, with your files, with your desktop customizations, and your apps with you. It's your experience everywhere you go enhanced by specific programs through the dock that allow you to interact with the business where you are a patron.
  • They should make Windows do all that automatically when you sign in with your Microsoft account. ChromeOS has been doing it for years, why not Windows? Then you would not have to worry about having a powerful enough phone or docking it. Sign in and go wherever you are. Or you just carry your Surface Pro. Again, no issues having enough power or docks and external display to worry about. What you describe is a dream from 2004 before the cloud made all your data ubiquitous no matter what device or platform you are using. Microsoft is stuck in the past. They need a new mobile platform that gives a proper mobile experience. A desktop experience isn't going to drive mobile device adoption. It is much too late for that now though. Microsoft needed a new platform immediately after Windows Phone 7 failed. More of the same isn't going to change their fate. They will pivot to being business focused and lose consumers completely. Then, they eventually will begin losing business device sales as well. Hopefully they can keep their services relevant on the other platforms so they can at least have an IBM like role in the future.
  • bleached - you are correct continuum in the cloud is the play MS should be going after. Logging into "windows" from anywhere with 100% secure and "continue where i left off" experience. That assumes "windows" runs basically any app which it doesn't since iOS/Android has left window outside looking in (many sites/services that don't work on "windows). Windows became popular because it ran basically on any PC with any peripheral and ran pretty much any app made. That left zealots to the niche (linux, mac user, os/2 user before win95) systems. Windows Mobile is now the niche system and fans are acting like Apple zealots in this thread sadly.
  • You realize how utterly ridiculous that sounds, right....?
  • loose your phone loose your life in this paradigm shift scenario :))  or stolen  
  • Have you ever had a job? Office one specifically. Instead of laptop docks, laptops, and a mobile being provided by the company it can be just the mobile and the dock. Cost savings mate. Use that noodle of yours instead of being so negative all the time.
  • I know many people who can't wait for a solution like that. They're trying to get by with a smart phone and find it frustrating that they can't do more with it currently.
  • Again, I understand the appeal and the fact that tech sites will consider this "big news" on the WP front...but I am just not understanding this being an important factor, for anyone. All this "imagine" stuff.  "Imagine" phones are easy to break.  "Imagine" phones are easy to lose.  "Imagine" phones are stolen often".  I can't see ANY company replacing all of their computers with phones to hook up to monitors.  That sounds like a financial and legistical nightmare.  Try getting a dozen, or hundreds, or THOUSANDS of 40 or 50+ year olds to have their phones updated and all of the enterprise applications they use on it updated and taken care of and secure, etc. "Imagine" somone leaves their phone/tablet/computer x86 cloud-based ARM Continuum device at home. Again, I am trying to make light of it but this is, again, MS flexing their engineering muscle instead of making something truly viable. Just my opinion, but in hindsight when it comes to WP many of us naysayers (those of us based in reality) have been right more than MS.
  • Same reason why I dont consider continuum as great as everyone else here does. If I'm sitting at a desk with a monitor why wont i just use a computer? Plus there are so many good 2 in 1 devices that there is no need to sacrifice anything to get access to x86 programs on the go. In the end this may appeal to some small niche of users but when called on to be a normal smartphone thats when it falls flat on its face. Apart from a few business users I dont see this changing things much in mobile for Microsoft.
  • Depends on the user, in my experience most people now rely on light devices like phones and tablets or cheap laptops. I can imagine this as an option for some.
  • For sure . Unless $99 phones supported Continuum it's a solution in search of a problem and just not ready for the masses. Daniel champions Continuum but has multi-monitor setup and doesn't use it by his own words. 2/1 tablets with keyboard (i.e. surface 5 not pro) running windows10 "mobile (ARM64) that can run x86 apps however would be useful for business/enterprise. Doesn't reduce iPhone/Android sales though.
  • Because why spend extra money on a computer if these new phones can run x86 programs and turn into a pc also they have built in internet
  • You know this would work very well for my wife.  She has a gaming laptop...to...surf...the...web...and...email...  She uses her phone for everything.  For the two things she uses the laptop for she does the same thing on her phone...ugh  
  • Ok if I got a desk and a dock and a monitor and keyboard and mouse hooked to that dock i don't need a computer just my phone when I'm home and wanna play on my.computer on the bigger screen place my phone in the dock when I'm on the go just pick my phone up of the dock and I'm ready to go now instead of having to have a computer and a phone I only need a phone
  • Windows RT would never suffice as my desktop, even if it could emulate x86. Sounds like even a Chromebook would work for you.
  • Assume news, but mixed feelings: 8gb on a phone sounds excessive. Does this signal the end of efficient, optimized code? As great as this is to hear, Microsoft is at their best when developments aren't leaked out. Leaks ruin the surprise and impact of future product unveilings. Also, I hate when MS' hand gets tipped to the competition.
  • "up to 8GB"
  • I think the end of "efficient, optimized code" ended with 8.1.  Don't get me wrong, W10 MIGHT get there in time but the 180 from ultra low-end consumer phones to ultra high-end enterprise phones states otherwise. And regarding MS tipping their hand.  They need every good piece of news to come out on the WP front - real and fake.
  • 2gb sounded excessive at one point. Don't be a fool.
  • Can you say killer app? This is why we don't need an x86/x64-based Surface Phone. The icing on the cake would be running a VM of Android (like Bluestacks, for the app gap) inside of this x86 emulator. Hyper-V can already do this kind of emulator-within-an-emulator action today for phone development.
  • Now there is something I never thought of before...why don't bluestacks make an emulator app for wm. That would be great! just run Android right on your windows phone through emulation. I would be fully back to windows mobile device then!
  • Why run Android apps through an emulator that is being emulated. Lots of hoops when you can just buy an Android phone. Windows Mobile has no advantage when compared to Android.
  • I have the iPhone now, and it works great...I DO love the 950XL hardware however. Always have. windows without apps however kills it for me. (as a main device that is). I would love to have access to apps when I need them, and have the 950xl as my device. That's why....
  • "I love the 950XL hardware" said no one ever. Even Microsoft wasn't happy with it. The hardware is mediocre at best. You are grasping at straws!
  • Said me.   I do love the design of the phone.  With the Mozo cases it's a very nice looking and feeling phone.  I'm not grasping at anything.   As I said.   I have an iPhone 6s.   I will still like to have the 950xl.  If you don't like it fine.   
  • I would have to disagree. I have an iPhone 7 Plus and a 950 XL and would say I much prefer the 950 XL for the following reasons: lighter, smaller, bigger and much better screen, vastly superior camera, rugged. The iPhone 7 Plus is large, heavy and cumbersome in comparison. You do not realize exactly how much better the screen on the 950 XL is until you do a side by side comparison. I carried both for a few weeks but now only use the iPhone 7 Plus due to apps availability. Cortana kills Siri in most ways. iOS is nicer in some regaurds as it is mature and for the most part seamless but I still feel Windows 10 mobile is better but very rough and somewhat buggy.
  • Cartman, Too bad you didn't get an Edge6+ or Edge7. All the IOS apps not apple constrained.
  • Purchasing an additional device is certainly an option for some people, but not for everyone. I've already paid hundreds of dollars for my 950XL. I love the camera. I'm already heavily invested in the ecosystem. I want to keep using my existing device, as it does everything I need. There are Android apps out there which would be nice to have, but aren't deal-breakers to me.
  • The ecosystem is easily available on other platforms. There is no reason to continue buying Windows phones. Current phones will not support these new features. It is only a matter of time before they are abandoned.
  • Sometimes people want a device to use as a device - not a content delivery machine.  I hope that W10 gets optimized enough to where it is a truly viable option for people who don't chase the never-ending loop of freemium games and "here now gone tomorrow" social apps. WP8 didn't have a cult following because of the amazing apps (at least that's not what I think).  It had a cult following due to it's "in and out" features and functionality - which is all but gone now but slowly returning.
  • Yeah it's called security and not having my data sent to china hell with that open source **** call android
  • Security is available on any platform. Windows most certainly doesn't have a monopoly on security.
  • "Available"? Never heard about "by design"? You cannot add security through some magic package. You absolutely need to get the basics right. Android hasn't, and it gets worse.
  • The most secure phones are running Android. You don't see the president using a Windows phone or an iPhone. Sure, there are plenty of Android phones that aren't secure, but that doesn't mean the Galaxy, BlackBerry, Pixels, Motos and Nexus phones aren't safe. Windows 10 Mobile actually may be really unsecure, but nobody cares to bother with them since they are irrelevant.
  • Most, if not all, Android devices security can be bypassed relatively easily. Security has always been an issue with Android. I can usually break into a Galaxy in no time at all, and that's despite their Knox system. Android is Open Source and will always have issues with security. Access to the bootloader and recovery is relatively straight forward, even for a novice, and how to do it is all over XDA. If you are inclined to / or determined enough, you dont even need to root to data mine sensitive sata. On top of that Google collect vast amounts of data about the user etc. Most OS does that, but google take the biscuit. Even iOS, when jail broken, opens up frailty in the security.
  • If you have access to the hardware, security is out the window no matter what device you have.
  • if you say so.
  • It currently has the best mobile security; android is piss easy to crack. My mate works in infosec and basically hacks for a living (gets paid for it) said android is laughably easy to penetrate (and he still owns an android phone though). The main reason windows mobile is so secure is because there just arent the tools made for hacking it (because of the small market share) which is at least a silver lining in the tiny marketshare.
  • Security, security and security.
  • Again, security is available on any platform. It most certainly isn't Windows exclusive.
  • Again, you are misconceiving what security is. Hint: it's not an app.
  • Who ever said anything about an app?
  • Maybe becuase you said "is available on any platform"?
  • You can't be this reductive. All mobile platforms are not equal (in terms of security). Stop being a jackass
  • Buy a device to run an x86 emulator to run an android emulator on it.... Sounds logical.
  • "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." OH PUHLEASE. How many projects have Microsoft abandoned in the last 6 months-1 year alone? Let alone all those projects/promises made or hinted at over the past three to six years? Stop the propaganda already! When will Windows Central finally consign Microsoft Mobile to the background and focus on what's actually relevant to Microsoft at this time? This is not even an announced project and your "intelligence" relies on a single source but here you are touting it as the next revival and future dominance of Microsoft Mobile (or whatever they'll call it in the future). I used to have some respect for Mr. Rubino but, at this point, I'm not sure if he's simply delusional or is getting paid for this. I hope to Rayetso it's the latter because it all just feels sad at this point.
  • Pass.
  • Yawn.
  • Late 2017?? Windows Mobile won't even exist then
  • Then don't worry about and go buy an iPhone.
  • Lol, although if we were to be pedantic, Windows mobile is dead. Windows "10" mobile is alive
  • According to Microsoft it is only alive to keep LTE and ARM support in Windows. They will abandon it as soon as they figure out the the "next big thing". Windows 10 Mobile is just a stopgap until they pivot again.
  • Says who? Terminator lol
    Aren't people were saying late 2016? Where are you?
    "All we know at this time is Windows 10 Mobile looks to become a lot stronger in the next 12 months."
  • Actually he's fake terminator ;). Only Real Terminator knows about w10 future(he came from future you know). ;)
  • Dude it'll be 2017 SOON
  • And this is when technically phone and PC become exactly the same thing, and all the critics will say "wow, I didn't expect this". Or at least I hope so :D
  • The funny thing is none of this is really surprising. If you look at the evolution of Windows 10, bridges, BASH, Xamarin, VS, Elite x3/Workspace/Citrix, it's pretty obvious.
  • Exactly, but you know how the media is today. "Windows Phone? Yeah, whatever. Who cares". And sooo many of them likes to just talk sh*t about MS, because it's cool or something like that.
  • You don't think a market share that's declined to basically zero, and the complete failure of the platform had anything to do with that?  Just the coolness factor of disparaging it....
  • Although not a direct comparison, what percentage do you think LG, Sony, HTC, One Plus and Alcatel hold individually in the android space? I would hazard a guess at pretty low. Even if MS made an Android device, it would still garner less than 2 or 3% sales. As I said, not a direct comparison, but Blackberry are struggling to make it work after the collapse of their OS, so all is not lost.
  • Speaking of Windows 10 bridges and Xamarin are there any stories of developers bringing apps to the store this way? I was very excited about the iOS bridge, but beyond Candy Crush I never heard about developers taking advantage of the capability. If MS builds x86 emulation will they be dependent on developers submitting apps or will the user be able to download/install anything?
  • Islandwood has been made OSS, they're expecting the community (what community?) to add polish. And they require a Windows installation; too bad, that's too much for a staunch iOS+Android dev.
  • And then 2-3 years later Apple will do it and everyone will say, Wow Apple is so cutting edge. Lol
  • Wait until the iPhone has wireless charging... I have a ton of friends that will think Apple invented it.
  • I'm hoping the apple fad, crashes and burns. How many more devices can they sell when removing things, making them more and more fragile and more and more expensive. People need to wake up to the con that is iOS.
  • Apple will 100% not do this. They don't want to. They want to keep their mobile and desktop experiences completely seperate for some odd reason,
  • That would be awesome.
  • How bout that we can get x86 emulation in 2017 but can't get the ability to run two windows on mobile by 2016...smh. Monument Browser came out of nowhere and does this terrifically.....
  • While that'd be occasionally useful, the market has not signaled that is a feature consumers are demanding a lot. It's coming to Continuum where it really matters, but perhaps that is when it will happen to mobile. Let's be clear though: running apps 'side by side' on mobile is not in the least what is holding W10M back these days. It' something you want, not necessarily a must-have feature for others.
  • Dan, others have asked for this feature since the 1520. Samsung made this a standout feature of the Note and then the Galaxy. Google announced that this would be incorporated at the OS level last year. I know it's not holding WM back but feature parity would be appreciated.
    Considering MS is the one that got me hook on this in the first place with Snap windows on RT.
  • Its an option pretty much no-one wants or needs. I have plenty of friends with phones that CAN do this; and they never do. Because the screens are damn small as they are. Stop whining about something literally a small minority actually want.
  • The market has not signaled they want W10M period, hence the snail paced development of it.
  • Yes, I had this feature on my s6 running marshmallow and used it once. Only a few apps are optimized for running half screen. Maybe it makes more sense for 6" and phablets.
  • I'd love to run two apps on my phone side by side. And I'd love for them to add that feature to Windows 10's Tablet portrait mode too. It's mind-boggling to me that it can only be done in landscape.
  • I'm hoping we can upgrade to 64bit mobile when it comes around, even if we need to flash the device and start over. Knowing my phone has access to the full 4gb would be nice.
  • Shouldn't "Windows 10 Mobile x86 dev kit" just be Windows 10? Eventually they must have a version of Windows 10 that adapts to the device and display size and provides the same functionality. Just like they will probably have a W10M version that will act like a laptop if the device is a laptop. Windows 10 must be the x86 version of windows no matter the size and type of device, and W10M must be the ARM version of windows no matter the size and type of device. Hopefully, in the future, there won't even be a difference between the two.
  • "Shouldn't "Windows 10 Mobile x86 dev kit" just be Windows 10? "
    Windows 10 (for PC) SKU does not support mobile telephony or ARM though, so no.
  • Because no one has said it before: Surface Phone confirmed ;-)
  • It's been said by various people for nearly 3 years now... if not more. 
  • Well Obviously I meant under this article
  • Finally! Quicken 98 on a phone!!!!!!1one /s
  • Question on UWP apps. Disregarding for a moment all the ARM windows mobile phones in the wild today, would this mean that in the future a company could code an x86 UWP app and that could be emulated on the phone while not in continuum (aka not docked)? Or do you think they would still need to have an x86 UWP app and compile an ARM app (like Facebook does today for instance)?
  • x86 emulation for normal apps might be kind of pointless given that the binary for an ARM target is just a build away if you have all the code ready. I presume this is for regular x86 apps that are not aware they are being run on a phone or anything other than a PC.
  • Finally, some happy news :)
  • This news is great.
    But what will Lumia/winMobile (have upto 2gb devices) developers(/users) do ?
    Will they have to buy new Win Mobile having at least 4gb ram??
    -- and until When we take more benefit from Project Islandwood?
  • Träumer! I don't want to dock anything, I just want to be able to enjoy using the smartphone as a smartphone.
  • Nutella can think whatever he wants and have his head as far up the cloud market as he wants....if you dont get consumers it ain't happening. Corporates said no to iphones for a while. Then they realized their employees were going to use them wether or not they liked it and stopped fighting it. You bring this with no consumers, they ain't switching because the employees will fight it.
  • Iphone 7 market is going down. And Next Year, Nokia will have more Buyers than iPhone.
  • Hahahaha.. .oh, you're serious.
  • Not much. I don't care about Apple but as a technology lover, its touch is best till today :)
  • Sorry, but you might not care, but whether or not anyone wants to admit it, Apple is still a huge player in this whole thing. If you haven't noticed, as the OS starts showing its age more and more, and the hardware stays stagnant, their huge die hard base refuses to leave or switch.
  • Let's see this after NOKIA Android,Surface and ip7s phones. Apple have more apps(/games) and 3rd party IoT devices. They are working on their mobile/PC os . And MS have many platforms to combine in one place completely for better compatibility in future. Btw, Win Mobile is under construction till RS3/4 to compete the w8.1 performance too.
  • You are aware that constantly calling him Nutella can come off as kind of racist? How about you just grow up and call him by his name; this isnt pre-school.
  • How is Nutella racists? Using a name that rhymes with someone's name is racist? What ever B.S. story you come up with to try and make it sound racists is comical, at best. Nice try. I like if you knock anyone that isn't white, it is immediately considered racist. I find it racist that you think all racist other than whites is off the table for criticism, you racist.
  • They also had Android emulation planned, and that went nowhere. I'll wait until they actually succeed before I care much for this. Tired of hearing of the pipe dreams that fell short and left everyone jaded (McLaren, Astoria, W10 IoT Band, etc.).
  • Wait and watch !!!
  • This exactly. So many of these anouncements go absolutely no where in terms of coming to fruition. MS wants to run an x86 emulator on their mobile handsets in 2018? <yawn> Wow. Neat.
  • This is not an announcement.
  • Late 2017? What the hell have they been doing this whole time? They're really missing the boat on everything mobile. This should have been a feature when win10 mobile came out. Continuum should have been finished, not an afterthought. They should have paid major developers to make their apps, and they should have released all the conversion tools with windows 10. Push back 10 until that stuff is done so that you have a complete and robust system to work with. All this slowly releasing half-finished stuff is frustrating. It made us ditch Windows Phones for iPhones. The 950 was/is such a disappointment.
  • They already tried paying developers and it did not work. Even in the cases it did work, they never updated the apps.
  • And even if they had updated their apps, they would need total re-writes every couple of years as Windows abandons its previous architecture again and again
  • "And even if they had updated their apps, they would need total re-writes every couple of years as Windows abandons its previous architecture again and again" And that may have been a bigger problem than most people think.
    You install a new version of Visual Studio, just to find out that your previous app will not build anymore without lot of re-coding. 1
  • "This should have been a feature when win10 mobile came out. "
    And I should have had a smartphone with apps in 2001 instead of 2006. You act like doing OneCore was a simple task that all they had to do was snap their fingers.
  • It could've been simpler and much quicker. The kernel was ported to ARM with Windows 8.0/RT, and a Xaml-based UI framework (with its own history of slow adoption and lack of success) was introduced 2006. A more platform independent variant came out in 2007, which in turn was the foundation for WP7s UI, which in turn was the basis for Windows 8s UI. WPF was Windows division, Silverlight was Developer division, WP7 was Entertainment+Devices division, and Windows 8 was again Windows divsion. All of those technologies are not compatible with each other, apart from minor portable libraries of late. So OneCore is hopefully the last time we will get a new UI engine. But as long as that's not sure, nobody will buy into Microsofts UI extravaganza.
  • How about this:
    The HP's Citrix client comes to the OS.
    6-8GB is needed and a 64bit OS
    You need to buy the new Surface Phone or similar.
    SD 835...? could run a mini-laptop/tablet.
  • "Mobile is the future" Wonder what those 2 billion Android devices are all about. Still, there are no apps. Still, there will be no devices to speak of. 2017 will be the time to say good bye.
  • You're making the argument from a consumer's perspective, which is irrelevant to a discussion about enterprise.
  • Once again, from the enterprise perspective, we don't need W10M, because it lacks vital features, like biz grade VPN. Which Android has since ages, OOTB. We have asked various vendors about their UWP plans. There are none, while most of them have ported some pieces to Android. Reality sucks.
  • Daniel can't own this fact. Not a knock on him just a clouded viewpoint losing sight of the forest in the trees. MS zealots have lost sight of what MS can offer the world (it's not phones & small devices).
  • Won't take off, average consumers won't get the concept. Just give us a Surface Phone with killer big brand apps then people will listen
  • "average consumers won't get the concept"
    Nowhere did we mention consumers who are irrelevant to this concept and solution. We've noted numerous times especially with the Elite x3 this is not a consumer feature/phone. Consumers also don't get Azure. Has nothing to do with its successor/failure.
  • My question is if this is what users want or would they rather have a robust on par app for app(for all the "big" apps) ecosystem with iOS and Android?
  • Well, here I was thinking that Microsoft was going to have phones run full Windows and just emulate ARM in "phone mode".  But having Arm64 emulate full Windows in Continuum is just as good.  Guess it is easier to have Snapdragon emulate x86 then the other way around. Excuse me whie I revel in the upcoming possilities in coming 18 months!
  • When AMD released the earliest x86 Athlons, they used to implement the guts the same as the older RISC processors that the majority of its engineering design team had experience with. But they provided an x86 shell, so-to-speak, to provide x86 functionality. I have a feeling Microsoft is trying to repeat this in a somewhat different way, but mostly similar to what AMD did. I wonder how the x86 licensing would work in this scenario.
  • Cool cool cool. Please donut disappoint Microsoft.
  • CHPE?  Maybe someone there is a Chappie fan?
  • So pretty much WinRT 2.0?
  • Okay here is something to think about. I just ran Revit and Civil 3d in a browser... full program experience. The system was a Cherry trail with 2 GB of ram and it ran just fine. The future is browser applications. So you don't need a big honking amout of ram or cpu. Let the cloud do it.
  • You may be right. Google is on the right track with ChromeOS if so.
  • @John Mack4; Eactly especially for programs and games that require X-86 power to run. A smartphone communication device on a small scale of computing. However a smarthphone can have apps that link to the cloud where an untold number of cores can be applied for processing and the results sent for display this what a smartphone at this time can do.
     
  • Intel's new Atom x3 lists Windows 10 Mobile under supported OS's which is cool! but the chip spec's sucks compared to current high end ARM chips
  • Folks it is interesting to note that were strong rumors for the Surface brand of Microsoft smart phones wpuld debut in late 2017 about the same time this software is ready. Microsoft smart phone fans like myself knew this was coming since we read that Intel cancelled it's smartphone Mobile x 86 chips that were already in 4 smart phones that were  for sale in the market place
  • Their track record for these emulators is lacking.
  • Seriously? I'd argue it's the exact opposite. The PowerPC-x64 emulator/virtualisation in the Xbox One is mind blowing considering how weak the Xbox One is.
  • I wouldn't use that as a gauge of things to come. Games are GPU intensive, which the XBOX ONE has plenty more of than the 360's GPU. Providing a vm for the xbog 360 games wouldn't have been as big a deal as you are imagining, relatively speaking of-course.
  • I still think the best scenario is just making a phone that runs on an x86 processor with full Windows 10. Tablet mode could be adapted to work on small screens and the processor could be locked to a lower clock setting to prolong battery life unless it's docked and then it jumps up to it's full clock speed. Plus you'd get the bonus of having background folder sync via Onedrive instead of having to manually download and upload files constantly.
  • Now that's in a good direction
  • A link to that 2nd desktop wallpaper , please. Thank you. The one with the red & blue.
  • Windows surface phone, and surface pro 5,to be announced in February
    http://www.newseveryday.com/articles/54552/20161121/microsoft-reported-t...
  • Thank you for the extremely informative post Dan. I am relatively new to Windows mobile (approx. 2 years). I have had and used every other platform. They all have their positive points and most are doing similar things. I like that MS is working towards the future. My 950 performs extremely well and gets regular updates. The apps I need are there. In the mean time, I am enjoying reading about the direction they are heading and find it quite exciting. Keep up the great work and I look forward to reading more from you.
  • People act like x86 emulation on ARM would be a total failure. The use case for this is business applications, not hard core games. Meanwhile, if you want to play (and I do mean play) with x86 emulation on the hardware in your hand right now, head to the Store and install DOSBox.
  • [dup deleted]
  • Finally the right direction.
  • Yeesss, good to see confirmation of my thoughts for long that Windows Mobile is the new Windows.
    Microsoft is doing great on creating a migration path this time.
  • For most families like mine, Continuum does the job right now. The missing piece for us is a laptop shell that the phone docks into, rather than some usb dock that falls off the side table or the couch. It needs to be one piece of hardware on your lap, no cables....and wireless connect is too slow. I am a developer so x86 sounds cool, but for my normal family, UWP with a nice integrated dock sells it better than a dock +keyboard+mouse+screen.
  • Or a tablet shell...but the laptop shell/mobile combo...I would buy.
  • HP has a lapdock for their new Elite x3, but the lapdock sells for as much as a laptop even if it is just a shell.
  • Yes, but the dock is separate with wires or potentially slow Miracast. I don't want a clumsy dock with wires and dongles. The phone should dock into the laptop shell, perhaps near the touchpad.
  • I have hope in this philosophy : "They didn't know it was impossible so they did it. " Mark Twain
  • I think rather they should go with tablet as their first priority. People won't change their mobile os just because it could run x86 apps. Almost everyone has laptop or desktop to run those. And why would people buy a phone to do that when people get a good laptop in that price point like of the lumia 950 or hp's elite. I think they should try to make windows tablet that are cheaper which would kill chrome os and windows 10 would get better uwp apps.
  • This would be awesome! Not so usefull maybe, but if supported by a stronge marketing campaign could raise the WOW effect wp urgently needs...
  • It is for BUSINESS, it needs biz grade VPN more than it needs WOW
  • I guess I'm really confused as to why people think x86 apps are on their way out. I get that ARM is a good platform and its apps are much more suited to a touchscreen lifestyle, but for we who do work outside of the browser, nothing on Android, iOS, or Chromebook can do the job. x86 apps are simply more robust in every sense. If those apps were actually finding their way over to ARM, I would see the writing on the wall. But Office is a great example of an app that is on ARM, but pales in comparison to its x86 counterpart in functionality. What am I missing here?
  • Software, basically. Porting an app or an OS to ARM is a compilation problem (and if it's Java, Python or .Net, even this vanishes). Apps are having dependencies on the OS they are targeting, GUI being the top dog, so you need the OS ported first (Has been done with Windows a couple of times, RT being the last time). Finally, OSs rely on drivers for hardware, so at least they would need to be recompiled, too. Touch-sensitivity is an OS feature, that is platform independent.
  • Hi Daniel, Do you think its worth considering Lumia 950 xl black friday deal with free lumia 950+ free dock? Considering the lumia 950 xl/950device capabilities, other windows 10 mobile devices and price? Please throw your honest answer.
  • 2017...2018...2019..coming soon.
  • MASSIVE! That's all I can say. Massive!  Between windowed apps in Redstone 2, and [emulated] x86 support in Redstone 3, Continuum is finally going to be the thing we believed it would be, the thing we had hoped for! Gotta admit, for those of us who never stopped believing in the future of the platform, such news comes as vindication! :-) Bring it on! Cheers!
  • Its great to hear this, it's only a matter of time before Desktop apps will run on mobile devices, the code is redesigned at the same time as hardware gets more powerful. I use Outlook desktop for my business and have several email signatures if the App had the simple way of using multiple signatures of my choosing then I'd be using that.
  • There's no reason the current mobile clients couldn't add these features without having to go full x86 emulation.
  • That would be called an x86 dock working in tandem with a ARM soc.
  • Microsoft understands that not the Desktop but Mobile brings the future customers.
  • That's why they are buying time until the "Next Big Thing" occurs in mobile.  The current smartphone/app store paradigm has been lost on them, so they are waiting to see what comes next.  X86 on a smartphone may appeal to enterprise users, but will sway zero consumers from their Android/iOS devices.
  • And all of those enterprise customers already have Android/iOS devices in their pocket, so why not continue using that and carrying a laptop? The Android/iOS device still has all the phone apps that Windows doesn't. I just don't see how x86 changes anything beyond a small handful of niche users.
  • I'm in agreement with you. If x86 on a smartphone was worth anything, Microsoft would have already done it, since the hardware was readily available during the development of W10M. I'm sure a few companies would be willing to save some money foregoing laptops and only using continuum/ Motorola Atrix style smartphone, but I won't vouch for how many.
  • Am I missing something but didn't we have something similar to this with Windows Mobile 6.5. why can't we have that again with big windows
  • 6.x etc ran on Windows CE whereas now WM10 runs on the same kernel through IOT, Xbox and PC's.
  • I love your enthusiasm Daniel.
  • It's called "getting paid"
  • Sorry to be so late to the party, but I'm here to burst many bubbles.  X86 compatibility on a mobile platform is mostly a parlor trick.  If it were such a game changer, Microsoft could have built a lumia device using an Intel Atom Z3580, a 64bit SoC with 4GB ram, that ran x86 natively.  It was used in Asus's Zenfone 2.  Plenty of people have ported Windows 7,8 & 10 to it.  There is no guarantee that an SD835 running an emulator would provide higher performance than the old mobile intel chip.  Would have been great for WIndows 8 RT, but that body won't be resurrected.
  • Take a look at the xbox 360 backwards emulation on the xbox 1 / xbox 1s. Providing the processor has the raw compute performance for emulation and is able to run without melting the mobile phone case in the process then they are onto a winner here. Unlike x86 tablets for instance phones have limited space for heat dissipation, plus you have other components as well that generate and "conduct" heat such as the screen (not conduct persay but it adds to the heat generated by the SOC). Never the less people shouldn't expect to run something like full blown photoshop from 1st gen products lol.
  • At this point, I'm not buying another Windows 10 Mobile phone unless it miraculously starts running Android Apps again. Too many holes in the store at the moment. I have to use my wife's iPhone for a lot of stuff, it's frustrating, and sad, because the UI on W10 mobile is far superior to both IOS and Android
  • Will Windows Hello be available to other Windows devices such as HoloLens?