Microsoft’s Surface Pro X has been available since last week as the company’s first Windows 10 on ARM PC product. Billed as the answer to the problems Windows 10 on ARM devices have faced, the Pro X is not living up to that billing. Average reviews are just the tip of the iceberg as the Surface Pro X also has an app issue.
Just like any other ARM-based PC, the Pro X supports ARM and ARM64 apps, as well as emulated 32-Intel (x86) apps. However, it does not support 64-bit Intel applications. We reported previously how the Microsoft Store was not flagging which apps are not compatible with the device, a situation Microsoft has only partially remedied.
Without support for 64-bit Intel apps, the Surface Pro X is a limited experience. Microsoft is working to change the situation by working on x64 emulation for Windows 10 on ARM.
Unfortunately, a report from Neowin could not establish when this amendment will be made. Even more unfortunate is the likelihood it won’t arrive until Windows 10 21H1, which is more than a year from launch.
Windows 10 on ARM Problems
This is another embarrassment for Microsoft as the Surface Pro X is its first proprietary foray into Windows 10 on ARM. ARM is provided by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx processor, which is built for emulation.
However, like other previous entries into the world of Windows 10 on ARM, the Pro X has been underwhelming. While reviewers praised its design and OS, they were more tepid on battery life and performance.
With a long wait ahead for full app support, it will be interesting to see if customers are willing to embrace the Pro X.