Microsoft is seemingly working on bringing 64-bit support to Windows 10 on ARM. In a GitHub commit by Kenny Kerr, Principal software engineer on the Windows team, the company is developing 64-bit app emulation in its unique ARM-based Windows 10 platform.
Windows 10 on ARM is an operating system that is ideal for portable devices and leverages mobile chip technology. It combines the battery life of mobile and the full desktop app availability of desktop PCs.
However, while the platform runs 32-bit apps through an emulator, it does not support 64-bit applications. That’s problematic, including for customers of Microsoft’s Surface Pro X, which is an ARM-based device.
Just like any other ARM-based PC, the Pro X supports ARM and ARM64 apps, as well as emulated 32-Intel (x86) apps. In the GitHub commit, Kerr points to Microsoft working to resolve this issue for the Pro X and all ARM devices running Windows.
64-bit App Support
Specifically, the company is working on “AMR64EC”, which is reportedly the architecture for Windows x64 applications. While development is ongoing, it’s likely the new Windows 10 on ARM 64-bit support will land next year.
That makes Windows 10 20H1 a good candidate for the launch. In the meantime, users of ARM Windows devices will have to check which apps they can download and which they cannot.
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. How successful Windows 10 on ARM will ultimately be will be determined by its usability. Having access to all apps will help in that regard.