Last week, we reported Microsoft is preparing its Windows 10 on ARM 64-bit x86 (x64) app support emulator for a November release. At the time, that timeframe was just a rumor as Microsoft had not gone official with news. That has changed this week and we now have a release schedule.
Speaking on Windows Blogs, product chief Panos Panay confirmed a preview is coming.
“We will … expand support for running x64 apps, with x64 emulation starting to roll out to the Windows Insider Program in November,” Panay says. “We are working closely with Acer, HP, Lenovo, Samsung[,] and Surface to bring these Windows 10 on ARM innovations and products to our shared customers.”
So, we can now expect Windows 10 on ARM to finally support x64 applications starting this November. However, that will only be in preview for Windows Insiders to test. It seems likely considering this preview schedule that Microsoft is prepping its emulator for the Windows 10 21H1 release.
A lack of 64-bit x86 support has had an impact on the Windows 10 on ARM movement. While the concept of combining the best of mobile and PC hardware is interesting, not being able to access hundreds of thousands of apps is a problem.
This problem became clear when Microsoft launched its Surface Pro X last year. It was the company's first-ever ARM-based hardware and could not run x64 apps. We now know Microsoft will soon change this situation, albeit through an emulator.
Back in May, we reported on Microsoft was working on a feature that would allow users to run x64 apps in an emulator. That said, it is worth noting this emulator will not answer all x86 problems. For example, users with Windows 10 on ARM will still not be able to access x86 hardware drivers.