HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft Finally Brings x64 App Support to Windows 10 on ARM

Microsoft Finally Brings x64 App Support to Windows 10 on ARM

Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM platform now supports x64 applications, albeit running through an emulator alongside 32-bit apps.


It has been a long wait, but Microsoft is finally rolling out support for x64 apps on Windows 10 for ARM. As the company previously announced, support is being delivered in the form of emulation. Microsoft initially said a November release for the emulator would happen, but is a little late on that goal.

Still, better late than never. Currently available in preview on the Windows Insider Program, testers can run x64 apps on the Dev Channel. It is unclear when Microsoft will evolve this support to the full Windows 10 on ARM branch, but I guess with the release of Windows 10 21H1.

Either way, this support is necessary because the company wants to maintain 32-bit apps too. Windows needs to support 32-bit apps to allow users to access classic desktop programs. To add 64-bit app support, Microsoft has taken the decision to use an emulator.

It is not ideal, but it looks like this will be necessary. It seems reasonable to presume the company’s emulator will become even more important in the coming years. The burning question about any software running in emulation is how well will it perform? Only time will tell if Microsoft can deliver optimum x64 performance.

ARM Processing Becoming Important

It is worth remembering Apple has recently launched new MacBook’s with the ARM M1 chip on board. Surely, Microsoft will not be able to compete with Apple’s stellar performance and battery life. Early evidence showing Windows 10 on ARM performing better on Mac suggests not.

Something else worth noting is ARM’s recent decision to stop supporting 32-bit apps. Arm says the support for 32-bit apps will end during 2022. The news come as many of the company’s partners are increasingly pushing forward with 64-bit. It is unclear what impact, if any, this will have on Windows 10 on ARM.

Tip of the day

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Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.