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Microsoft’s Windows is no stranger to ARM-based processors, with Windows RT running on Nvidia Tegra hardware instead of x86-based Intel and AMD chips. Now, Microsoft has announced that Windows 10 will be supporting ARM-based chips next year.
The company used the WinHEC 2016 event to announce that it will be teaming up with Qualcomm for Windows 10 on ARM hardware. For the uninitiated, ARM-based chips are used in the vast majority of smartphones (from Apple to ZTE) and are generally more power-efficient than x86 chips (used in Windows and Mac laptops).
“…to deliver on our customers’ growing needs to create on the go, we announced today that Windows 10 is coming to ARM through our partnership with Qualcomm,” Microsoft announced on its Windows blog.
“For the first time ever, our customers will be able to experience the Windows they know with all the apps, peripherals, and enterprise capabilities they require, on a truly mobile, power efficient, always-connected cellular PC.”
Windows 10 on ARM devices will also see legacy apps working on the architecture
What also makes the announcement notable is that Microsoft has also confirmed earlier reports of legacy apps coming to ARM.
“Hardware partners will be able to build a range of new Qualcomm Snapdragon-powered Windows 10 PCs that run x86 Win32 and universal Windows apps, including Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Office and popular Windows games.”
So what will be the first Snapdragon chip to support Windows 10? A leak by the Redmond firm earlier this year confirmed that the Snapdragon 830 (now called the 835) will support Windows 10. According to ZDNet, the WinHEC event saw Microsoft demonstrate Windows 10 on a Snapdragon 820-toting device.
Disappointingly, Microsoft’s Terry Myerson told the publication that the emulation layer for legacy apps wasn’t designed for Windows Phones yet. So don’t hold your breath for phones running legacy apps via Continuum just yet.