Microsoft made an announcement in Shenzhen which has already created a rage among Cellular PC lovers. Microsoft has decided to push the full desktop version of Windows 10 to mobile ARM processors in 2017.
In partnership with Qualcomm, Windows 10 will get support for ARM chipsets, specifically, Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoCs. This partnership will enable hardware manufacturers to create portable devices like laptops, tablets, and even smartphones with support for desktop Windows apps and games. Users will be able to install any x86 Win32 app – unmodified – from any source, no repackaging as UWP or delivery via the Windows Store required
Microsoft Executive Vice President Terry Myerson revealed the news at WinHEC, and shared on the Windows Blog, "To deliver on our customers' growing needs to create on the go with PCs with cellular connectivity, power-efficient battery life, and flexible designs, we announced today Windows 10 is coming to ARM through our partnership with Qualcomm."
Initially launched as Windows RT, which didn't feature any desktop apps, the new Windows 10 for Qualcomm's ARM platform will run both desktop x86 Win32 apps as well as Universal Windows apps by building an emulator into the operating system. Devices will be able to run x86 win32 applications like Chrome or Photoshop.
The new Snapdragon 835, which is already in production features 27 percent higher performance while drawing 40 percent less power than the previous 14nm Snapdragon 820/821 SoCs. It also features Quick Charge 4.0 tech, allowing for a five-minute charge to be enough for 4-5 hours of life for a phone, and up to 50 percent in 15 minutes.
Microsoft also demoed a device on stage to show how easily the full Adobe Photoshop app was running along with Microsoft Office. The famous MMOG World of Tanks was also demonstrated on stage being powered by ARM and Windows 10.
According to Verge, "the regular MSI or EXE packages will work just like they do on machines with Intel chipsets. The differences will be largely in performance." With Microsoft emulating the CPU instruction set, any apps that are CPU heavy will still have greater performance on Intel-based machines. The rest of the I/O, like memory, storage, or graphics, will be intercepted by the emulator and handled natively by the operating system.
"We're thinking about a platform that supports small screens, large screens, devices with no screens at all, head-mounted displays, and so what can these device makers build will really be up to them," said Myerson.
Windows 10 will also gain support for electronic SIMs that allows users switch providers and plans without the hassle of getting a new physical SIM. Windows 10 for Desktop will also gain data management abilities for users to monitor and control what data channel apps use.