Last year at WinHEC 2016 in China, Microsoft announced that it was working on a new version of Windows 10 running on ARM processors, more specifically Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 SoC which already powers some high-end phones such as the Galaxy S8. The purpose of Windows 10 ARM is to allow manufacturers to build “connected PCs” with always-on capabilities, and the more power-efficient ARM chip from Qualcomm also makes it possible for OEMs to build thinner and lighter devices with better battery life.
Unlike the now deprecated Windows RT, Windows 10 on ARM will also support all legacy Win32 apps through emulation: for consumers, this means that this new Windows 10 SKU will behave just like any Windows 10 PC, with full support for both Windows Store apps and Win32 apps such as Adobe Photoshop or other popular productivity apps.
Nearly six months after this initial announcement, Microsoft and Qualcomm announced today at Computex that ASUS, HP and Lenovo will be the first manufacturers to create Windows 10 on ARM PCs. “Each company is set to produce sleek, thin and fanless PCs running a Windows 10 experience with unparalleled LTE connectivity for an always connected, on the go experience,” said Qualcomm in a press release. “Coupled with the incredible 10nm leading node efficiency of the Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform, these devices will feature beyond all-day battery life.” .
Matt Barlow, Microsoft’s corporate vice president, Windows marketing added that “this collaboration offers consumers something new and that they have been craving – the best of a mobile computing experience with the best of Windows 10, all in one thin, light, connected device.” Back in December at WinHEC, Microsoft said that the first Windows 10 on ARM PCs would come to market “as early as next year,” but today both companies shared no additional details expect that they’re coming “soon.” Windows 10 on ARM could very well change the PC market as we know it, and we’re looking forward to learn more about it in the coming months.