At Build 2017, Microsoft has again shown off its Windows 10 on ARM work and the progress it has made. Last seen in December, the company is now touting that it is able to run x86 programs outside of the Windows Store, as well as those in the Windows Store.
Windows 10 on ARM could be Microsoft’s answer to its mobile woes, allowing an abundance of programs to be installed on a portable, mobile and power-efficient device, derived directly from the top desktop operating system, Windows.
During the display of Windows 10 on ARM, the company shows how effortless it is to install an x86 program on ARM, the same way you would on a standard PC running Windows 10. As an example, they needed to open a Zip folder that was sent to them, so they proceeded to search the internet for a download of 7zip and within seconds, had it fully installed, just like normal, with no development changes required whatsoever.
This simplicity is thanks to the Windows on Windows layer, which handles the x86 emulation, which is currently used for running 32-bit programs on a 64-bit computer.