Windows On ARM Will Not Support Existing x86/x64 Apps

Today Microsoft detailed their Windows On ARM strategy. At last, Microsoft has confirmed that Windows On ARM will not support any type of virtualization or emulation approach, and will not enable existing x86/64 applications to be ported or run. So, this leaves developers with the only choice. If they want to target both Windows On ARM & Windows 8 on x86/x64, WinRT API’s are the only way to go. Also Windows On ARM will allow you to install apps only from Windows Store signed by Microsoft.

Here is the reason Microsoft tell us,

Supporting various forms of emulation runs counter to the goal of delivering a product that takes a modern approach to system reliability and predictability—by definition, existing code has not been optimized for the platform the way WOA has. Virtualized or emulated software will consume system resources, including battery life and CPU, at unacceptable levels. Emulation and virtualization of existing x86/64 software also require the traditional PC environment of mouse and keyboard, which is not a good assumption for WOA PCs.

If we enabled the broad porting of existing code we would fail to deliver on our commitment to longer battery life, predictable performance, and especially a reliable experience over time. The conventions used by today’s Windows apps do not necessarily provide this, whether it is background processes, polling loops, timers, system hooks, startup programs, registry changes, kernel mode code, admin rights, unsigned drivers, add-ins, or a host of other common techniques.

Read more at Building Windows 8 Blog.

About the author  ⁄ pradeep

Pradeep, a Computer Science & Engineering graduate.

  • Willdoors

    lame…. so microsoft is building a metro version of the useless ipad!… I was hoping to have my full ableton live or full photoshop running on my ‘ARM Windows 8 Tab’…. looks like I’m not getting a windows tablet, sad

    • Anonymous

      haha…wouldn’t you just go with x86 tablets instead? Please name another tablet OS that runs full photoshop?

      • Guest

        …well, everybody was expecting MS to release the first tablet OS to do so.  Since they didn’t, we’re looking at something that is not accurately named.  People don’t use windows for it’s superior GUI–people use windows because it runs they apps they already use.  This is an candy-coated dud in the making.

        • Anonymous

          Same could be said about the iPad…no body is buying it because of its boring app launcher UI…they buy because of the apps and hardware that still doesn’t have a full version if Photoshop.

          Sent from my Windows Phone Mango

    • Anonymous

      Would have been a good thing out the box but this is “programming”. Just because Microsoft won’t support it natively doesn’t mean a developer can’t find a method for which your Ableton Live could run on RT.

  • Anonymous

    Intel’s Medfield processor will become VERY important this year – ARM like power footprint and performance in an x86 compatible package.