Microsoft guts doc on 'Limitations of apps and experiences on ARM'

Image kevinpartner  Pixabay

Microsoft has removed a new document explaining the "necessary limitations" of Windows 10 on Arm chips.

If an x86 desktop app doesn't work the way it does on an x86 machine, here's some guidance to help you troubleshoot. That being said, the limitations of ARM might still discourage customers from opting for ARM devices and similarly, developers would need to care about supporting the new platform and fixing any issues. This is something we've known, but Windows 10 on ARM does not support emulation of x64 apps.

Some 3D games may also run into trouble, as only OpenGL 1.1 is supported. and that's not even hardware-accelerated apparently. Windows 10 on ARM does not support emulation of x64 apps. - Recompile your x86 driver to ARM64.

When the ARM-powered Windows laptops were first introduced, they were said to run Windows 10 S-a restricted version which only allows apps from the Windows Store-though rumors indicate the entire Windows 10 S SKU is likely to be axed in favor of an optional "S Mode". Instead, it will require native ARM64 drivers instead.

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It also noted that only Arm64 drivers are supported, so while Windows 10 on Arm can emulate x86 applications, it doesn't support drivers for other architectures such as x64 or x86.

For starters, the Windows Hypervisor Platform isn't supported on ARM, meaning that it won't be possible to run virtual machines using Hyper-V on an ARM device. These types of apps may not work at all. Windows 10 on ARM supports DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11, and DirectX 12, but apps/games that target older versions will not work.

Microsoft has finally gotten around to documenting the limitation of running Windows 10 on an ARM powered device. It's not just the gamers, or to get the headlines like "OMFG, Windows 10 gives us 30 hours of gaming on-the-go". While Microsoft has demonstrated Windows running on ARM before, it has kept quiet about its various limitations. The main benefit of the switch from an x86-based processor is battery life: These laptops are meant to achieve upwards of 20 hours of battery life. So while your CPU and bandwidth numbers inside of the laptop are great, the battery life ultimately suffers. Ditto for games that rely on "anti-cheat" drives that aren't supported on Windows 10 on ARM. Currently, there are as much as Hundred people under Cohort that includes Microsoft employee and MVPs.

Microsoft regularly releases new builds of Windows 10 to members of the Insiders Program who then put the build through its paces and provide valuable feedback to Microsoft which the company uses to improve the overall software before it's released to the public.

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