Windows on ARM

Comments (27)

27 responses to “Windows on ARM”

  1. ajbrehm

    Interesting.... on my work PC there is no text field for the actual comment, just the buttons to create a thread and to edit (but again without a text field to do any editing). With my phone I can see text fields.

  2. Bob2000

    First benchmarks of Arm Windows 10 are out via Techspot and they are not good.

    Terrible performance in emulation and the only bright spot is when it rarely runs native code, vastly over priced for what it's offering.

    I get why MS thinks an iOS style Windows will be appealing to some parts of it's user base in the future and these Arm systems are a bridge to that but it's a very poorly thought out bridge...

    They should have done what Apple did when it switched from PPC to x86 and had a universal binary, but for Win32 desktop apps proclaim this universal Arm/x86 as the future of the Win10 desktop and gotten as many desktop apps on board as possible to ease the transition with 32-bit x86 emulation the backup path.

    They are trying to hard to push people towards UWP but UWP is dead in the water, no-one wants to use Windows for anything other than Win32 software and they need to come up with a better plan of action.

    A Win Store only future platform with handpicked Win32 apps and PWA's stands a better chance than UWP as I see it.

  3. ajbrehm

    Windows 10 on ARM remains an announced product.

    Allegedly the Envy x2 is available for (pre-)order:

    However, it is now "Out of stock".

    I heard of ASUS playing the game as well.

    The "NovaGo" homepage has been up for many months apparently but there is no "buy" button and the ASUS online store has never heard of the thing.

    I remain convinced that the Windows 10 Snapdragon devices are just a myth. It doesn't seem like Microsoft or any of the OEMs really intend ever to sell them to anyone.

    Even if they, in the distant future maybe, start selling them, I would bet they will not sell them in Europe or to Europeans ordering in the US.

    And I bet Microsoft and PC vendors still don't get why Apple sell so much to former PC users. It's because they sell. They do not just announce for years, they actually have a "buy" button on the product homepage.

    • tripleggg

      In reply to ajbrehm:

      I bought mine on, received it last week a day or two after the announced ship date. Now it's sold out (plenty of reports on that, online.)

      It's real ... I'm surprised at how fast and snappy things are for a a more basic device ... I had low expectations ... was actually please how a dell m3 w/4Gb ram and 128gb ssd met my needs last year (before the grants came in.) San's pen inupt, everything else for office productivity was more than adequate and battery was all day on that dell m3.

      I'm in for the battery life, note taking and mobility. My app needs are sparse (dropbox not supported ... grrr, yet?) Mostly run onenote 2016, onenote wstore app, office apps, edge browser ... seems better than chrome on this device. My use case is engineering student (at 52!) lots of note taking.

      My main laptop is a surface book 2 to handle the more serious engineering app I need to run.

      Might hold off on this till the 8GB units come out ... think that will future proof things for a couple years of good usage.

    • sprewell

      In reply to ajbrehm:

      We don't know what's going on behind the scenes. Maybe they're still working on x86 binary translation and the JIT and want to launch a bunch of WoA devices with 1803. Maybe Intel is delaying it, or negotiations over their x86 patents are going down to the wire.

      I think they will put a big push behind this, but whether it actually succeeds or not will come down to how MS executes. I have zero confidence in their ability to pull off a hardware transition like this, which Gates was amazed Jobs pulled off 13 years ago for a much more closed platform.

  4. Paul Thurrott

    Do you mean here on the site?

    • ajbrehm

      In reply to paul-thurrott:

      Yes. I started the thread on my office PC and that's why it has no first post. There was a field for the topic name and a submit button but no field for the actual comment. I thought it would appear after I named the topic. It didn't. I opened the forum again and could type a comment.

      I then saw that none of the forum posts show on my work PC. Probably some rare incompatibility between your forum and our proxy server?

      • Paul Thurrott

        In reply to ajbrehm:

        Hm. Could be. The whole interaction between the commenting system and the site itself seems kind of iffy to me. When you load an article, there is a long pause before the comments bit appears and then another pause before the commenting field and reply/edit/delete links appears.

  5. jimchamplin

    Looks pretty nice and predictable. It's Windows.

    On ARM.

    Time to start porting legacy code.

    • ajbrehm

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      What I am worried about is that Microsoft will follow their usual strategy:

      1. Make announcements for a few years.
      2. Make available a small number of products and make it difficult to buy them.
      3. Make it impossible for people in Europe to buy them.
      4. Announce that the products were a failure. Repeat.

      So far I have seen over a year of announcements and ultimately one (very expensive) product (the HP Envy thingy) that (allegedly) can be ordered. And I would bet that if I tried to order it, HP would tell me they won't ship to Switzerland.

      Plus it's huge again. Apple make small iPads. Why don't Microsoft and their partners understand that there is demand for them? (It's like SIM card slots. Where was the Surface with SIM card slot all those years? Apple get it. They react to demand.)

      • wright_is

        In reply to ajbrehm:

        I still don't see any MacBooks with SIM card slots...

        • Paul Thurrott

          In reply to wright_is:

          Right. Apple will never do anything that might harm its single biggest overall business, iOS, which is responsible for about 80 percent of its revenues and directly and about 95 percent overall.

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to ajbrehm:

        Apple is a consumer electronics company, not a software company run by stodgy people that are stuck in the past.

        Apple is more agile, more focused, and able to not only admit to, but learn from mistakes.

        Microsoft is bureaucratic, top-heavy, scattershot, and absolutely will never admit to a mistake.

    • skane2600

      In reply to jimchamplin:

      If the emulation works properly (still an open question at this point) no reason to waste time and money to convert anything.

      • wright_is

        In reply to skane2600:

        Apart from the fact that the performance will always be crippled, compared to a natively compiled version and the code running natively on an equivalent Intel chip...

        Emulation is never good, in the long run. It is a bridge-gap solution until a real solution comes along.

        • Paul Thurrott

          In reply to wright_is:

          You are missing the point.

          Emulating x86 code is a step to the future. It's one way that Microsoft could get from here (insecure, unreliable desktop applications running in Intel/etc.) to there (secure, reliable Store apps running on ARM). It's a way to help its existing customer base, which will not grow, move to the new platform.

          • skane2600

            In reply to paul-thurrott:

            Reliability of applications is more a function of the developer than the OS. And are store apps running on Intel less secure than store apps running on ARM? Microsoft simply isn't going to be able to deliver the equivalent power of Win32 in a restricted environment. The original excitement over Windows on ARM was the possibility that it might resurrect MS's chances in mobile (i.e. the mythical Surface Phone). As is the case with UWP, Windows on ARM is just coasting on MS's failed expectations.

          • wright_is

            In reply to paul-thurrott:

            See my comment below, that is pretty much what I said there... It is a bridge-gap solution, it is there, because nothing better is there now - if it could only run ARM based store apps TODAY, it would be a non-starter. If it can run Win32 applications as well, albeit lethargically, that is a huge boost for today, as we work towards the end goal.

        • skane2600

          In reply to wright_is:

          What's the problem for which a solution is needed? If a user wants to run native Win32 apps at full speed, they can already do that with Intel-based PCs. Microsoft will never achieve that on ARM. In the unlikely (IMO) event that a lot of users want to run store apps exclusively, they don't need an ARM-based PC to do it.

          I can imagine a set of users that are the intersection of users who don't need or rarely need Win32 programs and those for whom battery life is critical embracing Windows on ARM (if the battery life lives up to the marketing), but I don't see this as more than a niche.

  6. Angusmatheson

    I wonder about the success of windows in ARM. We just started using a few iPad pros at work, and everyone who uses them loves them. They are light, really fast (for HTML web app that we use all day). It has made me believe that the future of computing is ARM. I wonder if windows on ARM will be as good as Android on ARM or iOS on ARM. I worry that the emulation layer will lose the advantages of battery life and speed, and not having the emulator will end up like Windows RT - without the programs we want and expect from windows (it will already not have 64 bit programs (I admit I’m not sure what that leaves out.) windows has tried to have a successful OS on ARM - and haven’t succeeded. I worry that this won’t succeed too. Too bad windows S wasn’t a better success because it seems that it would have worked wonderfully on Windows on ARM. For me, a true ARM laptop running chrome or firefox & Citrix receiver would be amazing. I don’t love the iPad Pro form factor, but would love the battery life, connectivity, and small form favor that ARM gives.

    • sprewell

      In reply to Angusmatheson:

      It's not the future, it's the present. I regularly build C++ codebases on Android, as I switched from a Windows 7 ultrabook to an Android tablet as my daily driver for coding a couple years ago. I recently picked up a smartphone with the Snapdragon 835 and this thing screams!

      Specifically, it compiles a 130 kloc C++ codebase in 1 min. 55 seconds. I tried building the exact same code on a family member's Macbook Air, equipped with the dual-core i5 5250U, and it built in 1:55 mins with the clang from Homebrew and 1:15 mins with Apple's built-in clang, which I'm guessing they optimized more. That puts the 835 at about the same strength as a mid-range core i5 released two years before it was, and likely puts the 845 about even with current core i5s. You can see why MS decided to come back to ARM now, especially since the 835 does it with much less power, ie your battery will last a lot longer.

      If we compare sales of just top-end mobile devices that have such fast chips, Apple alone sold more devices last year than the entire mid- and low-end PC market that they're comparable to. Add in Android and high-end, non-Windows mobile devices have probably 70-80% share in that mid-range client computing space. Of course, Wintel still dominates the high-end client computing market, but that's a comparatively tiny niche, selling what, max 50 million devices a year?

      This is not a cute experiment for Windows anymore, like RT was, it's a lifeboat. If it founders, Windows is dead. My bet is on death.

    • Jules Wombat

      In reply to Angusmatheson:

      Well if you are happy to run a spreadsheet applicaiton on a iPad Pro without a Mouse ? Good Luck being numerically productive with that combination !

      The main competition to lightweight Windows will always be Android, which does have Mouse support.

    • Tony Barrett

      In reply to Angusmatheson:

      I just think WIndows on ARM is too late, which MS seem to have a knack for. Surface RT failed, so why should this succeed - they're not massively different, RT was just Win8 on ARM, this is Win10 on ARM. Sure, Win10 has an x86 (but not x64) emulation layer, but that's totally unproven, and we don't know what system performance hit that will have. The world already has Android and iOS, why do they need mobile Windows? I have a strong suspicion it will fail... again.

      • wright_is

        In reply to ghostrider:

        On the other hand, Apple had an emulation layer, when they dropped their PowerPC RISC chips and switched to Intel, as a bridge-gap solution, until developers started producing Intel native code on Apple hardware.

        It worked reliably and allowed people to switch to new hardware, even when their software suppliers were running behind / forcing upgrades to get Intel native code.

  7. hrlngrv

    Since you can reply, what do you want to say?

  8. Brendan Hallett

    Just ordered one of the HP Envy x2's for an expensive $1999 AUD (8GB, 256GB HD). The battery life is what sold me, plan to use only store apps and like the idea I can take it away for work trips and not take a charger.

    Fingers crossed.