Can Windows 10 S on ARM really upgrade to full Windows 10 Pro?

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The emulation of Windows on ARM cannot run x64 programs, but obviously the Intel version of Windows 10 Pro can. Is it really Windows 10 Pro if it can’t run all Windows programs?

Comments (23)

23 responses to “Can Windows 10 S on ARM really upgrade to full Windows 10 Pro?”

  1. seapea

    from an article elsewhere

    www.howtogeek.com/309119/what-is-windows-10-on-arm-and-how-is-it-different-from-windows-rt/


    "Until September 2018, the upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro will be free."

    • skane2600

      In reply to seapea:

      Informative article as far as it goes but it doesn't really address the issue I brought up - the inability of an ARM version of Windows 10 Pro to run the complete set of programs that the Intel version does.


      Of course we are assuming that the emulation will work properly for all 32-bit programs which we don't really know yet.

  2. maethorechannen

    obviously the Intel version of Windows 10 Pro can


    Not if you buy this version Windows 10 Professional 32Bit DVD English OS

    • skane2600

      In reply to maethorechannen:

      Which explicitly states that it's 32 bit. The accurate name for Windows 10 Pro on ARM would be something like Windows 10 Professional 32Bit Emulation edition.

      • Roger Ramjet

        In reply to maethorechannen:

        Which explicitly states that it's 32 bit. The accurate name for Windows 10 Pro on ARM would be something like Windows 10 Professional 32Bit Emulation edition.


        What is the name now?

        • skane2600

          In reply to Roger Ramjet:

          The press articles are just reporting it as "Windows 10 Pro".

          • Roger Ramjet

            In reply to skane2600:

            So obviously shorthand. You would agree complaints are premature then?

            • skane2600

              In reply to Roger Ramjet:

              Why would you assume it was shorthand? More likely the press is just reporting what MS has told them.

              • Roger Ramjet

                In reply to skane2600:

                Yes, the Microsoft executive got up on stage and said, "you can convert to Windows 10 Pro", that is the shorthand that the press reported. In er, fullhand, in the market today, there is already more than 1 version of Windows 10 Pro as @maethorechannen pointed out, including a 32 bit option.

                Why would you insist someone reading off a telepromter utter a mouthful like "you can convert to Windows 10 Pro ARM 835 compiled version, emulator X5 32 bit" or some other snoozefest naming convention every time he gets on stage trying to deliver a lively intro to a broad audience. Even if he did, you'd probably insist he continue "...by the way, disclaimer(!), lawyers input required, wherefore, you cannot, repeat cannot, run 64 bit on this , blah ..."

                I mean, this is a product no actual person can buy today? When it is at Best Buy, the Windows SKU running on it will be detailed on the placecard, and systems info, just as they do every other time. You think they are somehow going to try to hide this? How silly.

      • evox81

        In reply to skane2600:

        Windows 10 Pro, running in 32-bit flavor, whether emulated or not, is Windows 10 Pro 32-bit. Neither can run x64 programs, so other than performance, I don't see the difference.


        It really seems like you're just being pedantic for the sake of supporting some faux-outrage that I'm not comprehending. Help me understand.

        • skane2600

          In reply to evox81:

          I'm saying that the name should reflect the product. I don't think that's hard to understand.

          • hrlngrv

            In reply to skane2600:

            . . . the name should reflect the product . . .

            as customers perceive the product.

            Whether MSFT and its fans like it or not, an overwhelming majority of Windows PC users (so 95% or so of all Windows users) expect machines running an OS named Windows to run Win32 software. Whether that's 32-bit or 64-bit is fuzzy, and MSFT should definitely be clearer about that.

            MSFT is playing the Windows RT game again with Windows 10 S, using the Windows name to sell machines few normal users would consider Windows PCs. Likely it'll produce similar results. But, hey, where are Windows PC users going to go? Linux? Keep pissing them off until they're used to it.

  3. rameshthanikodi

    well yes, it is Windows 10 Pro. But it is sort of a hybrid Windows 10 Pro: 32-bit for Win32 programs, 64-bit for Store programs.

    • jimchamplin

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      Not Win32. X86. Win32 can be compiled in native AArch64 ARM code.

      • skane2600

        In reply to jimchamplin:

        Sure, just as legacy programs could be rewritten and compiled to work on MacOS or iOS. I've read nothing that indicates that significant numbers of software vendors plan to port their legacy programs to Windows on ARM. Hundreds if not thousands of legacy programs are too old or not profitable enough to justify the effort and will never be ported.


        Customers don't care about Microsoft's agenda, they just want the programs they use to work.

    • skane2600

      In reply to FalseAgent:

      The problem is that MS is using the same name for two operating systems that aren't compatible. Not to mention that "Pro" suggests a high-end experience. There's nothing "high-end" about running 32-bit applications using an emulator. Even 32 bit Windows 10 Home is more capable.


      As far as Store programs are concerned, very few people care about them whether they're 32 bit or 64.

      • jimchamplin

        In reply to skane2600:

        The idea is for a native 64-bit ARM build to exist of these applications. The x86 layer isn’t meant to be the primary way of running legacy software.

        • skane2600

          In reply to jimchamplin:

          I took a look at the project options in Visual Studio 2017 and I couldn't find a project type for building a native ARM program that wasn't a UWP. Perhaps there's an add-on required or some other tool or I just didn't recognize the option. At best, it's not an obvious option.


          OK. I found a reference describing the hoops you have to jump through: http://pete.akeo.ie/2017/05/compiling-desktop-arm-applications-with.html

      • rameshthanikodi

        In reply to skane2600:

        Yeah, well maybe they could name it something else but calling it "Windows 10 S Pro" brings a whole set of other support and consumer education issues. Windows 10 Pro is mostly used specifically for stuff like device encryption and domain join, and people do get that with this hybrid Windows 10 pro thing, so I guess it's pro.

  4. jimchamplin

    Yes. It is. Windows 10 Pro isn't defined by the software it can run, but by system features. Windows 10 Pro would be Windows 10 Pro even if it couldn't run any x86 software.

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