If Windows 10 on ARM Works Properly, It Will Be Boring

Posted on June 2, 2017 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10 with 121 Comments

If Windows 10 on ARM Works Properly, It Will Be Boring

While there’s understandably been a lot of excitement around Microsoft bringing full Windows 10 to the ARM platform, there’s also not much to say about this project. If it works properly, it will just be Windows 10.

As you may recall, Microsoft announced Windows 10 on ARM last December at WinHEC, but it’s been pretty quiet it ever since.

Windows 10 on ARM was not featured at all during Build 2017, for example, though Microsoft released a quickie pre-recorded video to silence the questions. And then this past week, Microsoft revealed an “Always-Connected PC” initiative, which includes ARM systems as well as those based on the traditional Intel x86 platform.

This week, Qualcomm piped up and discussed Windows 10 on ARM during Computex. The company literally provided no new information, but that’s because there is nothing to say: Windows 10 on ARM is just Windows 10. There will be Home, Pro, and Enterprise versions, just like on Intel.

Microsoft’s Terry Myerson did discuss how Always-Connected PCs would interface with the built-in eSIM in such systems at Computex too. But again, that isn’t just for ARM, it’s coming to x86 PCs too.

If you’re really bored, you can watch an extended demo of Windows 10 running on ARM. That, again, shows off nothing new at all.

And that, folks, is the point.

If Windows 10 on ARM works, and I think it will, the average user won’t see any difference between that product and Windows on x86. The systems could potentially be smaller and lighter, and get great battery life, and they will include integrated cellular data capabilities. But that’s why someone might choose such a system: For the benefits, not for the underlying architecture.

Windows 10 on ARM probably won’t work well for high-end tasks that require powerful Intel hardware like video editing, game playing, and the like. But then, neither will most thin and light PCs, regardless of the architecture.

Put simply, Windows 10 on ARM will be successful if it’s boring. If there is literally nothing to say, or at least anything unique. If this thing arrives and just works, Qualcomm and Microsoft win. That’s everything.

So here’s to boring. I hope it just works.

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