Microsoft Will Not Bring x64 Emulation to Windows 10 on ARM

Posted on November 16, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 10, Windows 11 with 9 Comments

Windows 11 on ARM adds 64-bit Intel app emulation, but fans have been wondering whether that support will come to Windows 10 on ARM too. It will not.

“We have received questions about the status of x64 emulation in Windows 10,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me. “Microsoft wants to share an update that x64 emulation for Windows is only generally available in Windows 11. For those interested in experiencing x64 emulation, a PC running Windows 11 on Arm is required. Microsoft is committed to supporting customers on Windows 10 on Arm through October 14, 2025.”

Microsoft announced the availability of x64 emulation in Windows 10 on ARM in the Windows Insider Program last December, before Windows 11 existed, but the original post has now been updated to note that this support is only available in Windows 11 on ARM.

“x64 emulation for Windows is now generally available in Windows 11,” Microsoft says. “For those interested in experiencing this, a PC running Windows 11 on Arm is required.”

And let’s get real here. Windows on ARM won’t be viable until Qualcomm ships its next-generation Nuvia-based chipsets for PCs anyway. And today, the firm revealed that that won’t happen until the end of 2023 at the very earliest.

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Comments (9)

9 responses to “Microsoft Will Not Bring x64 Emulation to Windows 10 on ARM”

  1. F4IL

    It will be interesting to see if Windows will have any success on ARM even with future Qualcomm SOCs.

    • lvthunder

      If someone makes a chip similar in performance to the M1's then yes it will see some success.

      • wright_is

        Qualcomm announced the new SoCs will be made by Nuvia, which it bought recently. Their head designer was the chief designer for the iPad and iPhone chipsets, before he left to form Nuvia to make ARM based server chips.

  2. rmlounsbury

    I can't say this surprises me in the least. At worst it is an extra carrot to get people that care about WoA & 64-bit emulation to move up to Windows 11.

  3. thewarragulman

    The end of 2023 for the viability of WOA seems like too little too late to me, that's two years from now, will anybody even care at that point? Apple Silicon will be a few generations ahead by then and Intel and AMD will have also stepped up their game, so will Qualcomm even be able to compete by that point? WOA is already an also-ran now, so I have my doubts that they'll be able to compete in two years time.

  4. hrlngrv

    When (if ever) will MSFT deprecate 32-bit Office? Lots of Excel add-ins which don't work with 64-bit.

    Maybe more to the point, aside from MSFT's own software, how much native WOA 3rd party software is there? IOW, how long will WOA rely on Intel/AMD emulation to be useful?

  5. angusmatheson

    How many current windows 10 on ARM can upgrade to Windows 11 on ARM? If most cannot it seems like a harsh thing to do to early adopters. Nor being only able to run 32 but apps seems like it would really be a limit and the ability to upgrade your current t machine so you can run 64 bit desktops apps would really help those who own those machines now.

  6. bkkcanuck

    It made no sense for Microsoft to invest development resources back-porting new functionality into what is now a legacy version of Windows... Windows 10 is now in maintenance mode.

  7. bkkcanuck

    "the firm revealed that that won’t happen until the end of 2023 at the very earliest."

    God only knows what the M3 or M4 set of processors will look like when Nuvia v1 comes out.