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Windows on ARM will not be full fat

by on20 February 2018

So limited Microsoft has pulled a document saying how much

When Microsoft announced it was making a version of Windows 10 on ARM chips the world celebrated the end of the x86 obsession which has limited PCs for decades.

However, a document appeared on the Volish website which said that this brave new world might be some time off as the first versions of Windows on ARM will be limited. Microsoft even said how limited it would be before it realised what the tech press would make of it and pulled the document from the site.

The new page carries across some of the content described in the previous document but with less focus on limitations, such as Hyper-V not being supported on Windows on Arm. Microsoft also removed the table shown below, setting out app architecture types supported on on arm

The earlier document explained that 64-bit apps would not work on Windows 10 on Arm. Only 32-bit x86 desktop apps work.

Games and apps that use a version of OpenGL later than version 1.1, or require hardware-accelerated OpenGL, don't work. However, ARM does support x86 apps that use DirectX 9, DirectX 10, DirectX 11, and DirectX 12.

Certain types of apps that customise Windows may not work correctly because native OS components cannot load non-native components, it said.

This limitation includes input method editors (IMEs) and assistive technologies. Cloud storage apps may not work because they often use shell extensions, such as icons in Explorer, which may fail.

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.
And finally, it said Microsoft's Hyper-V isn't supported. This means no VMs using Microsoft's hypervisor technology.

Microsoft said that Arm64 Win32 SDK support is coming soon so it might be worth waiting before buying any hardware which uses the new software.

All kernel-mode drivers, User-Mode Driver Framework (UMDF) drivers, and print drivers must be compiled to match the architecture of the OS. If an x86 app has a driver, then that driver must be recompiled for Arm64.

The x86 app may run fine under emulation. However, its driver will need to be recompiled for Arm64, and any app experience that depends on the driver will not be available. For more info about compiling your driver for Arm64, see Building ARM64 Drivers with the WDK.


Last modified on 20 February 2018
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