What Is Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines, and How Is It Different?

Acorn RISC Machines

Microsoft Fair launched a version of Windows 10 that will run on low power Acorn RISC Machines hardware. Unlike Windows RT the version of Windows 8 that powered the Surface and Surface 2 of origin, it is a full version of Windows 10 with a layer of & # 39; 39 Emulation that allows you to run traditional desktop applications outside the Windows Store.

Acorn RISC Machines
Acorn RISC Machines

Why Microsoft puts Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines?

ARM is a different type of architecture architecture Intel x86 and Intel 64-bit standard used on PCs today. (Even Acorn RISC Machines produces chips compatible with Intel’s architecture.) Mobile devices like the iPhone, iPad and Android phones – as well as many other smaller devices – have Acorn RISC Machines chips instead of Intel chips.

Low-power Acorn RISC Machines PCs have some advantages over traditional x86 computers (which are most of the desktop and laptop computers we use today). Acorn RISC Machines PCs have built-in LTE cellular connectivity, often offer greater autonomy than Intel and AMD processors, and the hardware is cheaper for manufacturers.

Microsoft wants Windows 10 to run on Acorn RISC Machines hardware so that it can benefit from these benefits. Of course, you probably will not use an ARM desktop soon, but ARM could be a great choice for tablets, 2-in-1 convertibles and even smaller laptops.

Rather than creating a more limited version of Windows for this platform, as with the failing Windows RT, Microsoft has decided to release a full version of Windows 10 for ARM hardware, which can even run traditional Windows applications .

The resulting devices are designed to be “always connected” and promise up to 20 hours of active use and 700 hours of “Connected Modern Standby”. And they can even run a traditional Windows desktop software.

Microsoft first announced a partnership with Qualcomm to create Windows on ARM at WinHEC in December 2016.

He can run x86 desktop programs

This is not just Windows RT again. Windows RT did not allow you to run a traditional desktop software. It has even prevented developers from compiling their desktop applications for ARM processors and offering them to users. Windows RT only accepted applications from the Windows Store 8.

Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines is completely different. This is the complete Windows desktop experience. Microsoft has created a special emulation layer that allows traditional 32-bit desktop applications to run on Acorn RISC Machines processors, so everything should “work”. Microsoft has even shown a version of Windows 10 Professional on Acorn RISC Machines, and has stated that it supports all the usual advanced features that you will find on Windows 10 Professional.

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The emulation works completely transparently for the users and the programs they run. It uses the same WOW (Windows on Windows) technology that Windows uses to run 32-bit applications on 64-bit versions of Windows today. However, the x86-to-Acorn RISC Machines emulation occurs entirely in the software.

However, this software emulation could be a problem. While Microsoft demonstrated Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines running the desktop version of Photoshop, saying that it “works perfectly” on the Qualcomm processor, there will definitely be some slowing down in the demanding office applications . or AMD system. We will have to wait to see performance benchmarks when Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines is released.

Do not be distracted by the emulator. This is not just an emulated Windows 10 operating system. The Windows kernel, hardware drivers, and all programs that come with Windows are native Acorn RISC Machines. Universal Windows Platform (UWP) applications in the Windows Store are also native Acorn RISC Machines programs. The emulator is only used when running the traditional Windows x86 desktop software.

Much of this information comes from a video published by Microsoft at BUILD 2017.

Support for Older Hardware Devices May Be Problematic

While Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines can emulate traditional desktop applications, it will not be able to install hardware drivers written for traditional Windows x86 or x64 operating systems. It will need Acorn RISC Machines versions of these hardware drivers to support different hardware devices.

Microsoft promises that Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines “will have excellent device support for USB devices using the class drivers in the box”. It’s great for modern USB devices. But read between the lines: Devices that are not supported by built-in drivers will not work. Print utilities and other hardware driver utilities may not work either. This could be a problem for older or darker hardware devices.

These devices will ship with Windows 10 S

The type of CPU used by Windows does not matter. You benefit from a complete Windows desktop experience with Windows 10 Home or Windows 10 Professional, even if you are using Windows 10 on Acorn RISC Machines.

However, these Windows 10 devices on Acorn RISC Machines will ship with Windows 10 S just like the Microsoft Laptop Surface. Windows 10 S is a more limited edition of Windows 10 that can only run software from the Windows Store. However, you can pay to upgrade to Windows 10 Pro and have the option to install desktop applications, as you can do with Windows 10 S on Intel and AMD computers. Until September 2018, the upgrade from Windows 10 S to Windows 10 Pro will be free.

In other words, with Windows 10, Acorn RISC Machines is just another hardware platform that is treated the same way: just an emulation layer to make this possible. Windows 10 S is a limited version of Windows that can run on any hardware platform.

When will he be released?

The first Windows 10 device on Acorn RISC Machines will be the Asus NovoGo, which will be released before the end of 2017. Most of these Acorn RISC Machines-based devices, such as the HP Envy x2 with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, will be available in Spring 2018.

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