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Microsoft today announced the first preview of x64 emulation for Arm PCs, with the feature now available to Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel. That means Windows users who have Arm PCs like the Surface Pro X can now install apps that have not been ported to Arm64.

microsoft-surface-book-x.jpg
When we first launched Windows 10 on ARM in late 2017, the long tail of apps customers needed were dominated by 32-bit-only x86 applications, so we focused our efforts on building an x86 emulator that could run the broad ecosystem of Windows apps seamlessly and transparently. Over time, the ecosystem has moved more toward 64-bit-only x64 apps and we've heard the feedback that customers would like to see those x64 apps running on ARM64. That's why we are working on expanding the capability of our emulation to include x64 applications and sharing this first preview to gather feedback.
Microsoft says that while it is expanding the capabilities of its emulator, it recommends that developers implement native Arm support for the best possible app experience.

In the new preview, Windows users can install x64 apps from the Microsoft Store or from other locations, with Microsoft highlighting the availability of x64-only apps like Autodesk Sketchbook and games like Rocket League. Other apps will benefit from being run as 64-bit instead of 32-bit, such as Chrome.

Microsoft says that the new emulation feature is still in the early stages of testing and will continue to improve in compatibility and performance over time, and some of the apps that are run in emulation may not work initially.

Users who are expecting a smooth emulation experience should not get their hopes up because as The Verge points out, Microsoft's prior emulation work has not been fantastic, with apps loading and running slowly.

Microsoft has not been able to match Apple's work with Rosetta 2, which is designed to allow M1 Mac users to run Intel-based apps on their machines. Rosetta 2 has proven to be streamlined and speedy, with none of the emulation complaints that Microsoft has faced.

Though an Arm version of Windows is available for PCs, Windows is not compatible with Apple's M1 Macs due to licensing issues. Microsoft only provides Windows 10 on Arm to PC manufacturers to preinstall on their hardware and does not offer a consumer version.

Article Link: Microsoft Brings x64 Emulation to Windows on Arm PCs
 

zorinlynx

macrumors 604
May 31, 2007
6,937
12,420
Florida, USA
Microsoft should package up a "Microsoft Windows for Mac" software package. It would include Windows 10 and a high quality hypervisor that would let you run Windows 10 ARM alongside MacOS at full performance on the new M1 Macs. it would of course include this emulation technology so x86 apps can be run as well.

This would actually be quite a money making opportunity for MS, to sell Windows to Mac users who absolutely need it for whatever reason. Done right it would have near-native performance and be far superior to previous solutions like VMWare's.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,183
11,727
Temecula, CA
Interesting, esp how that performs...
And of course there needs to be a standalone version of windows Arm for this to become interesting...
 

applicious84

macrumors 6502
Sep 1, 2020
294
618
Though an Arm version of Windows is available for PCs, Windows is not compatible with Apple's M1 Macs due to licensing issues. Microsoft only provides Windows 10 on Arm to PC manufacturers to preinstall on their hardware and does not offer a consumer version.
If it's just licensing issues, I hope we'll see bootcamp on the m1 sooner than later
 

KPOM

macrumors P6
Oct 23, 2010
16,457
5,290
And what would you do with it, seriously? Install it on your Raspberry Pi? What for?
If they sold it for $99, the M1 MacBook Air would instantly become one of the best Windows PCs on the market. PC buyers would also benefit, because QualComm, AMD, and others with ARM licenses might see a reason to build more custom chips to compete with Apple.
 

jz0309

Contributor
Sep 25, 2018
4,183
11,727
Temecula, CA
This would actually be quite a money making opportunity for MS, to sell Windows to Mac users who absolutely need it for whatever reason. Done right it would have near-native performance and be far superior to previous solutions like VMWare's.
You really think so? Macs have about 10% market share, IF 10% of Mac users were interested in this, and I doubt it’s that many ... 1% of the PC market, do t think that’s interesting for Microsoft...
But it’s an interesting step, maybe an opportunity for Arm in the PC market overall...
 

Moonjumper

macrumors 68030
Jun 20, 2009
2,572
2,529
Lincoln, UK
For Microsoft, Windows running on a Mac isn’t that different to Windows running on any other machine they don’t build. i.e. Practically all of them. It could be no different for an M1 Mac unless Microsoft want to muscle in on the premium hardware market by keeping full control of Windows for Arm. I don’t see that working out well.
 

handle manifest

macrumors member
Aug 16, 2008
52
31
This would actually be quite a money making opportunity for MS, to sell Windows to Mac users who absolutely need it for whatever reason. Done right it would have near-native performance and be far superior to previous solutions like VMWare's.

You really think so? Macs have about 10% market share, IF 10% of Mac users were interested in this, and I doubt it’s that many ... 1% of the PC market, do t think that’s interesting for Microsoft...
From what I've read, Microsoft makes very, very little money from retail sales of Windows licenses for all computers. The profit comes from sales of enterprise licenses and bulk sales of OEM licenses to PC manufacturers.
 

fourthtunz

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2002
1,421
880
Maine
Agree, then again, the vast majority of Mac users don’t care about this... MR users are the exception...
You got that right! I'm happy for windows users if they can use windows on a Mac but there is no
way I would install windows on a mac.
 
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