2 thoughts on “Microsoft Finally Documents the Limitations of Windows 10 on ARM

  1. drysart February 18, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    None of these limitations are surprising. They’ve been very forthcoming that only 32 bit x86 applications would be emulated (since emulating x64 is a completely separate thing); and the rest of the limitations are simply inherent to it being a separate architecture, not due any artificial limits — x86 emulation doesn’t apply to code running in the kernel, so drivers need to be native ARM (not that you could even reliably emulate drivers to begin with); and individual processes can’t mix ARM and x86 code, so shell extensions, which load in-process into Explorer, need to be rebuilt as ARM-native. Hyper-V was also pretty much a nonstarter right from the get go because it relies on specific virtualization support in hardware that ARM doesn’t have.

    The surprising part, really, is that they’re not trying to sneak through any *additional* restrictions. Last time they tried Windows on ARM they tried to lock it down to Windows Store apps only. Good to see they’ve realized that approach isn’t going to work.

  2. w1n5t0nM1k3y February 18, 2018 / 8:01 pm

    A lot of this was probably obvious or already known. Things that are machine specific like drivers aren’t going to work on ARM. Also, it was said a long time ago that only win32 and not 64 bit would be supported. Obviously not every application is going to work. Still I applaud MS for trying to remove the x86 lock in. If they can actually get devs to start releasing dual binaries, then maybe Windows can one day be truly hardware agnostic.

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