With Microsoft releasing the Surface Pro X last week, questions were again raised about the apps that could run on it. The answer is that, like any Windows 10 on an ARM PC, it can run native ARM (ARM and ARM64) applications and can simulate running 32-bit Intel (x86) applications, but does not support 64-bit Intel (AMD64 or x64) applications. For example, Adobe Premiere Pro or Photoshop Elements.
Now, however, that will change, and Microsoft is indeed introducing the simulation x64 application to the Windows ARM version. It’s unclear when it will officially happen, but it looks likely to appear in Windows 10 21H1, meaning the public will get the feature in the first half of 2021.
This is more of a performance issue, and while Windows on ARM can simulate 32-bit and 64-bit applications, it’s faster to simulate 32-bit. The analog 32 bit uses WOW64, which is exactly the same version of Windows x64 that is used to run 32-bit applications.
Qualcomm’s current PC chipset is Snapdragon 8cx, and Microsoft’s SQ1, a slightly modified 8cx. These SoCs are designed for PCs and are considered for simulation. However, 64-bit application simulation is not unique to the 8cx family. Instead, users can use the x64 application on each generation of ARM For Windows processors, including the original Snapdragon 835.