Microsoft today revealed that it is developing x64 application simulation support for Windows on ARM. Currently, Windows on ARM devices such as surface Pro X can only run native 32-bit and 64-bit ARM apps, as well as 32-bit x86 apps. The vast majority of desktop apps, including Adobe’s Creative Suite, have moved to 64-bit x86, and many have stopped supporting their 32-bit versions.
This makes certain applications inalible to devices such as Surface Pro X, but Microsoft’s new simulation support will mean that any and all Windows applications will now be able to work on Windows on ARM. The new x64 simulation support will be available to Windows Insider testers starting in November and should arrive in a wider operating system update next year.
Microsoft confirmed this support in a blog post today, while also revealing that Microsoft Edge will be improved to be faster on ARM devices and use fewer batteries. Native Microsoft Team clients will also be available on Windows on ARM, while Visual Studio Code has been updated and optimized for ARM-based devices.
Microsoft’s announcement of ARM comes as the company is rumoured to be rolling out an updated Surface Pro X this fall. The updated ARM-based Surface Pro X will reportedly include Microsoft’s SQ2 processor, which is likely to be based on Qualcomm’s SnapDragon 8cx Gen 2 5G.