Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM efforts are about to take another step, with evidence Microsoft is close to enabling the execution of 64bit code on Windows 10 on ARM laptops.
Currently, ARM laptops use the WoW emulator designed to run Win32 code on x64 computers to run Win32 code on ARM64 code, but that neat hack, unfortunately, means 64bit Windows applications are simply not supported on Windows 10 on ARM laptops.
Now a recent GitHub commit noticed by twitter account Longhorn explicitly mentions support for x64 code emulation on ARM64.
x86_64 on Arm64 machine type.
— Longhorn (@never_released) May 17, 2020
The architecture will reportedly be called ARM64EC, for x64_64 on ARM64 machine types.
The commit dates to March 2020 and was made by Kenny Kerr, Engineer on the Windows team at Microsoft.
A year ago it was not clear if Microsoft will be enabling x64 app emulation on Windows 10 on ARM, with Microsoft encouraging developers to recompile their applications to ARM64 instead. It is therefore good news that Microsoft is indeed succeeding, allowing ARM laptops the become more competitive with Intel devices.