At WinHEC earlier this week, Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is coming to ARM64-based devices. The company has teamed up chip maker Qualcomm to put full Windows 10 on devices powered by Qualcomm’s next-gen Snapdragon processors. Windows 10 supporting ARM64 is quite a huge thing for users as Windows 10 devices running on ARM64 processors will bring much-improved battery life thanks to the modern architecture of ARM processors while providing a decent amount of power.
Now, a Microsoft enthusiast and security researcher who goes by the name “my123” has recompiled a Windows app for ARM64 using an unreleased version of Visual Studio. As you can see in the screenshot above, he was able to compile a sample app for ARM64 which is really neat. Additionally, he has also compiled 7-ZIP and PuTTY (an open-source SSH client for Windows) for ARM64, which you can download from here apps — but of course, you won’t be able to try it out unless you have Windows 10 running on an ARM64 device.
It is worth noting that Win32 x86 apps will still be able to run fine on Windows 10 devices powered by ARM64 processors even if they aren’t recompiled for ARM64. That’s because of Microsoft’s x86 emulation on Windows 10 which is expected to arrive in 2017 — possibly with Windows 10 ‘Redstone 3’ or the Creators Update (aka Redstone 2). However, if developers do decide to recompile their apps for ARM64, it’ll simply provide a much better experience for users.
Windows 10 coming to ARM64 is still a bit far away, but Microsoft and Qualcomm promised that we’ll see devices running on ARM64 processors in 2017. It will be quite fascinating to see how Windows performs on these devices, but we’ll have to wait several months until we get to try out the new and exciting things in Windows 10.
Further Reading: Windows 10, x86 emulation, and ARM: The future for Windows