Microsoft is planning a return for Windows to the ARM architecture despite the embarrassing flop of Windows RT, released in 2012 at the same time as Windows 8. This time, though, the company has enlisted the support of ARM heavyweight Qualcomm.
Windows RT only appeared on the Microsoft's first, low-end Surface tablets. However, the company has revealed that a full-fat version of Windows 10 will be available on ARM next year.
Furthermore, unlike Windows RT, which couldn't run standard Windows apps, traditional Windows programs will be supported, as well as new-style Universal Apps.
This will be made possible by a new form of emulation spotted in teardowns of insider builds.
This, in turn, will enhance Continuum, the ability for devices to change form factor seamlessly from watch to big screen and all things in-between.
Continuum has been a cornerstone of the Windows 10 strategy, but because of the prevalence of ARM-based architectures on mobile devices, it has proved impossible to have a fully fluid transition between form factors.
"Qualcomm Snapdragon processors offer one of the world's most advanced mobile computing features, including Gigabit LTE connectivity, advanced multimedia support, machine learning and superior hardware security features, all while supporting thin, fan-less designs and long battery life," said Cristiano Amon, executive vice president at Qualcomm.
"With compatibility with the Windows 10 ecosystem, the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform is expected to support mobility to cloud computing and redefine how people will use their compute devices."
For Microsoft, Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft, whose blog is apparently essential reading for all Windows users, said: "We are excited to bring Windows 10 to the ARM ecosystem with Qualcomm Technologies.
"We continue to look for ways to empower our customers to create wherever they are. Bringing Windows 10 to life with a range of thin, light, power-efficient and always-connected devices, powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, is the next step in delivering the innovations our customers love - touch, pen, Windows Hello, and more - anytime, anywhere."
Windows 10 is approaching the 25 per cent market share benchmark, but this does include devices from sensors through to giant video screens, not just consumer and business purchased desktops and laptops. It is also a long way from Microsoft's launch-pledge to have Windows 10 on two billion devices within two years.
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