Windows 10 Coming to ARM with Qualcomm

By:

Chase Raz

December 17, 2016

It might be possible to say that Multinewmedia got it's start because of the time I spent as a freelance writer for the now-defunct Examiner.com. Behind-the-scenes the community among writers was great but the company was daft on management, so I went rogue. As a Web 2.0 reporter (they made the titles!), I found myself covering Microsoft a lot, often going a bit off-topic to do so. Some say I became a Microsoft fanboy, but I'd adamantly challenge that assertion.

Earlier this month, Microsoft and Qualcomm announced that the Windows operating system will be coming to ARM devices beginning in 2017. Sure, Windows 10 Mobile already runs on ARM, and there have been others in the past: Windows Phone, Windows RT, and Windows CE. However, none of these have ever contained the full Windows experience that you might get on a desktop even if they have shared much of the same code.

The likely implications are the ability to accelerate the transition from large stationary PCs and work terminals to portable and mobile devices. Currently, businesses augment PC use with mobile devices running Android or iOS, but this creates difficulties for continuity of work. Desktop productivity applications may not always have companion apps for mobile, or real-time work may be difficult to quickly transition between the two form factors. Windows on ARM will be able to emulate Win32 legacy apps as well as run newer applications built upon the UWP framework, all while having the full security and domain management tools of Windows.

This means that Microsoft, despite suffering from low mobile adoption, can eliminate at least two major productivity barriers for on-the-go employees: secure data portability and mobile accessibility to enterprise-level software.

Now, I feel like I'm back in my Examiner days. Microsoft makes a large announcement that results in the business world rolling its cumulative eyes like angst-filled teenagers oozing with sarcasm. Admittedly, some of Microsoft's big news stories quickly dissipate into nothing, but others go on to become largely impactful for company surety, such as Azure, Surface, and Hololens. Nobody outside of Microsoft knows the full plans and implications for Windows on ARM and the ability to seamlessly emulate legacy Win32 apps, but we'll be monitoring this story and its business implications for you here at Multinewmedia.