Microsoft Working on ARM64 Support for Windows 10

By: Ivan Jenic
2 minute read

Microsoft released Windows RT, a version of its desktop operating system that run on ARM based chips, in 2012, but the system wasn’t well accepted by users, so the company decided to shut it down (although the company recently released an update for the system). But it looks like Microsoft is not quite done with supporting Windows on ARM chips, as there’s one interesting job posting listed recently.

And that job posting confirms Microsoft’s intentions to deliver Windows ARM64 support, which allegedly should arrive with some of the future Redstone releases. In the job description, we can find indicators to Microsoft’s plans for Windows 10 on all devices.

Is Microsoft preparing a new Windows 10 Devices with ARM Chips?

The Microsoft Careers job posting notes the following about the ‘OS Foundation PM’ job:

   “Do you want to help usher in a new era of devices customers are passionate about and clamoring to have? Are you passionate about creating the operating system foundation to enable breathtaking experiences?…Windows across all device categories is readying for the introduction of 64 bit computing with the ARM instruction set (ISA). Bringing a new ISA to market involves working both broadly and deeply across Microsoft from devdiv to WDG to Server to Office and others depending on the scope of product target.”

Some of the responsibilities of the job include:

  • Building the plan for ARM64 aligned with the Redstone wave
  • Identify the “big rocks” we need to move, solve, make it happen
  • Build the all up view of where we are, drive the schedule
  • Work to ensure the necessary hardware is planned for and delivered on time
  • Drive performance and compatibility goals, define and drive to key metrics

If Microsoft indeed plans to develop Windows 10 devices with ARM chips, that shouldn’t be surprising at all. Other companies like Apple and Google already released their ARM 64-bit devices, and they got solid results on benchmark tests, so Microsoft could release its own device, based on the success of the competition.

So what would the return to ARM64 architecture bring to Windows 10? For phones, we could see more powerful devices, as Windows 10 Mobile phones won’t be limited to 3GB of RAM, as the range could be expanded to 4 or 8GB variants. And with x86-to-ARM just-in-time (JIT) emulator, Windows 10 could become a really powerful device, that not only gets a battery life improvement, but could also run some x86 apps.

For now, all we can do is guess what are Microsoft’s plans with a new Senior Program Manager, but as soon as we get more info, we’ll inform you!

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