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Windows ARM laptops won't support 64-bit apps

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John T. Haller
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Joined: 2005-11-28 22:21
Windows ARM laptops won't support 64-bit apps

Microsoft is gearing up to launch ARM laptops with Windows which will run existing non-ARM apps using Windows on Windows on ARM. This will support 32-bit x86 apps only. x64 apps will not be supported. Microsoft has said that they will likely support 64-bit standard apps at some point in the future but, according to all the reporting so far, this will be a very big engineering effort to get done since Windows on Windows has always been 32-bit-only and even if it is updated to support 64-bit, it will encounter a performance hit that 32-bit apps won't.

I'm posting this because we're about to have a whole new set of devices come onto the market that will be 32-bit only from our portable app perspective, something I'd originally thought was over with the end of the low-end Windows tablets running 32-bit processors. Microsoft will likely be pushing these new ARM laptops hard in conjunction with the Windows Universal apps in the Microsoft Store as an alternative to Chromebooks even though the launch models will likely be more expensive variants. The big advantage is that in addition to the limited selection of apps in the MS Store, you can run the huge variety of real Windows apps that already exist as well, making the machine much more useful.