Microsoft takes another stab at putting Windows on ARM-based chipsets-- a collaboration with Qualcomm brings about a full version of Windows 10 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor.
Machines running on such Snapdragon CPUs can support x86 Win 32 and universal Windows apps, including Adobe Photoshop, Windows 10 games and, of course, the likes of Office. A demo of the Windows 10 Enterprise Edition emulation running on the ARM-based Qualcomm CPU appears to be as smooth as expected, and can lead to what the two companies insist on calling "cellular PCs."
“We are excited to bring Windows 10 to the ARM ecosystem with Qualcomm Technologies,” Microsoft Windows and Devices Group VP Terry Myerson says. “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.”
The partnership with Qualcomm follows Windows RT, the 2012 stab at running Windows on ARM-based chipsets. Windows RT debuted with the Surface tablet, and was essentially a "lite" version of Windows 8 built for 32-bit ARM architecture. However it only ran software ran specifically for it, with a Desktop mode running only pre-installed Microsoft-produced versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. Such limitations meant it was soon discontinued, appearing on a handful of devices other than the Surface.
Will more mobile PCs running the emulated Windows 10 on Snapdragon 820 be available? We will know come 2017, which is when Qualcomm and Microsoft say the first of such devices should hit the market.