Microsoft recently confirmed that Windows 10 is coming to ARM based devices. Windows Phone users were hoping to get Windows 10 ARM version as an update. However, this is not happening. Microsoft’s Joe Belfiore has finally confirmed that Windows 10 on ARM is not coming to existing phones.
Lumia 950 or Lumia 950 would not receive full Windows 10 on ARM. Microsoft and Qualcomm have teamed up to bring Windows 10 OS and x86 desktop apps to mobile devices. However, the existing Windows Phones would never get the taste of full Windows 10.
“The Windows 10 on ARM effort is about enabling the PC experience on devices that are built on ARM so that they’re connected all the time and have great battery life. So the experience is a desktop PC experience, it’s not a phone-like experience. For phone-like experiences on ARM, we have Windows 10 Mobile. What Windows 10 on ARM is, is a desktop-like experience so that you get the battery life that ARM processors tend to have,” said Belfiore.
Joe clearly explained that Windows 10 on ARM and Windows 10 Mobile are two different operating system for Microsoft. With Windows 10 on ARM, Microsoft plans to improve the battery life and ultimately providing a better desktop experience. “For phone-like experiences on ARM, we have Windows 10 Mobile,” Belfiore noted. Microsoft is also working on Windows Phone Reboot, that will provide a much better experience.
“The other thing that’s interesting about this is that in all cases where you build ARM software, it’s not so easy to just put it on another device. The OS intermingles with what’s called the BSP (board support package), and that’s how the software talks to the SoC. There’s special work that has to be done to get the OS talking to the BSP, talking to the SoC, so it’s not like the PC ecosystem where we write an OS in the same binaries that run on lots of different PCs. With ARM devices with SoC, you have to more closely target it. So that is often the case why it’s more challenging for us to get updates to a wide range of ARM devices. They’re all quite different, which adds delay, and as the number of people using those devices gets smaller, it, unfortunately, makes less sense for us to invest more time and energy in that,” he added.
Microsoft is going to use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor for the Windows 10 on ARM. We should not forget that Windows 10 Mobile doesn’t even support Snapdragon 835 chip. However, as Microsoft is working on Windows 10 Mobile with CShell, there is still a ray of hope for Windows Phone fans.