Microsoft is working on Windows 10 ARM project with Qualcomm and the Always-Connected Devices powered this special version of the Windows operating system will be released in summer. While Always Connected PCs will run the full version of Windows 10 ARM with impressive battery life that go all the way up to several days per charge, it has several limitations.
There were concerns that Windows 10 on ARM device won’t be able to run the power consuming applications such as games because of the limited performance offered by an ARM chipset. There are some limitations outlined by the software giant in a blog post.
Unlike Windows 10 on ARM, Microsoft’s last attempt at Windows on ARM, Windows RT received mixed reviews, with some users saying that the platform had advantages over other mobile platforms, however, the platform failed because of its poor software ecosystem. Just like Windows 10 on ARM, Windows RT was also supposed to take advantage of architecture’s power efficiency to allow for longer battery life, but the limitations such as lack of Win32 apps couldn’t help the platform. The problem was not only limited to Win32 apps but also the early state of Windows Store, and there were some other limitations over Windows 8.
But as far as Windows 10 on ARM project is concerned, that’s not true, as Windows 10 on ARM PCs will run Win32 applications regardless of the app requirement. Win32 applications won’t have a bigger impact on battery life and performance since Microsoft has optimized the platform to run efficiently just like how it does on an Intel processor.
Windows 10 on ARM limitations
If you are ]curious about what the limitations of Windows 10 on ARM will be, Microsoft has published a blog post to describe the limitations of the new platform.
Games might not work
Microsoft explains that certain games in Windows 10 on ARM chipsets would not work, this problem is only limited to the games that would use a version of OpenGL or hardware-accelerated OpenGL. Games with anti-cheat drivers are not supported on Windows 10 ARM chipset as well.
Mobile apps may not work
Windows 10 on ARM has one limitation where the apps may fail to run or appear in wrong orientation when it assumes that the ARM device is running a mobile version of Windows operating system. The apps may appear in the wrong orientation, for example, portrait orientation. This is not only limited to orientation issue, as in some cases app may appear in unexpected UI layout.
x64 apps are not supported
ARM-powered Windows 10 still lacks support for emulation of x64 applications.
Only ARM64 drivers are supported
Microsoft explains that a Windows 10 ARM device can emulate x86 applications, but the drivers for architectures such as x64 are not currently supported on this platform. If you have an app that works with its own custom driver, you must recompile it for Windows 10 ARM.
“As with all architectures, kernel-mode drivers, User-Mode Driver Framework (UMDF) drivers, and print drivers must be compiled to match the architecture of the OS,” the company said.
Hyper-V is not supposed
Hyber-V, one of the key features in Windows 10 operating system allows you to create virtual machines, but in Windows 10 on ARM, you won’t be able to create VMs at all.
Some apps may not work correctly if it requires customized Windows experience
Microsoft explains that apps such as assistive technologies or cloud storage cannot load native components, basically, the extensions for these apps may fail or it might not work at all.
“Examples of apps that commonly do this include some input method editors (IMEs), assistive technologies, and cloud storage apps. IMEs and assistive technologies often to hook into the input stack for much of their app functionality,” the company said.
While Windows 10 on ARM has many limitations, it’ll be still interesting to see how Windows 10 on ARM performs in terms of battery life when the app requires more processing power.