Microsoft brings Windows desktop apps to mobile ARM processors

Discussion in 'Frontpage news' started by Hilbert Hagedoorn, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. Hilbert Hagedoorn

    Hilbert Hagedoorn Don Vito Corleone Staff Member

    Messages:
    38,306
    Likes Received:
    6,923
    GPU:
    AMD | NVIDIA
  2. rl66

    rl66 Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    2,459
    Likes Received:
    199
    GPU:
    Sapphire RX 580X SE
    not a giant step as there is already lot of x86 windows / arm android crossover tool that make one app running on other...

    but it's good anyway.
     
  3. BLEH!

    BLEH! Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    5,975
    Likes Received:
    101
    GPU:
    Sapphire Fury
    Useful for those of us with WinPhone :D
     
  4. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    GPU:
    HIS R9 290
    They should've done this the first time around when releasing Windows RT.

    The reason people like Windows is familiarity and compatibility. Windows RT, (having the Windows 8 setup) was unfamiliar and ARM was incompatible with most people's programs. It's no wonder why it failed so hard.

    Unfortunately, a complete compatibility layer like this isn't going to really give users a much better experience. If 90% of the applications people run are for x86, the customer basically just wasted their money on a piece of hardware that is almost never running at its full potential. It's kind of like buying a sports car with a chassis made of lead.
     

  5. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,197
    Likes Received:
    242
    GPU:
    Sapphire 7970 Quadrobake
    I don't believe this was even possible power-wise. I'm more impressed that Windows have become so light that an ARM CPU can run the full desktop with a seamless translation layer on top. From the video we can also hear him say that they don't modify any apps, so it's a global translation layer that works seamlessly.

    The "unfamiliar" part of Windows (UWP), is probably the best app platform existing. Disregarding any store problems that have to do more with deployment, there is no other app platform that can work seamlessly in all form factors, even including the Xbox and Holographs.

    We should wait to judge performance, but for a business this could be an immense money saver both in purchasing costs (instead of mobile+laptop+desktop you get a mobile and it's done), and in maintenance (one device vs 2/3).
     
  6. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    GPU:
    HIS R9 290
    Well that's the thing - Windows didn't really become light enough. At the time of it's release, Windows RT required hardware that was relatively powerful. Basically anything worse than a Cortex A9 was either incompatible or too slow. Meanwhile, you could run a full graphical Linux or Android OS on hardware much older or slower. Both OSes had a complete set of optimized software available for users.

    Keep in mind, ARM is RISC. It has just recently supported 64-bit and virtualization instructions. It is inherently less capable than x86. If MS expects a comfortable user experience with this compatibility layer, they're probably going to have ARMv8 processors as the minimum requirement. Those are not common and most devices that support those aren't cheap. Basically, they're going to have to recommend 2GHz+ quad cores. At that point, people may as well just go for x86.

    Agreed, but that's a big "if". It took forever for companies to transition away from Windows XP - it's going to take even longer to support an entirely new architecture.

    Personally, I think these ARM devices would work great as thin clients.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  7. PrMinisterGR

    PrMinisterGR Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    7,197
    Likes Received:
    242
    GPU:
    Sapphire 7970 Quadrobake
    If this has a Snapdragon 820 as a minimum, it's still fine. If the first release is at the same time as the 835, it should be completely fine since hardware will only go up.
     
  8. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    GPU:
    HIS R9 290
    The Snapdragon 820 will perform fine as a minimum, but for ARM, that's very powerful for a minimum. In x86 terms, that would be like saying a low-end i5 is the bare minimum to run Windows smoothly.

    I understand there's not a whole lot they can do about it for reasons already mentioned, but this is already off to a bad start. For pretty much every other modern OS that runs on ARM, you can have something with 1/3 the performance of the Snapdragon 820 and it will run smooth.

    Basically my point is if MS intends to make ARM work properly through brute force, it defeats the purpose of using ARM. ARM has 2 major benefits: being cheaper than x86, and being more power efficient. Generally speaking, the faster you make an ARM CPU go, the more the performance-per-watt gap closes between a competing Intel. The Snapdragon 820, according to a quick Google search, costs $70. That's encroaching on Intel prices.
    Since emulating x86 software on ARM is slower than software compiled for ARM, there is pretty much no advantage running Windows on ARM. You could probably pay less for an Intel device that will run faster and more efficiently.
     
  9. craycray

    craycray Member Guru

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    30
    GPU:
    1080ti SC2
    To my understanding, Crossover runs Windows apps on X86 android devices. This is running x86 apps on ARM. Completely different.
     
  10. schmidtbag

    schmidtbag Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    5,059
    Likes Received:
    1,712
    GPU:
    HIS R9 290
    That's true, but this software has been around for a while:
    https://eltechs.com/product/exagear-desktop/

    Use the x86 version of Wine (or Crossover) and you can run Windows programs on ARM-based Linux.


    Take note how Exagear doesn't require a relatively powerful CPU.
     

  11. craycray

    craycray Member Guru

    Messages:
    106
    Likes Received:
    30
    GPU:
    1080ti SC2
    That is pretty awesome! I am just happy that this is going to be an official OS, without any hacks.
     
  12. Anarion

    Anarion Ancient Guru

    Messages:
    13,612
    Likes Received:
    358
    GPU:
    GeForce GTX 1070
    This is pretty huge! I can't wait to get rid of my super ****ty laptop and replace it with ARM based Windows 10 tablet.
     

Share This Page