Windows 10 on ARM devices to run 64-bit apps

Microsoft will release an SDK at its Build conference in May

Microsoft has revealed 64-bit apps will be able to run on Snapdragon-powered Windows devices, ahead of an official announcement due at the company's Build developer's conference at the beginning of May.

The company's general manager for Windows, Erin Chappie, told Engadget that Microsoft plans to release an SDK for ARM64 apps, so Snapdragon-powered PCs can run the full range of desktop and UWP (Universal Windows Platform) apps, rather than just 32-bit software as is currently the case.

This addition means developers will be able to transfer their apps to work on 64-bit ARM-powered PCs such as the Asus NovaGo, just by recompiling their apps natively using the SDK.

Although developers will no doubt be happy that Microsoft is providing them with the tools to transfer apps across to Windows 10, the worry is they may not want to go through the hassle of recompiling their apps to work on Snapdragon-powered PCs and so stick to 32-bit variations.

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This will come as welcome news to those using 64-bit machines, however, giving them a larger pool of apps to choose from. It's not clear whether customers can expect the same performance boost from running the 64-bit Snapdragon architecture over the 32-bit, as the Snapdragon processor has a considerably lower-power output than its counterparts on the market.

Qualcomm announced it would be using its Snapdragon 835 processors inside some Windows-based PCs manufactured by ASUS, HP and Lenovo last year. Now those "always connected" PCs are available to buy.

They run on Windows 10 S - the company's equivalent to Google Chrome OS, using the lower-powered processors often found in smartphones rather than laptops. However, Microsoft has offered those running Windows 10 S a free upgrade to Windows 10 Pro until 2019 if they don't think the platform is right for them.

Image: Shutterstock

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