Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Windows 10 on Arm will no longer get x64 app emulation

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Microsoft started testing x64 emulation for Windows 10 on Arm nearly a year ago, but the company is now limiting the feature to Windows 11. The planned feature allows x64 apps that haven’t been compiled for Arm-powered machines to run, allowing devices like the Surface Pro X to access even more apps.

“x64 emulation for Windows is now generally available in Windows 11,” reads an update to a Microsoft blog post today. “For those interested in experiencing this, a PC running Windows 11 on Arm is required.”

That means if you were testing the feature on Windows 10, it’s no longer going to ship in any future operating system updates. You’ll need to upgrade a device like a Surface Pro X to Windows 11, instead.

Microsoft says it’s still committed to “supporting customers on Windows 10 on Arm through October 14, 2025,” but the lack of x64 app emulation will certainly force many on Qualcomm-powered hardware over to Windows 11.

Microsoft hasn’t detailed why it’s decided to drop x64 emulation on Windows 10 on Arm, but the company is also announcing it’s accelerating the rollout of Windows 11 faster than the company previously anticipated. That means even more devices will be eligible for the free upgrade, and hopefully more Arm-powered ones.

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