Microsoft has decided to create an upcoming emulator that runs 64-bit x86 Windows apps on Windows 11-exclusive Arm devices.
This is bad news for users of Surface Pro X and some Arm-powered laptops, such as the Samsung Galaxy Book S, who want to stay on Windows 10. But luckily, these products should be eligible for an upgrade. free Windows 11.
The 64-bit emulator is now available on Windows 11, according to to a corporate blog post. It comes several months after Microsoft announcement “ARM64EC”, which he called a new way to build apps for Windows 11 on Arm. In a statement provided to PCMag, Microsoft notes that it received questions from users about the status of the 64-bit emulator for Windows 10, but it did not explain its reasoning behind the decision.
The emulator is designed to address a key limitation to Arm-powered Windows devices, which cannot natively run 64-bit Windows applications originally designed for Intel and AMD’s x86 architecture. As a result, users of Arm-based hardware face a more limited library of applications compared to traditional programs available for an Intel or AMD Windows PC. That said, Redmond has worked to make it easier for software developers to port their programs to Windows on Arm.
Microsoft has also developed an emulator for 32-bit x86 applications. However, the company only started previewing the 64-bit emulator a year ago through the Windows Insider program.
For users wanting to try out the emulator, Microsoft has announced that it is expanding the rollout of the free Windows 11 upgrade to more eligible PCs.
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“Today, based on the positive rollout update experience and user feedback we’ve seen to date, we are accelerating the pace of the rollout faster than expected, and are now making the upgrade of Windows 11 more widely available for eligible Windows 10 devices”, John Cable, vice president of Microsoft wrote in a blog post.
The company released a supporting document this details the Arm chips that officially support Windows 11. These include the Microsoft SQ1 and SQ2 chips, as well as Qualcomm processors, such as the Snapdragon 8cx and Snapdragon 850.
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