Microsoft is bringing 32bit Windows desktop applications to it’s smartphone devices running on ARM processors. You will be able to run traditional Windows 10 applications, such as Photoshop, on your Windows mobile device. This is thanks to a partnership between Microsoft and Qualcomm. Microsoft is using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 ARM processor to make this change possible.
“We are excited to bring Windows 10 to the ARM ecosystem with our partner, Qualcomm. Bringing Windows 10 to life with a range of thin, light, power-efficient and always connected devices, powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon platform, is the next step in delivering the innovations our customers love.” – Terry Myerson, Microsoft executive VP
The catch is that applications must be 32 bit for the emulation to work. 64 bit applications will not be supported. This would force application developers to continue to support 32 bit versions of their applications for Windows phone and tablet support. Since many application developers are making the move away from 32 bit this could pose a problem. However speaking from experience, in many cases it’s not difficult to build both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of an application.
This will be a big change for Microsoft and we could possibly see a rise in Windows devices competing against iOS & Android. The company is expected to roll out new devices on these ARM processors in March 2017.