Skip to main content

Windows 10 Mobile x86 Emulation On ARM - Microsoft Still Playing The Long Game

Reports that Microsoft will release a future version of Windows 10 supporting x86 emulation on ARM processors suggests that Microsoft does have a future mobile plan and that plan will be an enhanced vision of devices like the HP Elite x3 able to run a much wider selection of Windows 10 software.

The idea that a mobile first CPU could provide full access to desktop software and performance seems a bit far fetched today, but the Redstone 3 update isn't likely to be released until mid-2018, which allows the hardware a chance to evolve further and deliver the raw performance necessary to make this feasible.

That's an interesting change of focus for Microsoft. The old Wayne Gretzky quote applies here - ' I skate to where the puck is going to be'. Building software to take advantage of hardware that wasn't available yet was something Steve Wozniak made a virtue of in the early days of Apple.

Further signs that Microsoft is the new Apple?

What does this mean for Windows Mobile and Windows licensees? I mentioned in my post about Continuum and small screened devices yesterday, that this wouldn't necessarily be something Apple would want to develop as it seeks to maintain precious hardware sales.

For the big PC OEMs though, none of whom have anything approaching a smartphone business, the opportunity to merge multiple categories into a single device - a profitable one at that - would be most welcome.

The Elite x3 works for enterprise because of HP's Workspace offering. Now imagine a three in one device that didn't require app virtualisation to run in the cloud, but rather delivered the whole  package on the device.

The Elite x3 is focused at the high end of enterprise, which is why the Lap Dock is particularly expensive. A Dell equivalent might well keep similarly high specs for the smartphone, but introduce more consumer focused docking elements.

When your phone really can be your tablet, laptop and PC then Microsoft has a very marketable proposition. One that appeals to its current OEM partners and customers alike.

How likely is this to happen. Well Acer and HP have alredy brought Continuum capable Windows 10 Mobiles to market. Thanks to recent leaks we know that Dell has been considering a similar option based around atrue x86 chip.

Of the biggest PC manufacturers that only leaves Lenovo as a hold out.

The next 18 months may well be a lean time for Windows Mobile fans, but after that all bets are off!


Popular posts from this blog

F1: Robert Kubica Impresses In Renault Test Run

The car may be old but its the performance of the driver that's the story here. Robert Kubica returned to F1, after a fashion, earlier this week with an extensive test run in a 2012 Lotus Renault F1 car at Valencia.
The age of the car and the circuit were likely determined by F1's current rules which ban testing, but the reason for Kubica being in the car is far more interesting. Considered by many to be a potential World Champion and certainly one of the fastest drivers of his generation, Kubica's F1 career seemed to be over after a 2011 crash whilst driving in the Rally of Andora. His Skoda Fabia was penetrated by a guardrail in the high speed accident partially severing his right arm.
Up until last year Kubica has been competing in rallying, with the expectation that the limited movement in his repaired arm would prohibit a return to single seater racing.
So this week's test is both interesting and confusing. Interesting because Kubica completed 115 laps of the ret…

F1: Robert Kubica's Williams Test Asks More Questions Than It Answers

Comparing driver's times at a tyre evaluation test like last week's Abu Dhabi event is difficult at the best of times, but when trying to assess the performance of a driver who has been out of the sport for six years, that difficulty level is raised even higher.
On the face of it Robert Kubica's test for Williams was a success. Fastest of the three Williams drivers present the headlines look promising. However, taking into consideration the different tyres used to set those times muddies the water considerably.
Kubica ran a three lap qualifying simulation on the new 'hyper-soft' tyre - which should have given him a two-second advantage. Correcting for tyres it would appear that Kubica was significantly slower than Sergei Sorotkin - who was on the harder 'soft' tyre - and marginally quicker than Lance Stroll, the team's only contracted driver.

Stroll's family fortune currently funds Williams, so there' no chance that he will be anywhere but in a…

Panos Panay's Defence Of Microsoft Surface Hardware Sounds Eerily Familiar

This weekend I went out with my ten year old daughter to select a laptop for her school year beginning in January. The schools requirements are quite specific, requiring a Windows 10 device, with a preference for a touchscreen and a stylus. She chose a Surface Pro, after trying a large number of different options. Having seen the way I use my own Surface Pro - and tried it herself there was only ever going to be two options - and the other was a Surface Laptop.
I tell you this so that you understand I am a buyer of Microsoft's products through choice, not compulsion. I'm on my third Surface device now. 
So when Panos Panay dismissed reports of the death of the Surface hardware line, I was very interested to see exactly how strong these denials were. Especially how they reflect what has gone before. To whit: Windows 10 Mobile.
Panay claimed that Microsoft is in hardware for the long haul. Almost exactly mirroring the words of Terry Myerson, when he claimed Windows Mobile was g…