Today is the big day that we’ve been previewing for months now. It’s time for Intel to take a Xanax, since they’re basically doomed. Windows 10 on ARM is here, with Qualcomm as a big partner and HP and ASUS already launching Snapdragon laptops.
Traditionally Windows laptops and tablets have run on x86 processors from Intel or AMD, but now it’s time for a swap. ARM was part of Microsoft’s plans at some point, when back in 2012 they experimented with Surface RT and Windows RT. It was a costly experiment, a $1 billion failure if I remember correctly, but now Windows on ARM is done right. This time around we’re talking about laptops with a fantastic battery life.
Windows 10 on ARM is now official and the first devices it runs on are called “Always Connected Devices”. The use of Snapdragon chips means you’ll be getting features also found on smartphones, like LTE connectivity, almost instant power on and huge battery life. The future is even said to bring us a week of battery life. Both ASUS and HP claim that their new laptops offer 20 hours of active use battery life and30 days of standby.
ASUS has the NovaGo foldable LTE laptop with Snapdragon 835 and HP the ENVY x2, which is basically a Surface clone. Keep in mind that this is no emulated Windows 10, but rather a full version of the OS. The DLLs have been compiled natively and the emulation layer is on top of that. A dynamic binary translator is used to translate X86 code into ARM64 code on the go.
Microsoft and Qualcomm have worked closely on the project for the past year. Legacy apps are said to run at “near native “speeds” and Qualcomm’s integrated X16 LTE modem is also here to keep users online. Windows Hello and Windows Ink are also part of the package. Prices go around $599 for the ASUS NovaGo model for example. We’ll be back with more details.