Microsoft is trying hard in making Windows 10 Mobile a perfect replacement for the full desktop version of Windows 10. After introducing UWP (Universal Windows Platform) allowing apps to work on both the Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile, and offering Continuum feature for selected Windows 10 Mobile models, Microsoft is working with Qualcomm on bringing support for full-fledged Win x32/x86 apps to ARM processors.
If all goes according to plans, the upcoming Surface Phone could be the first smartphone with support for desktop apps, not just for UWP apps optimized for touch input when running on a mobile device. In addition, all future Windows 10 Mobile devices powered by ARM processors may be able to run full Windows apps. Microsoft revealed the company’s plans for bringing Windows 10 to smartphones during a hardware developer conference that took place in Shenzhen, China.
Microsoft stated that running full desktop apps is highly doable and that mobile devices won’t experience shorter battery life; also, devices won’t have to be docked in order to run the full Windows 10.
The joint venture between Microsoft and Qualcomm brought the first results. In the video below you can see Windows 10 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor. Demo machine used is equipped with a Snapdragon 820 along with 4 GB of RAM, which are specs typical for a flagship smartphone released during the first part of 2016. On the video, you can see that the OS runs relatively smoothly and that all apps are able to be launched.
Aside from being able to run full versions of Microsoft’s software (Office suite, Edge browser), the test machine run Adobe Photoshop as well as World of Tanks video game without any problems, and the whole experience looked very smooth and snappy. The great performance was enabled via Windows 10 emulation technology, and we must say the results look great. We would, however, want to see a longer video, showing how the system is behaving after a couple of hours of uptime. Qualcomm revealed the company will reveal the first device capable of running Windows 10 on a Snapdragon processor during the mid-2017 (probably a device made for developers).
Overall, the upcoming feature looks great, works great and should make Windows 10 Mobile devices more popular, especially for business users. It would be awesome to see Surface Phone being able to run all Windows app, no matter if they are UWP optimized or not. And having the option for a full Windows 10 experience on a smartphone would be truly incredible.