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  1. #1
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Windows on an ARM processor ?

    Although I'm very much a Windows fan, for the past few years I've tended to run on Mac hardware (i.e. I buy a Mac, configure it to run Windows and then just ignore the Mac OS). It's expensive but the big benefit is that Mac hardware is so much quieter than having a Windows box whirring and rattling away beside me. In fact some Mac machines (e.g. the Mac Mini) are literally silent!

    I've been saving my pennies with the intention of buying a new Mac Pro when they come out next year - but rumours are rife now that the new Mac Pro will be based around an ARM processor. Unfortunately this doesn't bode well for running Windows on it...

    Windows itself would probably run okay but the vast majority of Windows apps are compiled for x86 processors, Therefore they can only be run via an emulator. And from what I've read, 64-bit apps can't be run at all

    Just wondering if anyone here's got any practical experience of running Windows on an ARM machine? It sounds like it'd be a huge pain in the butt !
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

  2. #2
    2kaud's Avatar
    2kaud is offline Super Moderator Power Poster
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    Re: Windows on an ARM processor ?

    My understanding of this is that

    - Windows ARM version is only available to manufactures - not to end users
    - it will run native x86 (32 bit code) programs via software emulation
    - it will not run x64 (64 bit) programs
    - the OS itself and Microsoft supplied programs (eg Edge, Explorer etc) are native ARM programs
    - it will run all the x86 and ARM apps from the Windows Store
    - it will not run x86 drivers. All drivers will need to be for ARM
    All advice is offered in good faith only. All my code is tested (unless stated explicitly otherwise) with the latest version of Microsoft Visual Studio (using the supported features of the latest standard) and is offered as examples only - not as production quality. I cannot offer advice regarding any other c/c++ compiler/IDE or incompatibilities with VS. You are ultimately responsible for the effects of your programs and the integrity of the machines they run on. Anything I post, code snippets, advice, etc is licensed as Public Domain https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/ and can be used without reference or acknowledgement. Also note that I only provide advice and guidance via the forums - and not via private messages!

    C++17 Compiler: Microsoft VS2017 (15.7.4)

  3. #3
    John E is offline Elite Member Power Poster
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    Re: Windows on an ARM processor ?

    Quote Originally Posted by 2kaud View Post
    My understanding of this is that

    - Windows ARM version is only available to manufactures - not to end users
    Ah, I guess that puts the tin lid on it...

    Time to start looking for a quiet(er) Windows PC !
    "A problem well stated is a problem half solved. - Charles F. Kettering

  4. #4
    Arjay's Avatar
    Arjay is offline Moderator / MS MVP Power Poster
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    Re: Windows on an ARM processor ?

    Not that it matters, but x86 32-bit programs already run through an emulator when on Windows x64 machines (just like 16-bit programs did when running on 32-bit Windows).

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