Microsoft just announced a new development for Windows 10 that could be a game changer for the company and its OS. As part of its WinHEC developer conference in China, Microsoft revealed a new partnership with Qualcomm that will allow its ARM-based mobile processors to run the full version of Windows 10. That includes legacy x86 apps as well as the new universal Windows apps that are native to the OS.
Microsoft showed off a demo of Windows 10 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor to show that the device can handle x86 apps, such as Adobe Photoshop, with little to no lag. Microsoft is using emulation technology for these kinds of apps to run on Qualcomm’s ARM design. The demo also showed how the chip can run Microsoft’s full Office desktop apps with no issues, along with the game World of Tanks: Blitz.
Microsoft says the first Windows 10 hardware devices with Qualcomm chips will begin shipping sometime in 2017. In theory, this could allow for ultra-light 2-in-1 tablets and convertible notebooks to use Windows 10 at a lower price point. There’s also the potential for a true Windows 10 mobile phone to be released with an Qualcomm chip with no compromises.
The company also announced that future Windows 10 updates will allow users to buy data directly from the Windows Store. Also, hardware makers will be able to use eSIM technology to build devices without an exposed SIM slot. That should allow device owners to activate a data plan directly.