Microsoft Accidentally Leaks Windows 10 ARM Limitations: Here’s Everything You Need To Know


By now, ARM-based Windows 10 devices shouldn't be news to most people who follow Microsoft. These are a line of laptops Microsoft plans to release in collaboration with different manufacturers.

What makes them different from its own Surface Pro or Surface Laptop, though? A lot, it turns out. Aside from the fact that these machines run on a mobile processor — Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor is one example — and are always on, they host a handful of limitations when compared to traditional laptops.

Microsoft Leaks Windows 10 ARM Limitations

Microsoft accidentally published these limitations last week, which was fortunately spotted by Paul Thurrott before it was eventually pulled over the weekend. As you know, once something is uploaded to the internet, it never goes away. Listed below are the limitations consumers are going to have to contend with if they're in the market for an ARM-based Windows 10 machine:

ARM64 Drivers Only: The operating system in question is only able to run x86 apps, yet it isn't able to use x86 drivers. Sure, that shouldn't be a problem for most hardware, but those who have some older peripherals, it's likely driver won't be supported.

x64 Apps Won't Run: That's right — Windows 10 ARM doesn't support emulation of x64 apps, but Microsoft could add support for this in the future, according to The Verge.

Some Apps And Games Won't Run: Apps and games that use a version of OpenGL later than 1.1 or require hardware-accelerated OpenGL won't run on Windows 10 ARM. Similarly, games that employ the use of anticheat tech won't run at all. Additionally, apps coded natively for Windows Phone won't work smoothly and may appear warped or disjointed in terms of user interface.

Shell Extensions And Customized Experiences: Apps that offer customized Windows 10 experiences — say those with assistive features or input method editors — won't function accordingly on Windows 10 ARM, like apps that have shell extensions. Before they can run properly, they must be compiled natively for the operating system variant.

No Support For Windows Hypervisor Platform: Tech-savvy customers won't be able to run virtual machines on Windows 10 ARM using Hyper-V.

Should You Worry?

Even with these limitations in mind, it seems Windows 10 ARM is just the right for most customers who don't really care about all the stuff mentioned above. The OS will still support most apps and perform basic tasks, though this needs to have some testing, of course. It still remains to be seen whether Windows 10 ARM laptops are any good when it comes to battery life, performance, and overall function.

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