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Microsoft Will Bring 64-Bit App Support To ARM-Based PCs In May (engadget.com) 71

Microsoft's general manager for Windows, Erin Chappie, told Engadget today that an SDK for ARM64 apps will be announced at the upcoming Build developer's conference in May. From the report: With the new SDK, developers would be able to natively recompile their apps to run in 64-bit on ARM-based PCs like the ASUS NovaGo. This opens up app support for the platform, which previously only supported 32-bit apps. The potentially greater app compatibility is welcome, since this was one of the biggest drawbacks of Windows on Snapdragon devices. But whether you'll get the higher performance that you'd typically expect out of 64-bit apps will depend on the Snapdragon 835 CPU that powers the current generation of the PCs in question. Connected PCs ship with Windows 10 S, but Microsoft has been offering free upgrades to Windows 10 Pro through 2019, making the OS more familiar and versatile. The ARM 64 SDK will be available for both Store apps and desktop versions (.exes). Ultimately, it'll be up to developers to decide whether they want to go to the trouble of recompiling their apps for Windows on Snapdragon, but Microsoft at least appears to be making strides in creating as open and useful a platform as possible.
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Microsoft Will Bring 64-Bit App Support To ARM-Based PCs In May

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Appsoft knows that only apps can app apps, which is why they're only apping appy 64-bit apps and not 64-bit LUDDITE software on App Runtime Modules!

    Apps!

  • They're talking about Windows Store only here, which if you don't want to pay Microsoft 30% of your revenue, or don't want to have to use their application patching system, is bad.

    Visual Studio 2017 does support making ARM64 desktop applications with a bit of hackery, but you'll face an uphill battle, and it definitely won't be supported. As an example of the issues you face, MFC for ARM64 is not provided.

    • With Microsoft's great security record, there will likely be ways to work around the store mandate.

      (And yes, Apple/Jobs were pieces of cr@p for pioneering the walled-garden/computer-as-Alcatraz model of computing.)

    • by mentil ( 1748130 )

      To be fair, Steam also takes 30%, so it makes little difference for game developers. Sure, you can distribute through other digital game stores, but the ones that don't also take 30% aren't nearly as popular as Steam. If you're Notch, and invented a new game genre with no competitors, and are riding the wave of a new way to experience games (Let's Plays narrated by Youtube personalities) then you can sell the game exclusively through your own website, with a processor that takes only 3%, and still become a

      • You can distribute from your own corporate site or even via BitTorrent (with licensing controlled by your site) and not pay a dime to MS or Steam. So lockdown to "approved stores" is a big deal.
        • It's about exposure for the developer(specially indies) and for the customer it's about the guaranty that they have reviewed or at least scanned the application in some way. It matters for some people.
          I don't use windows so I don't really care. This is what I imagine is the reason.
          • It should be an option, not crammed down customers' and developers' throats by force by Microsoft (or Apple, or Google, or Amazon).
      • > If you're Notch, and invented a new game genre

        Notch did NOT invent a new genre; he even admitted he blatantly ripped off Infiminer [wired.com]

        Like most evenings after work, Markus was on the computer when he stumbled upon an indie game he hadn't tried before. It was called Infiniminer. Markus downloaded the game, installed and clicked it into motion, and then almost fell off his chair. "Oh my God," he thought. "This is genius."

        https://youtu.be/F9t3FREAZ-k [youtu.be]

        In early May 2009, Markus uploaded a video recor

        • by mentil ( 1748130 )

          I actually checked out Infiniminer when it came out, before Minecraft existed. It's comparable to Creation Mode in Minecraft, which was more complete at first than Survival Mode. Sure, a huge part of Minecraft's early appeal was "look at what someone made in Minecraft!" but another large part was the "Let's Play"s of survival mode. IMO creation mode is less interesting than survival mode.

          If we're talking about Minecraft's influences, you should also mention Dwarf Fortress.

    • MFC for ARM64 is not inflicted upon you

      FTFY.
    • They're talking about Windows Store only here, which if you don't want to pay Microsoft 30% of your revenue, or don't want to have to use their application patching system, is bad.

      Visual Studio 2017 does support making ARM64 desktop applications with a bit of hackery, but you'll face an uphill battle, and it definitely won't be supported. As an example of the issues you face, MFC for ARM64 is not provided.

      Citation? The last I looked I saw ARM on the SDKs during a Visual Studio 2017 not to mention MS wanted Windows Phone to take off.

    • by mcl630 ( 1839996 )

      TFA says the ARM64 SDK will be available for both Store and traditional desktop applications.

  • Just not with Windows.
  • Intel in Deep Shit (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mentil ( 1748130 ) on Thursday April 05, 2018 @05:55PM (#56389537)

    Between this, and Macs moving away from Intel CPUs (and reportedly to ARM as well), Intel is in deep trouble, their low-power CPUs in particular. Pretty much anything open-source will be recompiled for Windows on ARM, legacy proprietary apps will be about the only thing propping up x86, and emulation will serve for anything not performance-critical. The latest ARM chips are on a smaller node than the latest Intel chips, and have been for a while, so Intel no longer has a process advantage compared to the ARM manufacturers. I wonder if anyone will start producing larger ARM chips that have the power of the larger Intel chips.

    • Intel is going NOWHERE. I am an old 41 year old far. I have seen the rise and fall of PowerPC, Risk Alpha, original Macs, PowerMacs ala modern Mac osx macs, smart phones, smart terminals, network computers, java, Itanium, even Linux.

      Guess what? Every competitor has failed or not taken away the marketshare away from Windows and Intel. x86 is here to stay as long as corporations need their applications.

      • by mentil ( 1748130 )

        Billy Gates advocating Wintel? Who would've guessed?!

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        They said the same about IBM mainframes.
        They said the same about DEC VAX.
        They said the same about Sun.

        Intel and Microsoft exist because they attacked from the low end, and provided a cheaper more readily available product, made money through economies of scale and were able to fund more research. ARM is doing the same thing.

        Also the market is evolving, away from standalone desktops and towards thin clients connected to third party services. What's running on the client is becoming less and less important.

        • The market is stagnant. Desktop legacy apps will always be wintel. Android arm is mobile .

          The choice has been made and we have history to show us that you can't change standards. WinArm maybe a nice server role in a farm somewhere but that's it. Your examples have all failed. IBM is for mainframes. Always has always will.

      • "Moving away from Intel" doesn't mean they are moving away from x86. There are plenty of other manufacturers/designers for x86 chips (including Apple, apparently).
      • I have seen the rise and fall of [...] smart phones [...] even Linux

        Fall of smartphones and Linux, what?

        • I have seen the rise and fall of [...] smart phones [...] even Linux

          Fall of smartphones and Linux, what?

          My point is wintel is still here and will stay here for years to come regardless of Android. It is a standard that will never go away as long as someone needs an app or data from an app only on that platform.

      • Guess what? Every competitor has failed or not taken away the marketshare away from Windows and Intel. x86 is here to stay as long as corporations need their applications.

        Do you say that as a joke, or out of ignorance, or are you intentionally abusing statistics? The change in the market over the past 20 years has seen meteoric decline in the use of Wintel (remember that name) for what people consider computing.

        Windows / Microsoft has a market share online of less than 35% now with the majority taken up by tablet computers.
        Intel stopped being the largest manufacturer of processors this year overtaken by Samsung.

        And both of these stats happen while tablet / phone devices are

        • Guess what? Every competitor has failed or not taken away the marketshare away from Windows and Intel. x86 is here to stay as long as corporations need their applications.

          Do you say that as a joke, or out of ignorance, or are you intentionally abusing statistics? The change in the market over the past 20 years has seen meteoric decline in the use of Wintel (remember that name) for what people consider computing.

          Windows / Microsoft has a market share online of less than 35% now with the majority taken up by tablet computers.
          Intel stopped being the largest manufacturer of processors this year overtaken by Samsung.

          And both of these stats happen while tablet / phone devices are still being considered toys and people still look to PCs for "real" work. Chromebooks are starting to show the world an alternative way of doing "real work", the only thing that is missing there is the software. And you can be damn sure that the makers of major software are taking note starting to add full blown functionality to not only mobile apps, but tablet dedicated apps too.

          Side note: Stifel has downgraded Intel from a Buy rating to a Hold rating yesterday due to expectation that not only the PC dominance is over, but their server market share is going to suffer too with more energy efficient alternatives available from competitors.

          Look at how people interact with technology and you'll see Windows and Intel's pittyful marketshare for what it actually is.

          What decline? Looking around at the office. I see HP desktops as far as the eye can see. I see legacy shitty Oracle products, VB 6 apps for some employees, IE specific sites with activeX, and all sorts of legacy whorts.

          Just because teenagers and Moms must have an iphone to message and candy crush with their friends doesn't mean Wintel is going away for people who do real work. You are smoking crack if you think these legacy stuff is going away once something is a dependancy.

          Intel's rating is because of Trum

          • What decline? Looking around at the office. I see HP desktops as far as the eye can see.

            So let me paraphrase: "In my own personal bubble I see no change and therefore there is no change because the entire world works like my little office space here."

            I see legacy shitty Oracle products

            Oh yeah I know right! We also have an ancient Oracle back end sitting on some Intel hardware. That doesn't mean we don't have some 90 people out in the field entering that data into that database using phones and tablets. Incidentally when I walk into the technicians workshop I also see HPs everywhere. I mean sure it's like 2, and it used to be 10

    • ... and Macs moving away from Intel CPUs

      Wait, that wasn't an April Fools joke? Holy shit! I better go find some kind of tech news website to read up about this!

  • by nateman1352 ( 971364 ) on Thursday April 05, 2018 @06:01PM (#56389575)
    These "64 bit apps" are not the same 64 bit apps that CIOs are asking MSFT about. The 64 bit apps that everyone cares about are the AMD64 ones. The fact that you can recompile to ARM64 is nice I guess but it's basically as useful as WinCE was back in the day. You don't get the broad ecosystem of custom made business process automation software that makes Windows legendary.
    • If it's "custom made", then why don't you have the source code? Commissioning bespoke software without source code is like hiring an architect firm to design you a house and not giving you the blueprints.

      • It usually not as dry cut as you suggest. Usually this type of software acts as glue bridging two or more 3rd party databases. For example, grabbing data from a SAP database and loading it to Peoplesoft to calculate payroll, maybe with an Excel export thrown in for good measure. Typically this involves invoking 3rd party APIs through COM or something. Unless every single one of those 3rd party components is recompiled you have to run the whole stack on x86 emulation.
        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Wouldn't you just need to recompile the client library that connects over the network to the SAP and PeopleSoft databases? If that's not possible, create a new client library from the DBMS's network protocol specification.

  • After they switch to Arm, after all!

  • Intel and Asus were at least smart enough to discontinue the ATOM and Android for x86.

    People do not run Windows to run Windows. People do not use Android to use Android. People use Windows/x86 to run their desktop apps. People run Android/ARM to run their Android apps.

    The only way I can see a Microsoft OS on ARM is on the server for a low power blade in a cloud somewhere. Maybe an IIS or Domain controller or file share server where I/O and latency are the bottlenecks where no x86 apps are required are the o

    • /sarcasm But this time it will be different!

      *crickets*

      No it won't.

      You are spot on that people use x86 / Windows to run existing desktop apps. Unless ALL their software is ported over (unlikely) there is just too much momentum to switch.

    • by tepples ( 727027 )

      People use Windows/x86 to run their desktop apps. People run Android/ARM to run their Android apps.

      The idea is that people would use Windows/ARM on an ARM laptop to run recompiled desktop apps. If the Windows applications you use are free software and not built with MFC, open an issue on the project's bug tracker to make ARM binaries.

      • Is there an EULA against so called "viral" licences with VS 2017 community edition on Windows Store Apps or a Windows Store EULA? I know MS had one for WindowsCE and Windows Mobile SDK.

        Windows Store could be useful and I see VLC is there but with limited functionality. But like Android it has has C++ and or C# hooks compiled for a CPU architecture so the odds of this are really low.

        Again a server running Hyper-V or a domain controller is the only thing unless MS ports SQL Server to ARM. But all of this woul

      • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

        Most of the free software with available source code is not windows specific, and most software that runs on linux has already been recompiled for ARM.
        The only reasons to run windows are for using proprietary software not available anywhere else, and most of this hasn't been ported to ARM and won't get ported unless there is a significant user base first, but that user base won't emerge unless the software is there - chicken and egg. IA64 and Alpha had exactly the same problem.

        • by tepples ( 727027 )

          Most of the free software with available source code is not windows specific, and most software that runs on linux has already been recompiled for ARM.
          The only reasons to run windows are for using proprietary software not available anywhere else

          I'm specifically referring to Windows applications such as like ModPlug Tracker, FCEUX debugging version, and FamiTracker, which are free software and work well in Wine on x86-64 machines with i386 libs installed.

  • I would have thought the Windows 10 S to 10 Pro upgrade option would only be for x86, so I'm not sure why it's being mentioned in the summary.

    This is likely original ARM surface all over again, just with an x86 shim for un-ported Store Apps at a guess.

  • by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Thursday April 05, 2018 @11:27PM (#56390775)
    the first computer based on it is an HP selling for a grand. It's got a 19 hour battery life, but there are droid tablets in the $500 range that push 16 hours. You'd have to really want battery life to pay that kind of premium.
    • You'd have to want battery life and the ability to run Windows apps, though the fact that MS Office runs on Android and iOS makes that a bit more of a stretch.
      • You'd have to want battery life and the ability to run Windows apps

        But I do have the ability to run Windows programs (not just apps) already, at adequate speed rather than 1/100 (arm is easy to emulate on x86, the other way is really slow)!

        It's called VNC. I can ssh home and run a Windows VM this way, on a real x86 processor.

        Yes, it does require network, but that's pretty ubiquitous these days. On the other hand, apps make a tiny tiny fraction of the Windows ecosystem -- why would I want to run one when anything of value is a program rather than app? I guess even most o

      • that means the only Windows apps you're going to get are the web based ones that work everywhere and a few Microsoft apps like Office (If they bother doing a native port that isn't even more cut down than the web based office).
        • In case you missed the last dozen or so stories about Windows on ARM, it includes an x86 emulator (currently 32-bit only) and can run x86 Windows apps.
  • I have to give Microsoft credit. They've ported Windows to lots of hardware. Over the years they've supported x86, x64, Itanium, DEC Alpha, MIPS, PowerPC, ARM, and now ARM64. If you include Windows CE, even devices powered by Hitachi chips like the SH2. Their efforts have never really caught on, but they do keep trying. I'd pay good money for Windows Mobile running on an iPhone, just to piss people off.
    • I'd pay good money for Windows Mobile running on an iPhone, just to piss people off.

      I don't like either system AND I'm stingy yet I still agree.

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