Sunday November 27, 2016

Windows 10 "Redstone 3" Will Bring x86 Emulation To ARM64

This sounds like exactly the kind of move that would be made if someone wanted to make a Surface Phone. While this is intended for Continuum, I guess nothing is stopping you from running an x86 app on a tiny smartphone screen for giggles.

The "Cobalt" x86 emulation on ARM is currently on the list of features that Microsoft is planning to make part of "Redstone 3," the version of Windows 10 that sources have said will be available in the Fall of 2017, my sources say. That date lines up with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 830 chip -- or whatever the actual part number ends up being of Snapdragon Qualcomm's "MSM8998" -- which would have the kind of virtualization capabilities that a robust emulator in Windows 10 would require. I'm hearing this Cobalt technology is aimed at phone and possibly tablet/desktop devices, not servers. I'd expect the initial target audience for devices with the x86 emulator on ARM64 would be aimed at business users, as they're the ones who most need x86/line-of-business apps.