A long while we believed that Windows 10 S was going to be one and the same with Windows 10 ARM and now it appears it’s actually a different platform. Windows 10 S only runs apps from the Windows Store, so it doesn’t have Win32 app support. Meanwhile, Windows 10 ARM will be less locked down.
The release was announced last year and it has been updated at the MS Build developer conference this week. The good news is that Windows 10 ARM will be able to run legacy apps developed for PCs with x86 chipsets. Basically, you should be able to download any Win32 app you want and install it… including Chrome. That happens on a computer running Windows 10 ARM.
As the name says, Windows 10 ARM only runs on devices with ARM chipsets, but also supports apps from all sources. This platform includes a built in emulation layer, that will make the Win32 apps usable. We keep hearing about Snapdragon 835 laptops and tablets, that should debut over the following months, so we look forward to seeing those. The chipset is sort of a flagship for this platform, since it keeps being mentioned as a landmark.
This is only the beginning and the first hybrid tablets with this setup should appear this year, maybe even this summer. It’s also a good occasion for other Intel rivals to pop up, with AMD always rumored to get into the biz, but never quite making it. MediaTek chould also get a slice and maybe even Huawei.