Microsoft plans to announce new ARM64 SDK for Windows 10 on ARM PCs next month

Laurent Giret

PC manufacturers HP and Asus have been first in line to launch new laptops powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 835 processor this year, and early reviews have been quite mixed. While using smartphone chip in a laptop can deliver unprecedented battery life and cellular connectivity, Windows 10 on ARM currently has some limitations such as the lack of support for 64-bit apps.

According to a report from Engadget, Microsoft plans to announce an ARM64 SDK for Windows 10 at Build next month. The new SDK will allow developers to recompile their UWP apps in 64-bit for Windows 10 on ARM PCs, which should lead to a slight performance boost on these machines.

As of today, Windows 10 on ARM can run 32-bit UWP apps as well as legacy desktop apps (x86) through emulation, though reviews have shown that the second ones don’t perform great. The upcoming ARM64 SDK for Windows 10 should encourage developers to provide 64-bit ARM packages for their UWP apps, and it should be good news for early adopters of these Always Connected PCs.

We’re looking forward to hearing more about the new SDK at Build 2018, though be aware that it won’t change the fact that 64-bit legacy apps (x64) are not supported on Windows 10 on ARM. For now, it’s still not clear if Microsoft could bring support for this type of apps through emulation. As far as we know, the company seems more interested in pushing developers to embrace its UWP platform as well as Progressive Web Apps. Twitter recently led the way by replacing its UWP app with a PWA, and other developers may soon follow suit.