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Microsoft finally brings x64 app support to Windows on Arm

It's limited to Windows Insiders for now, but x64 emulation is a sorely needed addition to Windows on Arm.

Published onDecember 11, 2020

Windows on Arm laptops
  • Microsoft has finally brought x64 app emulation to Windows on Arm.
  • This means many older 64-bit Windows apps should run on the new platform.

Microsoft was first to the Arm computing post back in 2018, launching Windows on Arm laptops and convertibles in conjunction with its partners. The platform also emulates 32-bit x86 apps, but one missing feature was emulation support for x64 apps.

Fortunately, the Redmond company has just announced that x64 emulation is now available for Windows on Arm Insiders. The support arrives for Windows Insiders in the Dev channel and on build 21277.

Microsoft notes that you can install x64 apps from the Windows Store or any other location, while adding that users can try out x64 apps like Rocket League, Autodesk Sketchbook, and the x64 version of Google Chrome.

It goes without saying that users should expect a few issues at this juncture, given that this is a preview release rather than a full-fledged offering. So don’t hold your breath for your favorite x64 apps to work properly.

Nevertheless, this represents a major addition for Windows on Arm as it was arguably the biggest missing feature to date. The x64 emulation also comes after Apple launched its Arm-powered Macbooks and Mac Mini, packing x64 app support from the get-go.

Next: Don’t be duped by performance, Apple’s M1 silicon is all about platform control

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