With Windows 10 on ARM, Microsoft is coming for the Chromebook — and might win

Microsoft is coming for your Chromebooks. No, they're not going to confiscate them like the TSA steals your water bottles, but more so in the competitive sense.

This week, Microsoft announced that it is launching an ARM-friendly version of Windows 10 in collaboration with Qualcomm's upcoming Snapdragon 835 SoC, which comes out next year. While most Android fans will know Qualcomm's work from such phones as nearly every product on the market, Snapdragon is increasingly capable, especially at the high-end, of powering tablets, 2-in-1s and traditional laptops.

While Microsoft launched an ARM-based version of Windows in 2012, called Windows RT, it failed because there was no interoperability with traditional x86 apps, and the software, which was based on Windows 8.1, was deprecated with the Surface 2's end of production in early 2015. Now, with Windows 10 on ARM facilitated by a very powerful-yet-thermally-efficient system-on-a-chip (SoC), the Snapdragon 835, a new opportunity for backwards compatibility has emerged: emulation.

From our friend Daniel Rubino at Windows Central:

Windows 10 on ARM will also run traditional x86 Win32 apps and games through emulation.Users will be able to install any x86 Win32 app – unmodified – from any source, no repackaging as UWP or delivery via the Windows Store required. The apps are not sandboxed and they will have full access to the OS. Apple made a similar emulation feature when the Mac line switched from PowerPC to Intel processors, but Microsoft's move to support ARM is a magnitude more impressive.

How is it more impressive? Because despite the overhead involved with emulating applications and their inputs from the keyboard, mouse, camera, and other peripherals, Microsoft is confident that users won't even notice a difference. The company demoed a version of Photoshop running in emulation on a test version of the Windows 10 on ARM platform and it was fast. It even plays games.

But there is a business angle here: Microsoft wants Windows 10 to run on everything, from high-end Intel desktops to virtual reality headsets to HoloLens to phones — all of which are already available — to inexpensive 2-in-1s and laptops that run cool and last long, a market that ARM-based Chromebooks currently have on lock.

Zac Bowden, again at Windows Central, sums it up nicely:

More and more schools and businesses are opting for Chromebooks over Windows 10 laptops, mainly because of price, but also because Chromebooks do what they need them to do, durably, and at a low cost.

There are many reasons Microsoft would want to compete with Chromebooks, but the strategy at its core is about offering reliable, low-cost, low-power alternatives to Intel-based computers, especially as the Portland-based company has struggled not only to compete in the mobile space but to offer a cost-effective replacement to its now-cancelled Atom line of processors.

Windows 10 itself is a stable, attractive and feature-filled operating system and that bodes well for the future of mobile computing.

There's also the promise of cellular connectivity: Qualcomm's Snapdragon 835, being tailor-made for phones, comes with inherent cellular capabilities, and while Microsoft has shied away from releasing new smartphones — and may hold out indefinitely as it cedes the market to Apple and Google — there are plenty of reasons it has maintained its Windows 10 Mobile development, and much of it has to do with the promise of ubiquitous connectivity as the developed world moves headfirst towards 5G.

Laptops and tablets running a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor won't be as costly to make and sell compared to devices rocking Intel Atom or Intel Core M chips. It's a huge deal for Microsoft to be able to bring Windows 10 to Snapdragon devices, as it means manufacturers can begin building devices that cost nothing to make and sell.A low-end device running a Snapdragon processor with a cheap 1366x768 screen, basic keyboard, and passable trackpad, running full Windows 10 with support for all of the Windows app library, all for the same price as a Chromebook — the choice between the two is all but a given for schools and businesses. Do you want a glorified web browser, or do you want a real and fully-capable computer?

Zac takes some liberties with Chromebooks' capabilities — the platform expanded to be well more than a "glorified web browser" years ago, and with Android app support has catapulted to a full Windows 10 competitor in many ways, but the idea is sound. Microsoft has decided, with its Surface line, to compete in the high-end, and it wants its manufacturing partners like Asus, Acer, Dell, Lenovo, HP and others to be able to make as many lower-cost products as possible, in varied forms and with multitudinous specifications.

ChromeOS is a glorified web browser as Windows is a glorified DOS shell

This is what enabled Windows to proliferate in the 90s and 2000s, and will continue to give Microsoft cache in the mobile space even as it moves away from smartphones themselves.

Microsoft has done a great job overcoming the biggest limitation, namely apps, of Windows 10 on ARM, and considering we're at a point where Windows 10 itself is a stable, attractive and feature-filled operating system it bodes well for the future of mobile computing. At the same time, Android apps on Chromebooks will launch for most existing customers before Microsoft's mobile gambit, so the impact, at least at first, may be tempered.

The path to a Surface phone is clearer than ever with Windows 10 on ARM

Daniel Bader

Daniel Bader was a former Android Central Editor-in-Chief and Executive Editor for iMore and Windows Central. 

  • Unless Windows becomes dramatically easier to administer for IT departments and dead simple to use, then no.
  • Windows 10 is pretty damn easy to use, though I can see it being complicated for the illiterate.
  • Win 10 updates are pure crap and buggy as Sh*. However I would never touch Chromebook with a 10 ft pole. And unless M$ has utilized the OS to run smoothly on low end tablets better then the Intel chips it will stay limp like M$ Mobile.
  • Huh. I've been on 10 since they started allowing people to upgrade from Windows 7 for free and I've never had a single issue. I use my machine daily for everything from SDET work on SQL servers, to gaming to media consumption. YMMV I suppose...
  • I like Win 10. It's a great upgrade from 8.1. However, using on an Intel Atomic has its moments. Updates are never smooth, sometimes get stuck and have to clear the cache to get them to reload. Wireless for both my Encode 2 and Surface 3 has always been not so stellar. And hibernate always wakes the tablets to work horrible as to where I have to just reboot the system. To say that Win 10 is flawless is definitely farfetched. Oh and Edge sucks. I stick to Chrome. Just my experience. However I look forward to this if it's not a RT reboot.
  • Yikes, none of that sounds like a good experience. Also I too hope this doesn't just end up rebooting RT. I'm pretty sure that's how you get ants.
  • IF he is a windows insider then yes he is right...updates are buggy...but what gets released to the general consumer has definitely gone through rigorous testing and has for the most part gone over pretty smoothly.
  • Yeah, what you're doing with windows is more complex, but calling people illiterate who find it difficult to use is just condescending. It is more difficult to use windows than it is to use Android. It's a far more powerful and heavy OS, what do you expect?
  • You're thinking Chromebooks are going to give you a sexualy transmitted disease? So what do you use? Don't want to assume you are a Mac user, but who knows. Chromebooks work pretty well. Are always up to date and are administered by a great company with a stellar record on security.
  • It just might give me the herpes. You obviously can't read if you don't know what I use.
  • Ya but have you ever tried to turn on a pc? Class periods are only 1-1.5 hours, and turning on a pc waists way more time compared to 15 seconds on a chromebook
  • Not true, you obviously haven't ran a pc with an SSD. My home machine boots in about 5 seconds and my laptop in about 10 (because it's encrypted).
  • It takes my surface a couple seconds to turn on, where's he getting his numbers?
  • My $550 Windows 10 laptop boots in only 5 seconds. Your Chromebook is slow to boot.
  • The hell are you talking about? Ain't no company running on Chrome OS.
  • You forgot what is probably the largest 'company' in the US, the K-12 school system. Chromebooks are everywhere in school.
  • Not completely. However, the company I work for has 180,000 employees and a lot of us at corporate use Chromebooks. They are great.
  • You have no idea what you're talking about, lol.
  • Um, me thinks it is there already... we are rolling it out now, faster than any previous Windows by a long shot. As for me, I just want a Surface phone with full Windows 10 running on it !!!
  • Uh, about those Android apps on Chrome. Are they actually coming to anything other than the 2 preview devices in developer mode?
  • There's 2 officially running them now, and 3 more are on the developer channel. It's definitely taking way too long to get it going.
  • Officially available on only 2 Chromebooks is a joke. Google needs to do a mass update so that dozens of Chromebooks get Android apps.
  • Officially available to 3 models right now. 5 or 6 models on beta/dev channel.
  • I suspect that Google is having some troubles with Android app compatibility on Chromebooks since it hasn't made it to mainstream release as of yet. I can't say that I'm surprised as their is a wide variance of the way Android apps behave on different phones and tablets -- especially display scaling.
  • Google said this would be a very slow process. We (AC and all the other tech sites) just didn;t get that message across when we wrote about it apparently. The reason why is that the Chrome team has the final say, and if the existing functionality and feature set is affected in any way on a particular model they send it all back to the drawing board. I'm good with that for two reasons — as someone who uses chrome the majority of the time, I don't want anything to change it. I hated going to the dev channel because it lacked the final polish, and it showed, The second reason is that the best launch of any product that runs Android, ever, was the Chromebook Flip. That's because it stayed in beta so long and everything was fixed before it moved out.
  • Agree
  • I almost forgot how cringey that was
  • Whatever that was isn't showing up on the AC App.
  • It's a YouTube click of one of Microsoft's ill advised Scroogled ads about Chromebooks.
  • The day I saw that ad is the day I stopped watching Pawn Stars.
  • Forget about everything else.
    Think about Continuum with full legacy app support.I think the surface phone might be true after all with ability to run x86 apps.
  • There won't be any Surface Phone. Stop chasing unicorns mate. No one wants it. Not even on enterprise as proven by the failure of the Elite X3 which can also emulate Windows programs like this Windows RT 2.0 can.
  • The Elite X3 can't emulate Win32 programs on the device, it runs the emulation on a cloud service (i.e. requires an Internet connection).
  • Saving this post to come back to in 8 months to throw it in your face when it's released lol
  • Careful. It might back-fire. Morons who bet against me that Windows Phone would thrive without Nokia instead of dying and that Nokia wouldn't return to phones already had to swallow a bunch of toads... ;)
  • The Elite X3 is a failure because it runs emulation on the cloud for an annual cost. No way a company will pay annually. They'll just buy laptops for a on time fee. Now, if the rumored surface phone runs everything without annual cost, completely different game.
  • Emulation of closed-sourced software will have costs. And I'm pretty sure Microsoft won't be paying for it. The Elite X3 is a failure because it's useless even for enterprise. The amount of things it can't do as a phone and the need to have a screen, mouse and keyboard for Continuum makes it pointless. If you're going to carry those things around you might just get a Surface and a good phone instead.
  • Whats hilarious is that over on WC they think that a phone running on this will destroy android and IOS! that's funny right thare I don't care who you are!
  • Delusion is great over there. They're like those people on the Titanic that refused to believe the ship was sinking.
    And there's no point in pointing out that Windows programs on this RT 2.0 are being emulated. They won't listen.
  • How is Microsoft a sinking ship when it's one of the most profitable businesses in the world. There profit margin increases every quarter year after year
  • Not Microsoft as a whole, the mobile division. I have been with windows phone since wmobile 4.1...on an HTC 620. Since then they rebooted to 7, then 8 which made your old phones obsolete, and then 10 which left most old phones in the dust again. At least with android and iPhone you get updates for older hardware, either through xda for android, and apple just updates their older hardware. Plus lack of most every app kills the system again. Nothing is going to change with the "new" version of windows mobile or whatever the flavor of the week is. The last straw with mobile and me was when they came out with win10 mobile and stated ALL windows 8 phones running denim would update to w10. then when it comes out they axed half their user base AGAIN. They keep "rebooting" or "retrenching" as they call it, it drove away the dev's and the users. And MOST are NOT coming back to the mobile side of things...for obvious reasons.
  • Microsoft has very badly mismanaged their mobile unit. But they merged their mobile dept with their hardware department. Meaning same oversight. Remember when everyone said:
    'No one is gonna buy a two-in-one tablet pc' - to surface 'No way Microsoft can make a competing product to the macbook' - to the surface book 'Microsoft is no longer relevant and has no vision, they can't break back into the market'
    -augmented reality
    -surface dial
    -surface studio While the mobile division has SUCKED over the past 2 years, consider how much MS has pulled their socks up and blown the tech world away with their ground breaking devices. Don't underestimate a multi-billion dollar global tech company
  • Except there's no longer any mobile division. Not even within the Windows and devices group. Everyone was fired. Microsoft knows they don't have a chance against Android and iOS. All those things you mentioned are new types of devices within a category that Microsoft already dominated, namely Windows desktop. All the Surface products that succeeded run on full blown x86 64bit Windows 10.
    The only Surface that flopped? The one with the ARM version of Windows.
  • The one that flopped because it didn't run w32 apps? All those devices are not brand new, they are a re-creation of an existing product in a massive way. Why couldn't Microsoft re-create the smartphone like they did with tablets, laptops and AIO's? Sure google and apple own the current iteration of what we call mobile hardware, but aren't we all dying for a massive change rather than the same old? Yay android added multitasking and a new assistant a slight bit better than the old one, innovation in mobile is dead really. Someone needs to re-create what mobile means and Microsoft has the track record to make it happen. You can't judge the mobile layoff whatsoever. If they are doing a surface phone which changes the landscape, that will be kept under lock and key as much as the original surface was.
  • Microsoft won't recreate something that literally no one is asking to be recreated. Tech geeks might be bored with smartphones but we are NOT the average consumer.
    Consumers will always want their apps and services and Windows Phones (regardless of what you call the OS) will continue to not be able to offer that. Microsoft has no understanding of the mobile experience. In fact their butchering of the touch experience with Windows 10 shows that. They went from a completely touch based UI in Windows 8 to a completely mouse and keyboard based UI with Windows 10. They didn't manage to present two experiences within the same OS. Which is why you can count with your hands the amount of people who use any Surface as a tablet instead of a laptop. Again, all they did was re-create what they already had. Windows RT was Windows 8 for ARM. This RT 2.0 is Windows 10 for ARM. And it will still not entice people to it. Specially on a phone. The time for this would have been when they first introduced Windows RT. Then was the time to have this ready. Now it only comes too little too late.
    On mobile at least.
  • I was obviously talking about Microsoft's mobile division and efforts...
  • What does the mean? "While most Android fans will know Qualcomm's work from such phones as nearly product on the market,..." - nearly *every* product on the market?
  • Finally! This is what I was waiting for actually. I need a cheap and portable device that will run Photoshop and Lightroom. Always wanted to try a chromebook.
  • As long as it's not another RT craptastrophe. Just sound like that all over again. But if it can run x86 programs and enhance Continuum in the future, I'm all in.
  • Well... It can through emulation. The thing is... Windows RT could also do that. In fact some folks managed at the time to break the protection on the Surface RT and run Windows programs in it. So basically, so far, this is no more than Windows RT 2.0. This time without the attempt to lock it down.
  • Windows RT, even with that hack you mention, could only run software compiled for ARM, as far as I recall, so it's definitely a step up from RT in every way.
  • Yes, but you could already emulate them like this RT 2.0 is doing. In fact, people did it back then http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=2095934 So, again, Microsoft isn't doing nothing "groundbreaking" here. What they're doing with this Windows 10 ARM had already been done with the original Windows RT. The only big difference is that now it seems they're building-in the emulation tools and you won't need to jailbreak those new ARM machines. It will remain to be seem HOW will Microsoft accomplish the emulation, specially if the developers of the original Windows programs won't start recompiling them for neither the UWP platform nor for ARM devices.
  • Umm. This is nothing like the RT hack you are talking about, which was basically about sideloading ARM compiled apps in Windows RT. Your post is wrong on many levels. Maybe you should just stop.
    This is an ARM version of windows that can run all X86 Win32 apps. No recompiling is necessary. Apps will run, without modification, as they would on an Intel based system. I would call that pretty amazing.
  • Wrong. This Windows on ARM will NOT run any x86 app natively It's IMPOSSIBLE to do that as the architecture is different. This will emulate an x86 environment. Which was already done in Windows RT by folks at XDA. The link I posted was for the project which also included a project of recompiling open-source software to the ARM architecture so those programs would run natively. So maybe it's you who should stop if you haven't a clue what you're talking about ;)
  • @DJCBS, I guess you're not sure what the word "emulation" means. Windows RT never emulated any X86 applications. Not even in the link you posted.
  • Not natively. But the same folks that jailbroke it also had an emulator for x86 programs. Go dive deeper in the Forums if you want the details.
  • @DJCBS you actually don't know what your talking about do you lmao
  • Yeah, you're the only one who does, right?
  • Everyone here saying this guy is wrong, he's not. You could jailbreak the tablet to run unauthorized .exe files compiled for ARM. THEN someone made Win86emu, which emulates an x86 environment. So quit bashing.
  • "The Portland based company"? If that's in ref. to Microsoft, it's Redmond. If it's in reference to Intel, it's Santa Clara.
  • I thought he was talking about Intel due to the fact he started to talk about canceled Atom chips...but either way he was wrong lol
  • I dont think this is changing anything.. people buy chromebook because its simple.. there are low cost windows pc and how different is this from that?
  • Low cost Windows now = low performance and this seems promising to not be low performance
  • An extra layer of emulation/translation doesn't bode well for performance, even if they are "working with qualcomm"
  • Current low cost Windows are as bad as low cost Androids prior to 5.0 Marshmallow. The OS is too heavy and powerful for weak hardware. But to keep it cheap OEMs have to go with weak hardware.
  • Like smartphones, Microsoft is once again far too late to the party. I bought a nice Dell XPS 13 with Windows 10 to give it a shot, but still find myself using my 3 year old Chromebook 99% of the time whenever I need a laptop.
  • Lol. Ok. You must be doing very simple tasks.
  • I love my Chromebook because 95% of what I do on a computer is on the web anyway and I don't need any of the extra bs.
  • WIndows 10 is so unstable and crappy though they never get their software to run smooth no wonder their phone sales suck
  • Yeah I just don't really get the vehement hatred towards Chromebooks....if you like them ...use them...if you don't... buy something else... it's nice to have options. Chromebooks freed me from the PC world. Have had an HP 14 for 4 years and still use it every single day. Works for me. I certainly hope they stick around. With a Chromebook and an Android phone I need nothing else. I understand others may have different needs.
  • I'm the same way. A Chromebook wouldn't work for me as a work PC, but my company gives me a Thinkpad for work. For personal use, a Chromebook is more than sufficient for my needs, so that's what I use, since I'm not comfortable using my work laptop for personal stuff.
  • Same here. We've been an all Chromebook household going on almost four years, including a 2013 HP 14, which is by far and away the longest lasting laptop I've ever owned and, given Chrome OS, runs far better now than the day it was purchased. Every single Windows laptop I've owned has died in some horrible way after 1-2 years, both my personal machines and at work. Anything that made it past 2 years was so sluggish from the mysterious WIndows gunking that happens over time that they were almost unusable. Almost 4 years later, my wife is on the 2013 HP 14, my kids share an Asus Flip with Android apps, I use an Acer 15 CB mostly running Linux at home, and I use a Pixel LS at work, and we all couldn't be happier and it all couldn't be easier. I think this is the second or third time in as many years I've read the "Microsoft to target Chromebooks" headline. Then I got to its running emulated software for ARM and stopped reading...
  • The success of this "Windows RT 2.0" relies exclusively on how well the emulation works. If it's not perfect, it will go nowhere. That said,any Windows machine is in itself superior to the useless Chromebooks. So it won't be hard to win against that at all.
  • useless? lol you sound like an end user.. definitely not useless i love supporting them!
  • Hang on, I am replying to this comment with a device that is useless. Whilst watching streamed TV running on a device that is useless. Don't get me wrong. Love my Windows 10 Desktop to bits. Like I love my Oven. Doesn't mean I never use a microwave.
  • Tell me, what does your Chromebook does that your phone doesn't?
    I can tell you a bunch of stuff a Windows laptop does that a phone doesn't. That's why the Chromebook is useless IMO. It's just a glorified browser.
  • The laptop form factor is better for productivity or watching a movie than a smartphone, and I can't believe I literally just had to state the obvious for you.
  • Except a Chromebook isn't a laptop. It's like a giant smartphone but way less useful.
  • You've obviously never actually used a Chromebook. It sounds like your only source of information are those old Microsoft "Scroogled" ads.
  • My daughter's first experience with a Chromebook is with the one issued to her when she entered high school. All of her school assignments occur through Google's education initiative. Before then, her exposure to computers consisted of an iPhone (which has become an integral part of her brain) and an old Core 2 Duo Windows 8 laptop. So, how's the Chromebook working out? She still uses her iPhone for research and syncing on homework with her friends. And uses Microsoft Word on the old laptop to write reports. The main reason she doesn't use the Chromebook for this is it can't print to our house's HP MFP printer, and she got tired of going her Windows laptop to reopen the file and print. Also, she's taking a computer explorer's course that uses Visual Studio as the dev environment, so no Chromebook support there. The Chromebook fills a void in the market, but its niche capabilities put it at risk of being consumed by a more complete ecosystem. If executed properly (big IF), Windows 10 x86 on ARM has the potential to push the Chromebook to the dustbin of computing history..
  • My daughter uses Chromebooks for school and has her own Toshiba Chromebook 2. She loves it and it works great. A printer that fully supports Google Clound Print service is less than $100. Your points are moot.
  • Actually I have. My university entered a partnership with Google and they tried to distribute Chromebooks to the faculty. I used mine for a day and returned it. It was absolutely useless. I couldn't do anything on it apart from basic stuff. Well, guess what? I already have Chrome on my Windows machines. I don't need a special device for a browser and its very crappy additional services.
  • By your logic, Tablets too are useless... even Smartphones are useless... Stop your hate about chromebooks. Some people find them useful, that's why they buy them. You thinking it's not useful doesn't make it a generality.
  • Well, apparently the people who find Chromebooks useful are less than 1%. So... I think I might not be the biased one.
  • Not sure how they are going to bring it in at a competitive price, as ChromeOS does not have a licensing fee (correct me if I am mistaken), wheras Windows 10 does. Not sure what it is to OEMs, but still more than zero.
  • "Arm"Central?
  • Gotta love Windows updates when you need to get **** done!
  • This was actually one of the reasons I switched to Mac earlier this year.
  • Microsoft will have the same challenge as they had for their phone. Finding a user base who can use this. For google, it was easy to leverage their mobile user base. And of course, the use case was strong as well.
  • Why? Anyone needing a laptop will be able to 'use' this. They will simply be less expensive (because of the Qualcomm chip vs. Intel) laptops. Other than that, there will be no real difference. All of the software you have will work.
  • Sorry, but I totally disagree with the author of this article for few reasons:
    1. Lets look at an average Chromebook. You got 4GB of RAM and 32GB SSD. Look at the Windows demo clip and you'll see it closes apps and only run a single app each time. You would probably be able to run multiple Windows apps, but any machine with 32GB SSD is not a good machine to purchase, run Windows update and your SSD is full, so you'll need a way bigger SSD which means the machine price is much higher compared to an average Chromebook.
    2. Apps - yes, you could run 32 bit apps, but then the max memory of this machine will be 4GB, since this is the only RAM that the app can access, unless MS did some juggling to allow 32 bit apps "re-map" this 4GB. Think about running Photoshop and Word, both x86 apps, they both need at least 2-3 GB of RAM, how do you handle it, MS? All in all, IMHO such a machine would cost much more compared to an average Chromebook, so they will not compete. If you plan to shell $500+ for such a machine, why don't you just buy an Intel based PC/Laptop? it will run 64 bit, you could expand it's RAM and storage and you'll have many more ports..
  • Have you seen how well Photoshop runs on 4GB RAM Snapdragon 820? It runs amazingly well. But These device are ARM64, so they can support up to 8GB RAM if needed.
  • No it doesn't. You've seen a very brief and EXTREMELY controlled presentation of it. And even that was not great. I can bet you whatever you want that photoshop runs like sh*t on those specs. Not to mention it's not even running natively but being emulated.
  • 1. Search and read about UUP (Universal Update Platform)
    2. It's Windows 10 64bit. Nobody lock you at 4Gb of ram. And I can run Photoshop plus Word on 4gb ram easily. And it's going to be more expensive than a Chrome book, but also do a lot more. Plus, the price is no where near $500. It's a laptop, not a phone, use a cheap HD screen with no touch and you will save 60% of the price.
  • It may in theory "do a lot more"... but most users honestly don't need to do a lot more. They need basic capabilities and for them, a Chromebook is perfectly suitable. The phrase "right tool for the job" is completely applicable here.
  • There's nothing stopping Microsoft for making Windows 10 Mobile run on a X86 Emulation and run UWP apps. If they wanted to add Windows 10 Mobile, which is simple, easy to use, reliable and scale it up to PC, and provide UWP and Win32 compatibility. Note that this will run on 6 inch devices. So in theory a smartphone running Full Windows 10. So theory we could see Bluestacks on this, if they develop the app native to ARM or UWP :-) That's definitely a good combo
  • "There's nothing stopping Microsoft for making Windows 10 Mobile run on a X86 Emulation and run UWP apps." Except Windows 10 Mobile's rigor mortis.
  • Most writer on this site don't use Android daily. You're never going to good Google or Android stories. Jerry the only writer left.
  • How do you figure that most of the writers on Android Central don't use Android daily?
  • develop please...
  • I think you mean Chrome. And even then you're wrong. Andrew uses a Chromebook quite a lot
  • We've seen this movie before.
    Remember Microsoft Surface?
    Suffocated in its crib by Microsoft before it's second birthday. It didn't work with the surface and it's not going to work with Chromebooks
  • You aren't talking about the current Microsoft Surface, are you? That's a billion dollar business, per quarter, for MS, and have redefined the PC. Don't believe me? Look at all of the copy cats. How many 2 in 1 PC's were there before Surface? That's what I thought.
  • No, the current Surface are Surface Pro models.
    The original Surfaces were Arm. And nobody was interested in writing software for them.
  • Surface 3 was successful......
  • No it wasn't. It was a performance nightmare. And the Surface 3 used an Intel Atom chipset and full blown Windows 10 unlike the Surface and Surface 2 which were ARM devices running Windows RT (the ARM version of Windows 8)
  • Are you retarded. Surface is a billion a quarter division for Microsoft. Even iPad sales crashed after Microsoft introduced surface tablets
  • Are you so young you can't remember the original Surface was discontinued by Microsoft because sales were tanking? It was ARM, And it sucked.
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surface_(2012_tablet) If your memory doesn't go back to 2013 you shouldn't be calling other people retarded.
  • Windows RT did NOT run x86 applications.... Windows 10 on ARM does.
    Windows RT ran on a weak Tegra processor with only 2GB RAM, Windows 10 on ARM runs on high end Qualcomm SoC's with support for 4GM RAM and higher. Point is, things are much different this go around.
  • No it does NOT. YOU CAN NOT run x86 apps on ARM machines natively because the architecture is different. Windows 10 ARM will EMULATE an x86 environment to be able to run those programs. The Surface RT and Windows 8 ARM could already do that too. The only difference is that with the RT, Microsoft didn't build the emulator to do it (but other people did) and now they are building it right from the get go. So stop dreaming, wake up to the facts. And they are, Windows 10 ARM is no different at its core from Windows RT. It just has more tools that Microsoft refused to ship with RT.
  • Just wait until Chromebooks come with Android apps standard and app developers actually begin creating their apps with a desktop environment in mind. Windows is too late to the game. I think Chrome Os and android will be the future
  • This is pretty huge for Enterprise.
  • The only application I use on Windows is AutoCAD. Other than that I'm using either my Chromebook, phone, or occasionally my Pixel C.
  • I still run Windows 7. I would have updated to Windows 10 but then Microsoft started their tricks ...hoping to get as many people upgraded as they could. Tricks like having users click on the X close button when seeing the update prompt... except that the X button caused an update. This is nothing but a slime move in my opinion, and I am not going to reward this behavior by buying a Windows ten anything running on ARM.
  • We all get old and get stuck in our ways. You are officially old now.
  • "...the choice between the two is all but a given for schools and businesses. Do you want a glorified web browser, or do you want a real and fully-capable computer?" Schools are choosing Chromebooks because they don't get viruses/malware, because they are so easy to upgrade and administer, and because all that most students need is a glorified web browser where each user is fully sandboxed from all others who have ever or will ever log on to the same shared hardware device. Windows offers none of those safety/security measures, so it's a no-brainer for IT departments trying to decide which way to go.
  • Ding ding ding
  • Schools IN THE USA. Nowhere else in the World are schools choosing Chromebooks. Sorry for the wake up call.
  • How strange, those articles doesn't even make sense. Horrible title.
  • This will be implemented maybe in 2018, so I dont think Microsoft will win so to speak. They had a solution with Windows RT but screwed it up and have lost years in that process. And CromeBooks get more advanced with Android apps support over time and so on.
    So it will not be easy for Microsoft on ARM, but atleast they trying.
  • My windows 10 laptop boots up in 10seconds flat. No problems. I honestly have never experience any issues and I operate using fast ring updates
  • Windows 10 has become much better in terms of booting times. My Windows 10 boots as well in around 10 seconds, but then it takes more to be really usable because the WiFi connection takes much longer. And it is a $700 system while my $150 Chromebook boots in 2 seconds and it is totally usable then.
  • As a victim of the Windows RT catastrophe Microsoft will have to do a lot to convince me.
  • I could never understand why anyone would buy a chrome book instead of a cheap windows laptop. Same price but you get a real OS.
  • - Battery Life
    - Everything is stored in the cloud
    - Can be wiped and set back up in just a few minutes
    - No anti-virus software
    - Frequent updates that aren't a pain for the end user
    - Doesn't slow down over time
    Should I go on?
  • Perhaps Microsoft should ask the question: Are Windows apps a compelling reason to use their OS? The line between Windows apps loaded on your PC and feature rich web apps are blurring. Customers are demanding web apps that are platform agnostic... they need to work with their iPad, Android, Windows PC, Mac, etc. I see this every day at work. Most of the customer software we support and the apps to administer the business are web based now.
    Thinking that the future of software is Windows based is a fools errand.
  • Yes. Web apps are the future. There's no question about it. The advantages are just too huge.
  • If webapps are so good, how come you can't save Netflix offline on a browser? How come I can't view anything on www.snapchat.com?
  • Bring it on Microsoft...lots of us still willing to try the product before criticizing the product
  • As for the Surface Phone I think MS doing their bit on getting developers of the most popular apps to bring their apps to the Windows Marketplace before releasing the phone,also the things Apple taking off their phones all MS has to do is put them on the Surface Phone and they will sell...Common sense
  • All I want to know is will this eventually get pushed out to the old Surface RT tablets. They had so much promise and could have actually been decent devices if they wern't crippled with that awful OS.
  • If you look at the history of Microsoft's mobile platforms WP 7, WP 8, WP 8.1, W 10 .... You will see that the answers is almost certainly not... Even if they say otherwise. People complain about Android leaving devices behind. They have nothing on WP.
  • The worst part is that as a victim of the Windows RT affair I still can really say they were good devices. At least the one we have, it is a Lenovo 11 something. It still runs like a champ and it is used by one of my kids.
  • I commend Microsoft for their ingenuity and willingness to be a cross platform company. I fear they may have missed the point. With a Chromebook there isn't any need to install apps. Although I am looking forward to having the Play Store on my Dell Chromebook 13. Sure, this rights the wrong decisions they made with Windows RT in 2011, but this is 2016 and a lot has changed.
  • It's coming for a lot more than just Chromebooks. And why the heck would anyone choose a Chromebook over full windows? Answer: they're morons
  • Schools and organizations that don't want to deal with the support headaches of Windows. Take off your horse blinders and see outside your little world...
  • Support headaches??? Give me a break..... this isn't 2002
  • In many ways, it's worse than 2002.
  • You would be surprised if you knew how many big companies and corporations are still running Windows 7. Upgrading operating system in big companies is not the same as you upgrading your home PC.
  • Only Americans are making that choice and not in significant numbers. Everywhere else in the World people use their brains and opt for Windows devices because they simply are better.
  • Chromebooks are all about simplicity and security which Windows will never be strong at either so how this news has any effect on Chromebooks is in the authors delusional mind..
  • Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! That's exactly right. People who don't understand that, don't understand Chromebooks.
  • Is it easier (or better) to try and scale a PC down into a mobile formfactor or to scale mobile platforms up into PC formfactors? Apple and Google have decided it's better to try and scale up their mobile OSes. For example, while there will continue to be a place for Mac OS, the iPad Pro tells us that Apple really sees iOS as its primary platform for content consumption AND creation. Microsoft is trying to take the other approach and scale Windows down into a mobile platform. And while desktop/PC apps are powerful and sophisticated, they are overly complex for a large percentage of relatively trivial tasks. Constraints can be a good thing, and the inherent constraints within mobile OSes force developers to be more thoughtful and deliberate with development decisions and more efficient in their use of resources. Furthermore, average users now spend more of their time on mobile devices than in front of desktops. Subsequently, they want an experience that's designed for mobile from the outset vs. scaled down into mobile from desktop. Despite lacking an established and proven codebase, smaller dev shops are positioned now than ever to compete with the big boys by turning that established codebase into legacy "baggage" that they don't have to deal with. The need to design from the ground up, which previously would be a disadvantage, is now an advantage for smaller shops thanks to the constraints of mobile. The bottom line is that regardless of whether it's better to try and scale a mobile platform up or scale a desktop platform down, developer mindshare is not around desktop app development. And that's the issue that I think Microsoft hasn't figured out how to overcome with its Windows 10 & ARM strategy.
  • Actually, schools *do* want a 'glorified web browser'. The appeal of Chromebooks isn't just that they're cheap - it's that they're so simple to support. Nothing lives on the laptop that can't be restored more or less instantly to a replacement. The OS gets automatic and seamless updates. Now maybe Microsoft can do something like that at some point - but if the big selling point is emulated WIN32 apps, they're moving back toward a Windows support profile - not pretty. Yes, there are advantages to being able to run the full suite of WIN32 apps out there, but schools that have adopted Chromebooks have gone a long way toward not needing them...
  • No, schools do not want a glorified browser. Maybe they do in the US but then again America has a God awful educational system. And that would explain why.
  • Apparently, I'm supposed to already know what 'ARM' stands for....
  • ARM = Acorn RISC Machine. RISC = reduced instruction set computing. ARM Holdings is a British company that designs the chips and has patented the core design. They license the basic design to companies like Apple, Qualcomm and Samsung (and others you never heard of) who can then build on top of it to make their own processors for things like phones and tablets. They are processors that can be designed with fewer components because they focus on specific needs. Most ARM chips are designed for low power environments, like a phone running on a battery. But other things use ARM chips — the computers that power all of Google's new smart assistant stuff run on boards with an ARM processor that Google designed. In this case, they want to have chips that do certain things really fast but don't get too hot and don't use a lot of power. The opposite is CISC — complex instruction set computing. That's what an Intel chip is. They are really good at all types of processing in all environments, but they use much more power. And high 5 for asking. We all should be asking more questions about the things we want to know more about.
  • "And high 5 for asking." He heh. High 5s require ARMs.
  • LOL.
  • 5 second boot time ? Do you guys even have any applications
  • I work in the school environment and have close ties to the IT departments at several school districts. If you look at the infrastructure and effort required to support a Windows PC it's impressive. Remember, these PC's are used by children not computer savvy adults. So to keep them running, they periodically get re-imaged. That's right, every few months (usually over school holidays), they get wiped and completely reloaded. This takes an entire team of IT tech's several days or weeks to supervise the imaging of hundreds, thousands of machines. Anything to simplify this process will save the IT department time and money. Ie. The power wash feature of ChromeOS.
  • I applaud Microsoft for making an attempt here. But they need to find a compelling reason to sell their OS over ChromeOS. And it's more than hardware cost, it's the secondary cost of supporting and administering the platform. This is the real issue they need to figure out.
  • And they are now fighting a battle on both ends. Check out CloudReady from Neverware. A Chromium distribution targeted at turning discarded Windows PC's into usable Chrome devices. PC's that were deemed obsolete because they couldn't run modern versions of Windows. Lightweight Chromium gives them a new lease on life.
  • It's still Windows, which means Lag Fest USA on lower end hardware. I say this as a Windows user since 3.1. Chromebooks are designed from the ground up to work on lower speced hardware. Windows embodies and drives Moore's Law. It's not even a competition
  • You realize that Microsoft has never raised the hardware requirements for Windows since Vista right? A lot of the old and cheap hardware that ran Vista would run the latest version as though it were meant for it. It also helps that for many common tasks, there are now lightweight apps on the store. You could open a dozen of them and that wouldn't bog down the system.
  • "Windows 10 is stable" That right there is funny!
  • So the point of using ARM is for a fast low power efficient OS. Are we sure the emulation of Windows is not going to take up too much processing power? If it ends up being more power hungry than Chromebooks, then what's the point of putting it in ARM?
  • I hope that MS pours large quantities of its vast treasure into making emulation run on a Win10 for ARM. It's a rabbit trail that's doomed from the start. But the inevitable write-off won't even amount to a decimal place on the MS balance sheet.
  • I love this concept, but I hope to god it comes to my Surface 2 (whether officially or hacky) in some way. The thing is so useless, all windows 8.1 apps are useless and out of date, and Internet Explorer is crap. I'd use edge but it's windows 8.1. Not 10. So no edge.
  • You know... To be honest, I'd buy a phone that was a little thicker, a little heavier, and made fan noise, for an Intel i5 in it and a full desktop OS on it.