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Windows on ARM could finally compete with Apple's M1 chips thanks to x64 emulation

x64 emulation on Windows for ARM
(Image credit: Microsoft)

You may remember that Microsoft announced back in September that new features were in development for Windows on ARM. These features have now been rolled out for the Windows Insiders in the Dev Channel to support 64-bit app emulation, in addition to the 32-bit x86 emulation already available on ARM-powered devices.

It's (almost) finally here

This is fantastic news for current ARM-based devices (such as the new Surface Pro X) that have been suffering from a lack of available software options, as many software makers such as Adobe have moved entirely to 64-bit x86 apps. 

Microsoft has stated that "In this preview, you can install x64 apps from the Microsoft Store or from any other location of your choosing. You can try key x64-only productivity apps like Autodesk Sketchbook, as well as games like Rocket League".

Microsoft hasn't officially announced when this will be coming to public builds of Windows, but the usual procedure is to await feedback from its initial rollout. If you want to get ahead of the official release though and don't mind assisting with the smoothing out process, you can join the Windows Insider program and follow these instructions to install the pre-beta.

With all the recent news surrounding the Apple M1 ARM-based silicon, it's pretty safe to assume that we're going to see increased popularity in ARM devices and optimization. 

Emulation obviously isn't the ideal solution but for now, it's a great answer to a frustrating issue. It's worth remembering that this feature is still in its early days and we don't yet know how smoothly it will run.

Via The Verge

Jess Weatherbed

Jess is TechRadar's Computing writer, and covers laptops, computers, PC gaming and peripherals. She can often be found playing games of both the PC and Tabletop variety, occasionally streaming to the disappointment of everyone.