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Windows 10 on ARM is running on Raspberry Pi 4, and ‘so much faster’ than Pi 3

(Image credit: Future)

Windows 10 on ARM is up and running on the Raspberry Pi 4, after enterprising folks managed to get it running on the Raspberry Pi 3, as we saw early in 2019.

The IoT Core version of Windows 10 is the one officially designated for the diminutive computer board, but there are ways to get a full-fat flavor of Windows 10 running on the Raspberry Pi, in the form of the ARM-targeted spin.

And as spotted by Windows Latest, Marcin (@Marcinoo97), who is a security researcher (or perhaps a wannabe security researcher – it’s not clear from his Twitter profile), has managed to get Windows 10 on ARM successfully running on the latest version of the Pi 4 Model B.

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Snappier, happier

While the Pi 3 struggled with Windows 10 on ARM, the newer incarnation of the computer board has a good deal more oomph, and can run the OS more smoothly.

One Twitter user asked: “So how does Windows feel on Pi 4? Is it snappier over Pi 3?”

Marcin replied: “Yes. It is so much faster" – though he qualified that he is limited to 1GB of RAM (on a 4GB Pi board).

Marcin’s installation of Windows 10 on ARM was achieved using WoA Deployer, and he explains more of the technical aspects of the process in the thread on Twitter.

Of course, there are still going to be major limitations in terms of the power of the Pi 4, at least compared to the full-on laptops, which Windows 10 on ARM is designed for (these Snapdragon-driven portables are gradually becoming more powerful themselves).

So as with the Pi 3, running full Windows desktop apps (via emulation) is doubtless going to be sluggish. Still, it’s interesting to see this accomplished, nonetheless, and the Pi 4 should be able to cope ably with basic computing tasks – although do note that this project is still in its very early stages.

We have previously seen Windows 10 on ARM brought to a number of devices in weird and wonderful niche cases, such as getting the OS running on an old Lumia 950 XL smartphone.

Darren is a freelancer writing news and features for TechRadar (and occasionally T3) across a broad range of computing topics including CPUs, GPUs, various other hardware, VPNs, antivirus and more. He has written about tech for the best part of three decades, and writes books in his spare time (his debut novel - 'I Know What You Did Last Supper' - was published by Hachette UK in 2013).