Microsoft fixes limitations of Windows 10 on ARM by deleting any mention...

Microsoft fixes limitations of Windows 10 on ARM by deleting any mention of them

Microsoft fixes limitations of Windows 10 on ARM by deleting any mention of them

Mix ARM with Windows and you’ll slip up

MICROSOFT HAS reacted to concerns over the technical limitations of its ARM processor-based version of Windows 10 by removing all trace of them from its website.

The document had been posted on Microsoft’s website, but after some stifled laughter and taunting from the peanut gallery, the company has quietly removed all evidence in a “limitations, what limitations?” effort.

The headlines are that ARM64 drivers are required, and need to be compiled especially – there’s not the option to emulate x86 and kernel drivers.

However, x64 apps, on the other hand, are not supported. Because of course.

Games that require hardware accelerated OpenGL, or indeed any version of OpenGL above 1.1, don’t work, nor do anti-cheat drivers.

There’s no fiddling with Windows Experience. That means no shell extensions (so no apps that can add a right-click option), no alternative input methods and no assistive technologies that aren’t in the core Windows offering.

Additionally, that means no ‘mapping’ of a cloud drives to File Explorer.

Hyper-V virtualisation doesn’t work. At all. In any context.

Universal Windows Platform (UWP) apps that were designed to be compatible with Windows Mobile and haven’t been updated will often assume that running on an ARM chip means running on a mobile. That means they’ll display sideways.

So in short, although the “Always Connected” ARM PCs have started to dribble out, they’re strapped down tighter than a last act Valkyrie’s corset.

There needs to be a lot more work before ARM PCs are a viable alternative for the dedicated Windows user. At the moment, although there’s a lot more freedom than, say, Windows RT, there’s still a lot that can’t be done.

Lest we forget, Microsoft actually gave up on cross-compatibility between (Unix kernelled) Android and UWP because it found it was too difficult. That sort of suggests that it will either end up cracking both problems or neither.

In the meantime, it might be an idea to hang fire on your ARM-based Windows machine ambitions. Generally, Microsoft isn’t going to remove a document if it thinks the situation is under control.  µ