5 reasons why Windows on ARM could change computing -- and 3 reasons it won't

2016-Dec-28 | Tags: analysisversus

Windows on ARMIf Microsoft could go back in time, I've a pretty good idea what would happen. CEO Satya Nadella would hand his younger self the code for Microsoft's new Win32 on ARM emulator.

It's the missing piece of the puzzle that could finally let Microsoft build Windows phones, razor-thin tablets and tiny laptops that people might actually want to buy. It could have maybe saved Microsoft billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, if the company had had it just a few years ago.

See, Win32 refers to the traditional Windows desktop apps you know and love, like Office and Photoshop, VLC and Steam. Thing is, the versions of Windows that ran on phones or thin tablets never could use those all-important Win32 apps -- because the energy-efficient ARM processors that powered those devices weren't compatible.

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Windows on ARM - Windows RT