Windows 10 Mobile platform has been discontinued, but existing
Windows Phones are still enough powerful to test new Windows 10
on ARM features, including x64 apps emulation.
Way back in 2019, reports suggested that
x64 emulation is coming to Windows on ARM, but it got
pushed back a bit. In November, Microsoft confirmed that 64x
emulation support will be finally included with the next
version of Windows 10, which is expected to launch in the
spring of 2021.
Windows 10 on ARM was first announced in 2016 without the
ability to run x86 apps in emulation. There was no immediate
plan to support x64 apps, but as more users wanted Microsoft to
address the ‘app gap’ in the Windows Store, x64 apps emulation
finally arrived with Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 21277.
After the release of this preview update, independent
developers have now managed
to get x64 desktop apps to run on an old Lumia device via
emulation in Windows 10 for ARM.
For those unaware, there’s a passionate Windows Phone community
that modifies Microsoft’s mobile devices to run a full version
of Windows, such as Windows 8 and Windows 10 on ARM.
x64 emulation is the latest project they’ve pulled off. As you
can see in the above screenshot, it’s possible to run desktop
apps via emulation and landscape mode is also supported.
Desktop apps on Windows Phones look pretty good and they work
very well, but it’s not a practical solution. This is because
smaller areas in desktop programs cannot be accessed using the
However, it’s still nice to see developers accomplish feats
like this and it’s also possible that Windows 10 on ARM will
arrive on Android phones in the near future.
It’s all thanks to Windows 10 ARM, an operating system which
has been optimized for ARM-based processors, such as Samsung
Exynos and Qualcomm Snapdragon.