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Microsoft’s emulator for running 64-bit Windows x86 apps on ARM devices is coming to beta

By on December 11, 2020 0

It’s coming a bit late, but Microsoft has finally released the company’s emulator to run 64-bit Windows x86 apps on ARM devices.

The emulator, which was originally slated to arrive last month, fills a glaring hole with Windows 10 devices built on ARM processors: They can’t run traditional 64-bit Windows apps designed for Intel or AMD systems.

The limitation has hurt the appeal of products like the Surface Pro X and the Samsung Galaxy Book S. But now device owners can try out the new 64-bit emulator, which is coming first via the beta program of Windows Insider.

“In this preview, you can install x64 apps from the Microsoft Store or any other location you want,” Hari Pulapaka, Microsoft’s program manager, wrote in a blog post. “You can try key x64-only productivity apps like Autodesk Sketchbook, as well as games like Rocket League. ”

However, the emulator is not a perfect solution. The company’s ARM-based Windows devices already come with an emulator to run 32-bit x86 Windows applications. But performance can sometimes be slow. As a result, Microsoft still expects software developers to end up porting their products to the ARM architecture, ensuring that programs run smoothly.

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The company also warns that the new 64-bit emulator may not work with all programs. So expect a random experience. Nonetheless, Microsoft plans to refine the emulator over time before the official release.

The emulator is available to Windows Insider members as preview version 21277. It can be downloaded through the Dev Channel. Anyone can sign up for the Windows Insider program.

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