Windows 11 on ARM is the next evolution of the need to run a ‘full-fat’ operating system on ARM processors harnessing their lower power requirements and smartphone technologies.
No, it is not time to dump AMD and Intel shares – as Apple may have you believe with its abandonment of Intel on Macs and MacBooks. It is the realisation that it is ‘different strokes for different folks’. If you are a designer, video editor, content creator, engineer, CAD or creative, you need raw power, massive amounts of memory, expandable PCIe slots and Gen 4 SSD – a PC. If you use a laptop or hybrid tablet for Microsoft 365, email, and browsing, then the Windows on ARM platform makes a lot of sense.
But the current Windows on ARM experience has fallen short because Windows 10 on ARM only ran Win32 apps and lacked support for native 64-bit and x86 apps.
A segue – why Windows 11 on ARM is so important
I use a Windows 10 Surface Pro 7 (review here 9/10) as my GadgetGuy production PC. It sits in a Kensington Stand Dock 9/10 (the only third-party Surface Dock) and supports two external monitors and extra USB-A and USB-C ports. I need this for effective multi-tasking.
When I travel, I take my Samsung Galaxy Book2 (Review here 8.8/10) – a Windows on ARM tablet with a very Surface-like kickstand and detachable keyboard. It runs on a Qualcomm SD850 Mobile platform. It has an incredible AMOLED screen, 4GX, S Pen, and a 10–20-hour battery (depends on use). And it is light, expandable via USB-C and portable.
For some time, we have heard promises that Windows on ARM will support x86 apps. But the new announcement is that Windows 11 will also run Android apps! Yes, Android apps, albeit from the Amazon App store.
This unlocks the potential of Windows on ARM and provides a genuine and robust competitor to iPad and Chrome ARM-based tablets. I dare say a stronger competitor than Apple expects – Windows and Android on the same tablet.