back to article Qualcomm predicts 2024 is the year Windows on Arm goes large

Qualcomm CEO and president Cristiano Amon has tipped 2024 as the year in which PCs using his company’s Snapdragon silicon make a mark. "We expect to see an inflection point in Windows on Snapdragon PCs in 2024 based on a significant number of design wins to date," he said on the company's Q4 2022 earnings call. Amon made that …

  1. steviebuk Silver badge

    Probably no

    When looking for AV that protected the 2 ARM machine we had, turned out there wasn't any. It ended up just becoming an annoying pain to use due to software support.

    1. Snake Silver badge

      Re: Probably no

      Exactly. I'm tired of saying it, but

      "It's the Apps, stupid"

      No user applications, who cares WHAT your OS and / or hardware promises.

      Computers are supposed to be a tool used to help solve problems. If you can't get an app that solves your problem, this thing is nothing but a useless paperweight.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Probably no

        Bit of a chicken-and-egg scenario there.

        If we're talking about hyper-performing silicon that delivers a massive bang per watt and dollar, then apps *will* come. And Qualcomm can help by poking the proverbial tiger and sending some of that hypothetical silicon to devs (a la Apple Development Kits and Microsoft's new Windows Dev Kit 2023 / Project Volterra computer)

        TL;DR: not the apps per se, but rather how to get the hardware adopted by users to give devs a reason to port apps, who will then incentivize users to further invest in said hardware.

        1. Snake Silver badge

          Re: Probably no

          The apps won't just "come" just because the hardware is appealing. That is the constant geek fanboi DREAM.

          Windows Phone, anyone??

          There needs to be *some* level of application support available at rollout in order to even gain traction with buyers. If buyers don't see some of their problems as having available solutions at purchase time - no apps at rollout - they stay away. THEN you'll get the chicken-and-egg: not enough buyers, therefore not worthy of developer investment, meaning buyers don't get interested in the stunted ecosystem. Rinse, repeat.

          But will Microsoft learn from their own Windows Phone fiasco? Not a chance. Big Corp are too stubborn, too self-assured in their own superiority, to learn from mistakes - it was the *users* fault for not understanding how great our product was!

    2. Only a Sith

      Re: Probably no

      I’m running Windows 11 for ARM on an M1Pro MacBook (via Parallels). Just install the x64 binary - it’ll run. Microsoft have done a surprisingly good job. Not quite Rosetta 2 levels, but genuinely good. I’m running loads of non ARM native binaries without issue, and without much overhead. And that’s on a VM.

  2. trevorde Silver badge

    New meme

    "20xx will be the year of Windows on Arm"

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Gimp

      Re: New meme

      The year that Microsoft decides to officially support Windows on Apple Silicon will be the year of Windows on Arm.

    2. NeilPost Silver badge

      Re: New meme

      I hope it goes better than last time Windows on ARM ‘went large’.

      Windows RT, Windows Phone etc… both abandoned.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft still make an ARM build of Windows?

    I didn't know that! The last I heard it was on their surface/tablet thing... that I don't see around any more either.

    1. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft still make an ARM build of Windows?

      There's the Microsoft Dev Kit, which is kind-of Microsoft's answer to the Mac Mini. A lot slower, but also a lot cheaper.

      There is also an ARM option for the Surface Pro 9.

    2. MarcoV

      Re: Microsoft still make an ARM build of Windows?

      Afaik they offered it for RPI4 (64-bit) when it came out. One of our devels used that for the arm64 windows port.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft still make an ARM build of Windows?

      That's ARM32 and the failed Surface RT write-off.

      But since then, they've tried again with ARM64 on the Surface Pro X, this time with x86 application translation.

      You can even get it on old Nokia Lumias, or even your Android phone if it had a Snapdragon 845 and is supported by Renegade Project.

  4. MarcoV

    So are they finally going to introduce a platform that will be supported 4 years + ?

    Because that is primarily what Windows is about, legacy and long term. Being able to deploy it and support it for a period that makes sense in the non virtual world, which means 10 years minimum

    1. Wade Burchette

      If I am forced onto ARM, I will not be using Windows. The idiots in charge of Microsoft cannot go a full year without several updates that break things and the UI keeps changing for the worse. The only reason any of us put with all that is because of legacy and gaming. You take that away, and many of us will not put with Microsoft.

      I am hopeful that Steam may be solving the gaming on Windows problem, then I can kick Microsoft to the curb.

  5. Dave 126

    Ummm...

    The only reason many people buy PCs over Macs is because of games and legacy software support... which WinARM isn't good at. And if you just want to do web stuff and emails, a Chromebook will do.

    So, given a choice of Wintel, WinARM, Chromebook or Mac, the case for WinARM today is hard to make.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ummm...

      ARM Chromebooks are hard to run (real) Linux (without Chrome OS) on, though, especially given that most of them use MediaTek garbage.

      Windows ARM laptops can boot it easily, but the hardware compatibility is, as you would guess, spotty.

    2. Only a Sith

      Re: Ummm...

      Not true anymore. Win 11 for ARM is running plenty of legacy software for me on my M1Pro MacBook via Parallels. Won’t run the latest games, that’s true, but Microsoft have done a good job of handling x64 binaries on Win 11z

  6. steelpillow Silver badge
    Trollface

    ARM accused of new greedy licensing plans, Microsoft embracing and extending, seems like RISC V is coming along just in time.

  7. DenTheMan

    Suits the suits

    If Microsoft can fully switch to Arm, think of all the money to be madefrom the umpteenth business hardware overhaul.

  8. Medixstiff

    We bought an Arm based Surface for the CEO, everything was fine up until it came time to install the Fortinet VPN client, they had none for Arm.

    As he's online at home and both of our external sites all the time, it was a deal breaker and sure enough was put back in it's box.

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