Testers complained that the battery charge indicator does not work on ARM laptops with Windows 10, but this turned out to be not a bug
Microsoft first announced a collaboration with Qualcomm and porting Windows 10 to ARM laptops and tablets last December . Then Qualcomm announced a new 64-bit Snapdragon 835 processor (ARMv8), on which Windows 10 can work. These processors can be installed in laptops instead of traditional Intel and AMD chips. The same mobile processor works in the Samsung Galaxy S8, LG V30 and OnePlus 5 smartphones.
In May 2017, Microsoft engineers showed the first working prototypecomputer with a Qualcomm Snapdragon SDM835 processor at a clock frequency of 1.9 GHz, with 4 GB of RAM. The shown instance of Windows 10 for ARM successfully launched even x86 applications from outside the Windows Store. In appearance, Windows 10 on ARM is no different from the OS on a normal computer.
Soon the official announcement of the laptop motherboard with a Snapdragon 835 processor took place . Executive Vice President of Qualcomm Technologies Cristiano Amon (Cristiano Amon) then said that thanks to the new CPU, manufacturers will be able to produce PCs in the form factor of the “next generation” with power consumption 50% less.
Sales of these laptops will begin in December 2017, but now thanks to the talkativeness of Microsoft employees, new details have become known.
Windows 10 on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor
Microsoft representatives visited the annual 5G Summit in Hong Kong, which suits Qualcomm, and shared new information about ARM devices on Snapdragon 835 mobile chips
. First, they made it clear that they would release laptops without delay. They will be on sale before Christmas, that is, in December 2017. This information was confirmed by Vice President of Global Product Marketing Qualcomm Don Maguire (Don McGuire). According to him, initially in December 2016, the task was set to meet the one-year period, and so far Qualcomm and Microsoft are moving according to an established schedule, and in the coming weeks they promise to provide additional information on this matter.
Microsoft headquarters is currently testing “hundreds of devices” with Windows 10 on a Snapdragon 835 processor. They are being tested “on a daily basis,” said Pete Bernard, general manager of the team working with communication partners at Microsoft.
Comparison of x86 (left) and Snapdragon 835 motherboards (right)
As there are various rumors among specialists about the long lifetime of Windows 10 laptops on a Snapdragon 835 processor, Trusted Reviews journalists asked Pete Bernard to elaborate on this particular issue. He said that the battery life was "very, very good":
“To be honest, battery life really exceeded our expectations. We set the bar high for [our developers], and now have surpassed it. This is battery life when you use [device] daily. I no longer carry the charger with me. It can be charged in a couple of days. That's how long the battery life is. ”
Bernard believes that such a revolutionary increase in the life of a laptop from a single battery charge will drastically affect the computer market and change the familiar experience of using a PC, to which people have become accustomed in the past.
In an interview with ZDNet, Bernard admitted that the first testers — they were department heads from different Windows departments — reported a bug that the battery charge indicator in the laptop was not working. "It turned out that this is not a bug, but simply too long battery life."
At the moment, Microsoft has concluded agreements on the release of ARM-devices under Windows 10 with three manufacturers: HP, Asus and Lenovo. Negotiations are underway with other OEM assemblers. Most likely, there will be a large line of laptops and tablets in a wide price range.
The Snapdragon 835 on-chip system contains a Kryo 280 CPU, Adreno 540 graphics processor and Hexagon 682 DSP. The chip is made on the 10-nm technical process, which means a significant reduction in energy consumption. The Snapdragon 835 Mobile PC Platform computing platform also includes a Snapdragon X16 Gigabit LTE modem with download speeds of up to 1 Gbps and a 2x2 802.11ac MU-MIMO modem for wireless communication at close range.
Windows 10 for ARM is Microsoft's second attempt to release Windows for ARM processors. The previous version of Windows RT was not a success, including due to a lack of compatible software. Now there will be no such problem. Existing x86 win32 applications are installed and run on ARM completely transparently - without the need for additional actions by the user or application developer. There are office applications, Photoshop, video player, etc.
The x86 instructions are translated into ARM64 instructions transparently during program execution, and are also cached on disk for faster use in the future. The kernel, drivers, and all applications work completely natively (ARM code). Thus, application developers do not have to recompile their programs for a new platform: the ARM binary in the system is automatically precompiled. Unless the developer needs to put one tick in UWP.