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Interesting. I must say that I'm surprised that MS didn't give up on Continuum after Intel hosed them by cancelling their Broxton smartphone x86 chip. MS might just be throwing good money after bad.

The two keys will be performance and compatibility for the x86 emulation. If they can get it to the point where it's effectively as fast as Intel's low power Atoms while still keeping broad Win32 app compatibility, then Microsoft's Continuum concept is back on track to become a game changer.




> I must say that I'm surprised that MS didn't give up on Continuum after Intel hosed them by cancelling their Broxton smartphone x86 chip. MS might just be throwing good money after bad.

Intel didn't hose Microsoft, it hosed Intel.

Microsoft was already developing for ARM so nothing changed for Microsoft. Intel stopped developing for smartphones and tablets so something changed for Intel.

Windows 10 is free on small screen devices so Microsoft didn't even lose any revenue....


>Intel didn't hose Microsoft, it hosed Intel.

I'm not sure I follow your logic. Surely you'd agree that implementing Continuum running x86 apps on Microsoft's rumored Surface Phone would have been far easier if Intel hadn't cancelled Broxton and MS had been directly able to use it as the target processor?


Not at all. The apps were being developed for Windows Runtime. You shouldn't confuse that with the old Win32 API used by traditional Windows software.

The only advantage of having an Intel processor would be for the old-style traditional apps, and if you allow those, you have all sorts of problems. They're not sandboxed like runtime apps, and you can't stop them from eating your battery. It's actually better to run them in an emulator.


>"The only advantage of having an Intel processor would be for the old-style traditional apps, and if you allow those, you have all sorts of problems."

That's precisely what MS is allowing. From Thurott's article:

"Even better, Windows 10 on ARM will supply a long-rumored feature: The ability to run 32-bit Win32/x86 desktop applications—Apple iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, Google Chrome, whatever—directly on the system, unchanged."

I suspect that MS probably would have very much preferred not to have to use emulation, which is always a tricky business, for Continuum on the Surface Phone. Curbing resource intensive apps is a vastly less complex engineering problem.


You appear to have overlooked the fact that OEMs can already make Intel-based smartphones and tablets, using Windows 10 for free. One smartphone example is the Asus ZenPhone, and there are plenty of tablets.

How many have you bought? How many has anyone bought?

> The ability to run 32-bit Win32/x86 desktop applications—Apple iTunes, Adobe Photoshop, Google Chrome, whatever—directly on the system, unchanged."

True, but they're in an emulator. Pretty sure they don't have access to the whole system, which they would on a standard Windows 10 device.


Extra info: there may be some confusion here because the above announcement is about tablets/2-in-1s/laptops NOT smartphones. The headline is (with my emphasis):

"ARM-Based Windows 10 Portable PCs!? Hell Yes!"

So if you recompile Win32 programs to run on this version of Windows 10 on ARM, they will be able to do all the (good and) bad things they can do on the x86 version....




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