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.
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....
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?
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.
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.
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.
"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....