Back when Microsoft first split Windows 8 in twain, it initially called the two divisions Windows 8 and Windows on ARM (WoA). Windows 8 would be the full-bodied x86 version of the operating system with every bell and whistle, and Windows on ARM would be a cut-down version designed for low-power ARM SoCs.
Most notably, WoA lacked the capability to run any Desktop apps that hadn’t been pre-approved by Microsoft (i.e. Office, Paintbrush, and that’s about it). Outwardly, Microsoft’s justification was that it wanted to ensure a smooth and reliable experience for people with WoA tablets; it didn’t want tablet users to be bogged down by toolbars and malware and other third-party Desktop software. Internally, though, I think that Microsoft was taking the first steps towards killing off the Desktop entirely, on ARM and x86.
- Microsoft: x86 Apps Will Run On ARM Chips At Near-Native Performance
- Microsoft video shows Windows on ARM running full Windows 10 and x86 apps
- Microsoft's Windows Server on ARM move: More questions and answers
- MediaTek Says No to Windows 10 on ARM Because It’s a Risky Idea
- Windows 10 PCs Powered by Snapdragon 835 “Won’t Be Too Expensive,” Qualcomm Says