Microsoft is bringing a full version of Windows 10, complete with desktop app support, to ARM chipsets. The software giant demonstrated Windows 10 running on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 chip, complete with HD video playback, Adobe Photoshop support, and Microsoft Office. Microsoft expects ARM-based laptops to be the first to adopt this new version of Windows 10. Traditional x86 desktop apps will be emulated, making the experience seamless to the end user. Laptops might be the first, but it’s easy to realize that this means Microsoft is about to turn a phone into a real PC.
Microsoft surprised everyone with Continuum for phones last year, a feature of Windows 10 that lets phones turn into a PC. Continuum makes use of Qualcomm chipsets and Windows 10’s new universal apps to scale from a phone screen up to a monitor and includes features that make it feel like a full-blown PC. While it might look like a PC, you can’t currently run apps like Chrome or Photoshop, and it’s reliant on developers creating universal apps. Microsoft is making Continuum a lot more powerful next year, thanks to desktop apps.