Windows on Arm finally has legs

Windows on Arm has significantly improved with Qualcomm's new processors and Microsoft's Prism emulator, supporting more native apps and better performance.

: Windows on Arm, initially lagging in developer support and software, has seen considerable enhancements. Qualcomm's new Snapdragon processors and Microsoft's efforts have led to a smoother Windows 11 experience and the creation of more ARM64 native apps. Despite these improvements, certain apps and games still face compatibility issues and require emulation, which has also improved with the new Prism emulator.

Windows on Arm launched with several challenges five years ago, particularly in software support and performance. However, significant advancements have been made with Qualcomm's Snapdragon X Elite and X Plus processors, offering a much smoother Windows 11 experience. Native apps for popular software like Photoshop, Dropbox, and Zoom have emerged, addressing many initial performance concerns.

Microsoft's Prism emulator further enhances compatibility by translating non-native apps more efficiently, although not all apps achieve the desired performance. Testing has shown mixed results, with lightweight apps functioning well, but more demanding software and games sometimes struggling to perform at optimal levels. The introduction of more ARM64 native apps is expected to eventually minimize these issues.

Games and certain professional applications continue to face hurdles, particularly due to unsupported anticheat technologies and unoptimized drivers. Some significant apps like Adobe Premiere Pro and Blender need native ARM64 versions to avoid performance bottlenecks. With these ongoing developments, it seems the ecosystem is progressively moving towards broader compatibility and smoother user experiences, marking a promising transition for Windows on Arm.