Microsoft expands its App Assure program to Windows 10 on ARM PCs with Qualcomm Snapdragon chips
At Microsoft’s annual Ignite developer conference, the company announced its latest collaboration with Qualcomm to improve app compatibility for Windows 10 on ARM PCs powered by the latter’s Snapdragon compute platforms. Microsoft and Qualcomm have collaborated to expand the former’s App Assure program to cover Windows 10 on ARM64 PCs.
If you haven’t heard of Microsoft App Assure before, you’re probably not alone. This is a service geared mainly towards businesses and other large organizations, so most developers won’t have any interaction with it.
Here’s a quick summary of what it’s about. A lot of the time, businesses rely on running legacy software. This could be for budget constraints or because there’s no suitable alternative. With App Assure, Microsoft will work to get that software up and running in a modern Windows or Office environment at no additional cost to your business.
Legacy software isn’t the only source of compatibility issues, though. With the increasing popularity of Windows on ARM and Qualcomm-powered “Always On, Always Connected” PCs, there are a lot of programs that just don’t work on this new architecture. Well, starting today, Microsoft is extending App Assure to ensure compatibility with these devices.
If you have a program or app made for x86-based computers and you need it to work on ARM for your business, Microsoft will get it done. That includes having the vendor create a version of their software for ARM.
Of course, there are some limitations to this service. If a program is only designed for 64-bit computers, Microsoft won’t help you. And if the program relies on special drivers that won’t work on ARM or it relies on OpenCL/GL, then you’re also out of luck. But if all you need to be fixed is a simple Office add-in or a basic utility, then Microsoft has your back.
Now, if you’re reading this, you might be wondering how this affects you as an individual. To be honest, it probably won’t change very much for you. Many programs that businesses rely on are either purpose-built for specialized equipment or are only licensed to organizations. But in the long run, it’s possible we’ll see more Windows apps and programs introduce compatibility for ARM. If a vendor creates an ARM variant of a popular app because of App Assure, there’s a good chance it will also be released publicly.