Microsoft promised 2017 to be a much more exciting year for Windows phones, and while everybody expects the upcoming Creators Update to bring many new features on Windows 10 Mobile devices, it appears that another release will be the one that’ll blow our minds.Windows 10 Redstone 3, which is scheduled to launch in the fall of 2017, could represent Microsoft’s first step towards x86 emulation for ARM64, which is currently supported by Windows 10 Mobile devices.
In other words, Windows 10 Redstone 3 could allow Windows phones to run x86 programs thanks to emulation technology that Microsoft is currently working on, but there is more to find out about Redmond’s plans.
Twitter user WalkingCat discovered references to a technology called “CHPE,” which according to ZDNet could stand for Cobalt (the codename of the project to bring x86 apps on ARM), HP, the company that Microsoft is working with to make this possible, and emulation, which is the final goal of the project.
Since it doesn’t make much sense to run x86 apps on a smartphone screen, the purpose here is to enhance Continuum and make it possible for users to run more than Windows Store apps when their Windows 10 Mobile devices are connected to an external screen.
Microsoft is betting big on Continuum and the firm believes that this feature really has a future in the enterprise market, especially because, this way, the company could also be able to tackle the lack of apps that’s impacting Windows Phone adoption in such a significant manner.
What’s more important is that Microsoft could align the release of Windows 10 Redstone 3 with the introduction of the eagerly-anticipated Surface Phone, so the company could lead the efforts to revamp Windows 10 Mobile. HP is likely to be a key partner in this new push as well, and the two companies could both unveil phones capable of running x86 apps in Continuum mode late next year.
It goes without saying that if this plan is accurate, it’s the best news in a long time for Windows Phone users, especially given the fact that its market share keeps collapsing these days.