Windows 10 Mobile could get full x86 app emulation for ‘Redstone 3’ by late 2017 : A new report suggest ‘Project Cobalt’ may be the path forward for x86 apps on Windows 10 Mobile. Microsoft still has big plans for Windows 10 Mobile Continuum despite the near abandonment of the consumer market for the last 18 months. As to how Microsoft plans to evolve and make Mobile viable remained a mystery, but a new report today begins to highlight the path.
A new report from Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet claims that Microsoft is aiming to build in x86 emulation into an ARM64 device. That means that a Continuum phone could run actual desktop apps when docked to a monitor or laptop completing the ‘PC in your pocket’ metaphor.
Project Cobalt is a name we have heard ourselves internally as “something to be excited about,” but until now details about what it is was unclear. In a tweet from @h0x0d (‘WalkingCat’) reference for “CHPE” was found regarding “Windows’s hybrid x86-on-ARM64”.
Foley cites her sources that “C” stands for “Cobalt” while the “HP” is literally for the company HP and possibly about the Elite x3 (that device reportedly will be supported and produced for at least two years). The “E” in “CHPE” could be a direct reference to “Emulation.”
Reports for ARM64 support (64-bit Windows 10 Mobile) go back to January 2016. That support is needed to get past the 3.5 GB RAM limit currently being hit by devices like the Elite x3 and Idol 4S. Currently, devices like the HP Elite x3 rely on cloud-based emulation through HP Workspace. While the solution works well enough having native emulation would be much more ideal.
Additionally, we have heard from our sources that three reference boards are in development by Microsoft for Mobile with one running MSM8998 (aka Snapdragon 830). That chipset is rumored to support 8GB of RAM with a 10nm process down from the current 14nm.