July 11, 2020

What Apple could learn from Microsoft’s mistakes with Windows on ARM

If there’s any lesson that Apple should learn about supporting apps that run on both X86 and ARM, it’s this one: Tell users which apps support which processor, and actively guide them toward the best experience.It sounds obvious. But as Apple na...

If there’s any lesson that Apple should learn about supporting apps that run on both X86 and ARM, it’s this one: Tell users which apps support which processor, and actively guide them toward the best experience.

It sounds obvious. But as Apple navigates its transition from Intel X86 Macs to Macs designed around its own ARM silicon, I can’t help but think of the things I wish Microsoft and Qualcomm had worked on to help facilitate the Windows on ARM experience. 

It starts with communication. When Asus launched its NovaGo laptop with a Qualcomm processor inside, we explained the pros and cons of the architecture, especially what it could or couldn’t do. Two years later, that article still feels necessary. Here’s how Microsoft stumbled along the way, and where Apple could go wrong too, unless it learns from those mistakes. 

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