Today, Microsoft made an exciting announcement that looks set to break down some of the barriers that have traditionally separated 'mobile' devices from desktop PCs and notebooks. The company is working with Qualcomm to bring Windows 10 to ARM chips - starting with Qualcomm's Snapdragon SoCs - with support for desktop-class x86 applications on power-efficient mobile devices.
We're not just talking about 'basic' desktop apps like media players or calendars, though. Microsoft is bringing the full desktop version of Windows 10 to mobile devices with 64-bit ARM processors, seemingly with the complete OS experience that you'd get on a full-size desktop PC or laptop, and it will use integrated emulation to support 32-bit x86 applications on those devices.
To clearly illustrate the potential of its efforts, Microsoft showed off not just its own desktop Office applications running on ARM hardware, but also the full-fat desktop version of Adobe Photoshop:
Notably, the demo wasn't running on mythical unannounced processor, or some special SoC that exists only in a research lab. Microsoft ran these applications on Qualcomm's Snapdragon 820 chip:
The Snapdragon 820 is already available on two Windows 10 Mobile devices - the HP Elite x3, and the Alcatel IDOL 4S. However, it's worth pointing out that that's no guarantee that Microsoft will actually support the full version of Windows 10 with x86 app emulation on those devices when that functionality finally arrives.
Still, that's a problem for another day. For now, check out the video of Microsoft running those desktop apps on Windows 10 Enterprise with the Snapdragon 820: