Microsoft could be looking to revive one of its biggest failed experiments

Microsoft has been experimenting with using ARM-based processors on Windows 10, according to a report from Petri.

ARM differs from Intel in how the chipset is designed and, as such, cannot support applications designed to run on an Intel-powered machine (described as either x32 or x86).

Microsoft originally made two versions of the Surface: An Intel-powered version (known as the Pro) and an ARM-powered version (known as the RT). The latter was later killed.

It’s unclear why Microsoft is experimenting with ARM-based technology in Windows 10, but one reason could be to work out how to ship another Surface device that contains a non-Intel CPU.

One theory, put forward by Petri, is that Microsoft could be building an ARM-based version of Windows Server, the software that is used to power larger-scale server computers.

The benefit of ARM over Intel is efficiency, both in terms of space and power. Mobile devices often use ARM-based chips over Intel because they use less powerful and take up less space.

Petri notes that Microsoft hired someone to build a way of making Intel-based applications run on an ARM machine. One of the core criticisms of the Surface RT was that it didn’t run Windows 7 apps, and this software could solve that issue.

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