AWS Engineer Puts Windows 10 on Arm on Apple Mac M1 — and It Thrashes Surface Pro X

An Amazon Web Services (AWS) virtualization engineer has shown what Windows 10 on Arm could be like if Microsoft licensed its Arm-based OS to the public rather than just to Windows 10 manufacturers. From a report: With Apple’s new M1 Arm-based system on chip, Mac users who need to use Windows 10 can’t run Microsoft’s Arm-based version of Windows using Apple’s Bootcamp. The key obstacle is that Microsoft doesn’t license Windows 10 on Arm to any entities other than its own Surface group and Windows 10 on Arm OEMs like HP, Asus and Lenovo. Technically, there’s nothing stopping owners of the M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro 13-inch or Mac mini from running Windows 10 on Arm, as Apple’s software engineering chief Craig Federighi recently pointed out. […]

But Microsoft’s reluctance to create a license for Windows 10 on Arm for end users hasn’t stopped creative engineers from putting together a working example of what things could be like if it did. AWS principal engineer Alexander Graf did just that, using the open-source QEMU virtualization software for Windows on Arm. QEMU emulates access to hardware such as the CPU and GPU. […] “Who said Windows wouldn’t run well on #AppleSilicon? It’s pretty snappy here,” Graf wrote in a tweet. Graf previously worked on the Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) for Linux distribution SUSE for over a decade. Now he’s a KVM developer at AWS, which this week announced new Mac instances for AWS Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) based on Nitro System, an AWS hypervisor for EC2 instances. […] A developer using the handle @imbushuo on Twitter has posted Geekbench versions 4 and 5 scores that compare Windows 10 on Arm on an M1 computer with the Microsoft-made Surface Pro X. Windows on an M1 got a single-core score of 1,288 and multi-core score of 5,685 whereas the Surface Pro X’s scores were roughly 800 and 3,000 in those respective benchmarks.

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