Windows 10 ARM teased running unofficially on a Nintendo Switch

RattletraPM Mar 3, 2019.


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    It seems the Linux and Android Switch ports may eventually be getting some rather unexpected competition. Bingxing Wang, also known as imbushuo, has shown on his Twitter account some pictures of what looks like Windows 10 ARM running on his console. For those out of the loop, the full Windows 10 operating system has been officially ported to ARM some time ago initially thanks to a deal with Qualcomm and has since been able to run on a good number of ARM devices, including the popular SBC Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+. This version of Windows has been received with mixed feelings, primarily because most applications have been written to run on x86 in mind and they need an emulation layer to run on ARM, thus severely impacting pefrormance. Simply put: if you think this port will allow you to play the latest and greatest Windows games on your Switch, then that's not going to happen.


    Switching the focus back to our console, the port seems in very early stages. Progress is being made rather quickly, as not even a day ago all one could see is an EFI shell, however the OS is not able to reach past the initial boot process due to memory-related issues. The port runs on bare metal and uses an EDK II implementation (TianoCore) for the Tegra X1 SoC, which borrows a lot of code from a similiar project (Lumia950XLPkg, an effort to bring a full Windows 10 ARM installation for Lumia 950/950 XL phones). For the curious or more skeptical readers, the developer is already known for similiar projects, primarily dealing with Lumia phones, and has already uploaded a very early version of his work on GitHub (you can find a link in the sources below).

    What do you think? Will this project go far? Will it be useful? Are you interested in running other OSes on your Switch and, if so, will you consider using it over the other ports?

    UPDATE: The Switch is now reportedly able to boot Windows 10 (with limited device support). Bingxing Wang has uploaded a video of the console getting to the installation dialog, which can be seen below.


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    Discussion (65 replies)
  1. Memoir

    Memoir Hi, I'm Cynical!

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    While this is cool. Windows ARM is utterly useless...
     
  2. MrBareBones

    MrBareBones Newbie

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    I remember having this thought a few months back about this exact idea, and to see it being worked on is kinda surreal. So I really hope this gets fleshed out a lot more!
     
  3. TR_mahmutpek

    TR_mahmutpek medic

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    LMAO, just LMAO


    (way to go devs)
     
  4. SexySpai

    SexySpai xdddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddd

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    your mom lol
    Ok den
     
    HaloEffect17 likes this.
  5. The Real Jdbye

    The Real Jdbye Always Remember 30/07/08

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    Alola
    Well, you can run .NET apps on ARM, so you can actually do quite a lot on Windows ARM, as long as they don't need any native libraries (or said native libraries are open source so you can recompile them)
    It's not at all comparable to full blown PC Windows though. And the touchscreen experience on Windows is still not great, you really need a keyboard at minimum if you want to use it seriously. And obviously you can forget about running games, but it may be good for some things, you could probably run full fat Office on it, and use it for web browsing and video watching, but I think almost anything you can do on Windows ARM could be done better on Android which is more tailored to touchscreen devices.
     
    uyjulian, lordelan, Memoir and 3 others like this.
  6. ry755

    ry755 Fox

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    Might not be very useful, but it would still be fun to mess around with!
     
    Darksabre72, codezer0 and RattletraPM like this.
  7. Shrike

    Shrike GBAtemp Regular

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    At least there are browsers with HTML5 and JavaScript support for ARM Windows... So.. yay?
     
    Minox likes this.
  8. Idontknowwhattoputhere

    Idontknowwhattoputhere bruh

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    I doubt spyware chrome or firefox would work on win10 arm
     
  9. It's not utterly useless at all. It's way beyond.

    I have ran Windows 10 on my Pi 3. It took well over 10 minutes to boot up to the desktop and a full five more minutes to become usable. It took exactly 3 minutes and 47 seconds to open the Edge browser. Yes, I timed it. Typing is a chore because of the lag between button presses and the time it took to display those presses on screen.

    Yes, the Switch is more powerful than a Pi 3. But I don't expect a ton of performance gains from the Switch.

    It's cool, yes. But useless doesn't describe how bad it'll run.
     
  10. Shrike

    Shrike GBAtemp Regular

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    kehkou likes this.
  11. Idontknowwhattoputhere

    Idontknowwhattoputhere bruh

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    kehkou likes this.
  12. emmanu888

    emmanu888 6 years and still going strong

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    Android would make more sense as an alt OS for the Switch over Windows.

    You know since Android already has support for the X1 SoC
     
  13. Kubas_inko

    Kubas_inko "Something funny goes here."

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    I gues on earth.
    So we have horizon, linux (and laka), android and windows. Cool.
     
    Memoir likes this.
  14. Alkéryn

    Alkéryn Moon Dweller ~

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    Albategnius, Moon
    Cool yeah maybe
    but definitely useless ^
     
  15. Minox

    Minox Thanks for the fish

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    I highly doubt this early port of Windows 10 for the Switch is for the end user either.
     
  16. Shrike
    This message by Shrike has been removed from public view by Minox, Mar 3, 2019, Reason: This is not the EoF.
    Mar 3, 2019
  17. Idaho
    This message by Idaho has been removed from public view by Minox, Mar 3, 2019, Reason: This is not the EoF.
    Mar 3, 2019
  18. Memoir

    Memoir Hi, I'm Cynical!

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    Office is the only positive out of this. Most ARM based Windows emulators aren't that great. So I can't see this benefiting anyone that isn't in it to say "cuz I can"

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    If only it were. That'd be great. Give me one objective reason this will prove useful to any end user.

    — Posts automatically merged - Please don't double post! —

    I can see that happening. Of course if it becomes a properly optimized project, it would be fun to mess with. I'd rather see the Android project take off.
     
    Last edited by Minox, Mar 3, 2019
    Shrike likes this.
  19. the_randomizer

    the_randomizer The Temp's official fox whisperer

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    People are so obsessed with Pi 3, the Atomic Pi is so much better, and would be better if it was more popular. Windows ARM just seems, wrong.
     
  20. BlueFox gui

    BlueFox gui SOMEONE

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    NAS TERRAS DE HUE BR
    switch is for games son
    i already have windows on PC
    stop
    please
     
  21. I like the Pi 3 because of the massive amount of support available to it. I also own (and like) a Rock64Pro 4Gb board, but support on that board is only slightly better than nil. Although, I must admit that the Atomic Pi is very appealing in that it runs an Intel Atom at almost 2Ghz. I'd buy one tonight if it had a version that had 4Gb RAM.
     
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