Surface Pro X Discussion Thread (October 2019)

Discussion in 'Microsoft' started by JoeS, Oct 2, 2019.

  1. desertlap

    desertlap Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    With 64 bit emulation there is now this. TLDR it lets developers gradually make their apps more native and with immediate improvements in some cases.

    When we had our last briefing from MS they said many developers were adopting it. most notably Adobe which is how they got to "ARM native" with Photoshop

    ARM64EC mixes Arm and x64 emulated code in Windows 11 for higher performance on Arm - CNX Software (cnx-software.com)
     
  2. darkmagistric

    darkmagistric Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    I would even take that to the iPad Mini 6 Form Factor. I think the 8-inch Windows device trend needs to make a comeback. I am loving the holy heck out of my Mini6, if they could legit put WOA/Win 11 in that same form factor with one TB4 port and Slim Pen 2 support, It would be an instant purchase for me. Or better yet, resurrect the Surface Neo and just give it WOA/Win 11 and the new pen, and I'd be very happy.
     
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  3. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

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    Amen
     
  4. desertlap

    desertlap Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    We've tinkered with Windows 11 on a couple of our smaller devices. The good news is that some of the changes to the UI at least in theory would be amenable to an 8 inch or so device. (for example the centered start button)

    OTOH, both MS and the major 3rd party OEMs don't seem to have any interest in a windows device smaller than 10 inches.

    That being said, we still continue to hear that the Neo is not completely dead yet, but is "in the process of being redefined".

    Hard to know what that means real world, and allegedly at one point there was also an effort to turn the Neo in to an Android device, and FWIW in our lead developers opinion some of the Android commits MS has made to support the Duo 2, could also work well with a Neo type device.
     
  5. Bishop

    Bishop Keeper of Odd Knowledge Senior Member

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    Having re-escaped Google/Android - and as badly as I want the Neo form factor, I can’t imagine M$ will do anything that pulls me back into that pit.

    .
     
  6. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    For what it's worth, as much as I love my Pro X, I do still run into issues from time to time. I've beat the drum a million times on Microsoft's own apps not being ARM64 yet so I'm not going to repeat that, but a new issue I ran into the other day. My company uses Teams and Webex (the latter of which I just join meetings in Edge) so even if I don't bring the company laptop home, I'm okay.

    However, I had my first Zoom call all pandemic last week, and it turns out that the ARM64 Zoom client doesn't have the virtual background / blur background feature at all. (I find the virtual backgrounds gimmicky, but a blurred background is a necessity if I'm working from home.) A pretty big limitation there.

    But it still boils down to my main issue - Microsoft isn't pushing the ball forward here as much as Apple did, and so developers don't care much about it. There's workarounds for some/most of these things - like using more webapps or other alternates - but it doesn't help with something ubiquitous like Zoom*, and it doesn't help with something like Logitech's mouse software (so you need to use Microsoft's mice instead.) Maybe if / when Microsoft's custom ARM64 silicon is put out, they'll make a big push, but I'm not holding my breath.

    *But hey, at least Zoom has an ARM64 client. That's more than I can say about Skype - for which Microsoft used to have an ARM64 client, but then got rid of it in one of their thousand Skype redesigns.
     
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  7. desertlap

    desertlap Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    So this is disappointing, and just dumb IMHO

    In the insider preview made available today that allows you to run Android apps, on the Pro X the Android emulation/translation software uses X86 emulation code.

    So at least with this preview version, on the Pro X, you are essentially running under double emulation if the app is ARM native already That would explain why some of the Android apps (including one of our own) both ran super slowly and caused the Pro X to heat up fairly quickly:eek::oops:

    We've contacted MS to find out if this is will be permanent or if the ARM native Android stack just isn't ready/released yet.

    EDIT: edited to clarify that I'm talking about ARM based android apps. There are a handful (such as kindle) that also have x86 versions.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2021
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  8. jhoff80

    jhoff80 Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    That's definitely a weird decision if that's how it's working.

    I already uninstalled the preview but I could've sworn that the Windows Subsystem for Android process was marked as ARM64 in Task Manager. Maybe not though.
     
  9. desertlap

    desertlap Pen Pro - Senior Member Senior Member

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    That's what we thought as well, at first. But apparently it's only a "wrapper" type of app and it still launches the X86 emulation subsystem regardless.
     
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  10. sonichedgehog360

    sonichedgehog360 AKA Hifihedgehog Senior Member

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    Well, since it is Intel who had a hand in Project Latte (via their proprietary "Bridge Technology"), that might add context. Why worry about building an Android subsystem natively compiled for ARM when you want everyone to use X86? I hope Microsoft gets this working despite any pushback from Intel. I want Surface Pro X and Microsoft's future mobile ARM efforts to succeed. Native ARM support for Android apps is instrumental to that end.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2021
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