Microsoft may be working on an emulator that will allow x86 apps to run on ARM powered machines. This doesn’t sound like much, but it could be a signal that the company is laying the groundwork for the long rumoured Surface Phone.
The significance of this discovery lie with Microsoft’s Contiuum; which allows apps to run on both PC and mobile devices. At the moment, this feature is only confined to Universal Windows Apps as they need to be designed to work on both architectures. This limitation has held back the deployment of Continuum, which was envisioned as allowing all apps to work across multiple devices.
Interestingly, the emulated is currently rumoured to be ready for release with the Fall 2017 update for Windows 10; codenamed Redstone 3. Microsoft has embraced a Minecraft inspired naming scheme for its Windows 10 updates.
Releasing the x86 emulator would bring the possibility of a Surface Phone closer to reality, as it fixes a gap in Microsoft’s plans. However, it is not entirely clear if the company is still interested in making a mobile device.