Run Full x86 Apps on Windows RT

Asus vivo rt tablet and box

As a Windows RT user I am very aware of it’s short comings. Although it tries to market itself as a premium Tablet , with a price to match, it’s serious lack of applications and inability to run full windows 8 programs make it fail to live up to the hype and promises that some of the full windows 8 tablets may.

However, a hacker has been working to address at least half of that imbalance by creating a way to run full x86 applications on Windows RT tablets.

Windows RT opperates on ARM processor machines (the same processors you find in most tablets and Smartphones) and so is “incompatible” with Windows 8 programs and applications. Or at least that was the line from Microsoft when it was released.

Although Windows RT has a desktop space, this is only for the file management system and touch version of Microsoft Office 2013 that comes preloaded (a great program by the way). Perhaps this was part of Microsofts plans for a two tiered system or a lack of resources to increase the cross pollination of the two platforms, but a hacker by the name mamaich has created a solution which you can check out on the XDA developer forums. An emulator which manages to also trick the Windows API into recognising the program as an RT application.

Progress so far

So far it is very much a beta application and mamaich has only used it on a few games (Pinball, Heroes of Might and Magic 3) from Windows 95 and some utility programs. Add on to the estimated emulator speeds of around 90mhz and It will probably be a long time before you can play the latest Windows games (if it is ever possible!) like you can on a full Windows 8 hybrid tablet/laptop.

So you shouldn’t get too excited yet, but for the time being, it’s a chance to crack open some retro games and relive childhood memories.

More to come?

Mamich isn’t aiming to run DOS .net or 16-bit application, but only 32-bit native Windows applications and already has a list of games to get running soon, including all versions of Age of Empires and Command & Conquer.

The program currently requires launching every time you want to run a program or app but mamaich has plans to make it launch automatically on starting up.

Over all it isn’t revolutionary news, but it is good to see some progress towards full functionality on Windows RT tablets. I do wonder if by the time it is ready they’ll be any point or if everyone will have switched to a different system.

Does this change your thoughts about Windows RT?

[HT: Hack a Day]


Chris Wilson

I'm an English teacher based in Krakow, Poland and also a part time writer and Ukulele player. Get a free set of Stock bible photos here


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