WMC on ARM64?

Discussion of getting WMC to work on Windows 10 (unsupported)
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wmcLover45

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WMC on ARM64?

#1

Post by wmcLover45 » Sun Jan 08, 2023 10:11 am

Hey there. Was wondering if anyone has been able to get WMC to work on ARM64. It installs fine, but when you launch it, it runs and then crashes after 5-10 seconds.

technodevotee

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#2

Post by technodevotee » Sun Jan 08, 2023 3:45 pm

Have I been asleep and woken up on April 1st or something?

Do you not think it is expecting a lot of an emulation to run a program that was part of Windows 8 and hasn't been supported since 2015?

wmcLover45

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#3

Post by wmcLover45 » Mon Jan 09, 2023 6:40 am

technodevotee wrote:
Sun Jan 08, 2023 3:45 pm
Have I been asleep and woken up on April 1st or something?

Do you not think it is expecting a lot of an emulation to run a program that was part of Windows 8 and hasn't been supported since 2015?
Is that what you tell people who are wanting to run WMC on Windows 11 as well? It's not a far cry to expect someone to have figured out a work around. Lots of old programs have been "hacked" to work on newer machines.

WMC was a great program and I still run it today.

technodevotee

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#4

Post by technodevotee » Mon Jan 09, 2023 7:22 am

No, I run WMC on Windows 11 and it works perfectly but on ARM64, Windows apps run in an emulation of Windows on a non Intel platform.

It's not even the same as running an instance of actual Windows in a Virtual machine.

There's a big difference.

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#5

Post by technodevotee » Wed Jan 11, 2023 8:29 am

There's a good write up about this topic on Techchradar here: https://www.techrepublic.com/article/wi ... s-working/ although its a bit old now, given that WMC is unsupported I don't expect MS will invest any time ensuring that it works on ARM.

Here's an extract:

Code: Select all

The state of 64-bit emulation
The way Windows emulates x86 applications in software on Arm is based on the way it emulates x86 applications using hardware instruction emulation on x64 PCs — the ‘Windows on Windows’ abstraction layer. The system is still called WoW64 on ARM64 (where it actually emulates both x86 and ARM32 applications, using XTAJIT.DLL and WOWARMW.DLL respectively, because a number of inbox Windows applications like the Store are still 32-bit on Arm). But X64 emulation doesn’t actually use WoW.

Although the core technology for translating binaries to the Arm architecture is similar to WoW, and it’s based on what Microsoft had learned doing x86 emulation, when you look at the nuts and bolts, this is a new approach to compatibility.

As Microsoft told us at the time, adding x64 support would be more work; it’s taken some time and it’s still in progress.

The first Insider versions of x64 emulation came out at the end of 2020. At the time, Hari Pulapaka, principal group program manager of the Windows kernel team, indicated that the final version of 64-bit emulation should run apps as fast or — thanks to the larger address space available to 64-bit apps and the way 64-bit code uses registries — faster than 32-bit.

“In general, x86 and x64 emulated apps should be similar in performance, except for the larger address space. We are still early in our emulation and so not all the optimizations have been added for x64. it will come over the next few months,” Pulapaka said.

Similarly, x86 emulation has continued to improve; there are new optimisations that speed up some operations in .NET applications like TurboTax and Quicken currently in Insider builds. On third-generation Windows on Arm devices like Surface Pro X and Galaxy Book S, those specific instructions can be emulated twice as fast as before.

The x64 applications we tested on an original Surface Pro X mostly ran well, although some apps crashed or simply closed as soon as we opened them (and some crashed the first time but then worked happily). For best performance, run applications twice: the first time the code is being converted to run on Arm; the second time it’s running from the cache (and some further optimisation has been done by Windows while it’s cached, improving performance further).

New insider builds will add more ARM64 system DLLs, which will improve compatibility and allow more apps to run successfully, and we’ve already seen apps work that wouldn’t run in emulation earlier.

64-bit versions of Signal, Slack, Bluestacks, Power BI Desktop, GIMP, Photoshop and the Xbox app all installed and worked well. Apps that need the Uranium framework install and run but are on the slow side. Autodesk’s Sketchbook had excellent performance even for demanding drawing tools, but was prone to crashing; we had similar issues with Affinity Photo, which worked well except when it closed unexpectedly.

Other 64-bit applications had more problems. CorelDRAW and PHOTO-PAINT installed and opened, but then closed immediately. Camtasia installed as admin but crashed when we tried recording. Those are the kind of problems likely to be fixed quickly as new insider builds come out with the DLLs applications require. There are also applications like the Dropbox sync client that require native drivers that Dropbox hasn’t provided, so won’t work at all in emulation.

We compared the performance of 32-bit and 64-bit emulation for Photoshop, GIMP and Power BI Desktop on a variety of tasks (although we weren’t always able to find the same version of the software). For common editing tasks, the 32-bit version of Photoshop running in emulation was often very slightly faster than the native 64-bit and emulated 64-bit versions, which had very similar performance: since both are in beta and haven’t been fully optimised that’s not unexpected, but the difference was usually between an effect taking two seconds and three seconds to finalise, and many common editing tasks completed instantaneously in both versions. The native version had a clear advantage on a complex sequence of tasks like a panorama photomerge: it was over twice as fast as the 32-bit version, and four times as fast as the 64-bit version in emulation.

Similarly, simple photo editing was a little faster in the 32-bit version of GIMP than in the 64-bit version until we ran more complex scripted actions, when the 64-bit emulation was two to four times faster.

Power BI Desktop was also slightly faster at loading reports and importing data from Excel when running in 32-bit emulation, although 64-bit emulation performance improved significantly with the latest insider build of Windows. Microsoft is clearly working hard at extending and optimising 64-bit emulation on Arm.

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