Microsoft finally remembers Windows on Arm is a thing, reveals native OneDrive client

In preview. For Insiders. By end of 2021. Two full years after Surface Pro X


Ignite Microsoft will at last bring a native version of its OneDrive cloud storage service to Windows on Arm users, months after announcing the same for Apple silicon.

The company made the announcement during its Ignite virtual get-together (soon to feature vaguely creepy avatars instead of bored-looking Teams attendees.) OneDrive support for Arm-based Windows devices is due to arrive by the end of the year as an opt-in preview for Insiders.

Microsoft was less forthcoming with a release date for the native tech. Users of the flagship Surface Pro X device have so far waited over two years since the release of the pricey 64-bit Arm powered gadget for a native version.

Mac users, however, have more concrete information. The Windows giant, which told users the native M1 version was incoming earlier this year, last night confirmed that a preview would hit in December. "You can take full advantage of the performance improvements on M1 by early next year," Microsoft added.

With Apple transitioning its entire product line over to its own silicon in the coming year, Microsoft is faced with the choice of either jumping in or being saddled with Apple's Rosetta 2 to handle Intel code. The Windows giant created a Universal build of its Office cash cow for the M1 late last year. 64-bit Office for Windows on Arm did not appear until an Insider version last June.

Still, it could be worse. You could be a Linux user. Or you could be one of the many people who feel they should get more than 1TB of storage without being gouged for another $10 a month. Plans to either bump up the standard subscription storage level or venture beyond macOS or Windows in terms of desktop clients were conspicuously absent. We asked the company what the future holds and will report back should things change.

At Ignite, Microsoft also showed off new photo editing tools for web users and a native files experience in Windows 11 (replete with file sharing options) as well as Known Folder Move (KFM) for macOS users running Monterey. However, it is the confirmation of a native version for Arm devices running Windows that is most interesting. This is more as a sign that Microsoft is still supporting the operating system, rather than as a relief for the half dozen or so users actually running the thing. ®


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