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Windows on ARM


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15 hours ago, ktham said:

Are there plans to release executables for Photo, Designer, etc... on Windows that are natively compiled for ARM as opposed to just x86?

I'm sure you guys saw the new Surface Pro X :D

Would be great if we can run Affinity software on Windows/ARM without performance penalty of x86 emulation

The main problem is Affinity runs on a 64bit architecture but Windows on ARM doesn't support 64bit WPF  that we use for our UI.

We would need to rewrite the entire UI to target Windows on ARM.

 

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8 hours ago, TonyB said:

The main problem is Affinity runs on a 64bit architecture but Windows on ARM doesn't support 64bit WPF  that we use for our UI.

We would need to rewrite the entire UI to target Windows on ARM.

 

I see, so this confirms that WoA cannot emulate Affinity Photo since it's targeting x64 architecture. I haven't delved into it that thoroughly, but this might be promising for recompiling with ARM64 as the target. Hopefully the ARM64 SDK implementation covers what Affinity Photo depends on from the x64 SDK.

1525835038_20180509_000240328_ios.jpg

From a previous BUILD conference (https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-finally-releases-an-arm64-sdk-supporting-uwp-and-win32-apps/)

Quote

Microsoft said that in most cases, it takes minimal effort to recompile an app for ARM64. It talked about OpenVPN and VLC, saying that neither company had to change a single line of code in its applications. Of course, if an app uses third-party libraries, it might take some work.

Quote

“To clarify, Microsoft is planning to release a preview of the Windows 10 ARM64 SDK for Store and desktop apps, allowing developers to recompile their Win32 desktop apps to ARM64 so they can run natively without emulation,” the Microsoft representative told me. “With the SDK, x64 apps and x86 apps will also be able to recompile to ARM64 and run natively. We will be sharing more details on the ARM64 SDK Preview at Build.” (https://www.thurrott.com/windows/windows-10/155961/clarifying-microsofts-plans-64-bit-apps-windows-10-arm)

Microsoft is trying to suggest it wouldn't be too much work to recompile for ARM64. Of course, I don't know how complex the Affinity codebase is, so probably an engineer can better assess if any extra work is required as TonyB suggested.

But I do have my fingers crossed :D

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  • 2 weeks later...
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On 10/4/2019 at 5:38 PM, ktham said:

I see, so this confirms that WoA cannot emulate Affinity Photo since it's targeting x64 architecture. I haven't delved into it that thoroughly, but this might be promising for recompiling with ARM64 as the target. Hopefully the ARM64 SDK implementation covers what Affinity Photo depends on from the x64 SDK.

1525835038_20180509_000240328_ios.jpg

From a previous BUILD conference (https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-finally-releases-an-arm64-sdk-supporting-uwp-and-win32-apps/)

Microsoft is trying to suggest it wouldn't be too much work to recompile for ARM64. Of course, I don't know how complex the Affinity codebase is, so probably an engineer can better assess if any extra work is required as TonyB suggested.

But I do have my fingers crossed :D

It's not that much work for us to recompile for ARM64 as we already do it for iPad. The problem is Microsoft has thrown us under a bus by not supporting WPF on ARM64.

All 64bit applications that use WPF will have the same problem porting to ARM64.

 

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@jonshipman

Welcome to the Serif Affinity forums :)

Thanks but I doubt that is really going to be a future-proof way for Serif to support ARM chips.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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11 minutes ago, Novak said:

So no ARM version :(

Not unless Microsoft change their mind/policy, (or we completely rewrite the Windows UI) sorry.

Patrick Connor
Serif Europe Ltd

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man. True nobility lies in being superior to your previous self."  W. L. Sheldon

 

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1 hour ago, Patrick Connor said:

Not unless Microsoft change their mind/policy, (or we completely rewrite the Windows UI) sorry.

Looks like someone created a Github Issue: https://github.com/dotnet/wpf/issues/1817 and one of their contributors tagged that issue with a .NET 5 milestone (https://github.com/dotnet/wpf/milestone/5)

Maybe Serif can put some positive pressure on their product manager for WPF to get that out the door, if indeed Microsoft wants to increase adoption of Windows on ARM. Sadly, it probably is not a good use of time to port the UI to remove the WPF dependency. I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't prioritized this if they indeed want greater ARM adoption.

If Adobe apps are built with WPF, that would be good news for us too since it seems like there is some sort of partnership happening there.

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Apple is evidently planning on switching Macs to ARM as well at some point.  My guess is that with Apple it will be a hard cut-over with some form of emulation available for a time, similar to what they did when they switched from the 680x0 series to PPC, then again from PPC to Intel...

I've seen people up in arms about this change on various forums but I suspect that many of them don't realize (or don't remember) that Apple has already been through this successfully, twice, and it went much more smoothly than some of their more recent transitions between OS versions on the same hardware...

Curiously their main complaints seemed to be around the performance of ARM or around compatibility of code with Windoze, but now it looks like Windoze is doing the same thing anyway, at least to some extent...  except that some of their frameworks evidently don't make the leap quite as smoothly.  They've been stuck on one architecture a bit too long and seemingly didn't plan ahead for this transition.

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On 10/14/2019 at 7:22 AM, TonyB said:

It's not that much work for us to recompile for ARM64 as we already do it for iPad. The problem is Microsoft has thrown us under a bus by not supporting WPF on ARM64.

Would it be possible to port the iOS version to WOA/ARM64 instead?

There are many tablet UI features in that would work even better on the Surface Pro X (and similar Windows tablets) than the desktop versions of AF/AD. Please consider asking the community, as I'm sure many users would appreciate an iOS port just as much, if not more.

Thanks!

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On 10/15/2019 at 9:02 PM, ktham said:

Looks like someone created a Github Issue: https://github.com/dotnet/wpf/issues/1817 and one of their contributors tagged that issue with a .NET 5 milestone (https://github.com/dotnet/wpf/milestone/5)

Maybe Serif can put some positive pressure on their product manager for WPF to get that out the door, if indeed Microsoft wants to increase adoption of Windows on ARM. Sadly, it probably is not a good use of time to port the UI to remove the WPF dependency. I'm surprised Microsoft hasn't prioritized this if they indeed want greater ARM adoption.

If Adobe apps are built with WPF, that would be good news for us too since it seems like there is some sort of partnership happening there.

Unfortunately there's a new WinUI framework that they're pushing and Wpf probably won't be supported on arm. It remains to be seen if Affinity team desides to waste time, energy, money on rewriting their code. Whatever they decide to do, I'll understand. 

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1 hour ago, Novak said:

It's being replaced by WinUI 3.0

Look who's excited about WinUI 3.0 (1st comment) ;)

Cool thanks @Novak!

@Mark Ingram when/if you're rebuilding on WinUI 3.0, please consider using the iOS UI as base for WOA devices. Most ARM devices are portable in nature; tablets and 2-in-1's would really benefit from the iOS UX, especially with regards to pen and touch input.

This would be a dream for AP/AD Windows users! :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

I give Adobe $372 dollars every year for Photoshop on the Photography plan & separately Adobe Illustrator. I would really like to just pay a one time price for similarly powerful apps. I recently bought Affinity Designer on the Microsoft Store that I use on my PC. I just bought a Surface Pro X and I can only run Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator (32-bit) on it and not the Affinity Designer, which I just bought. I was planning on purchasing Affinity Photo but without being able to run it on my Surface Pro X I am currently holding off. Hoping an ARM64 version is on the horizon, I will be happy to purchase it right away. Maybe Serif should do a pre-order or survey to gauge interest in ARM64 support.

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  • 7 months later...
On 10/14/2019 at 3:22 PM, TonyB said:

It's not that much work for us to recompile for ARM64 as we already do it for iPad. The problem is Microsoft has thrown us under a bus by not supporting WPF on ARM64.

All 64bit applications that use WPF will have the same problem porting to ARM64.

 

WPF you say?

https://mspoweruser.com/windows-forms-apps-support-windows-10-arm/

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Since WWDC ´20 we all know: There is a future for us all on ARM architecture.

Welcome to the new MACs running on Apple Silicone !

And WTF is about these Surface Pro X ? These machines were born missing an arm, a leg and at least half a brain. They are so restricted that it is even not really fun to run Microsoft’s own Programs on this platform.

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12 hours ago, Blende21 said:

There is a future for us all on ARM architecture.

At one time that might have been said of PowerPC as well.

ARM is the current fad, and it certainly does have its share of advantages at this point in time, but it will eventually be replaced by something else as well (RISC-V seems to be gaining a lot of momentum for example).

That is the way of the computer world.

I'm not too worried about Macs on Apple's ARM implementation; I am much more curious to see how their GPU performance stands up against the big players.  From the WWDC announcements it definitely sounds promising, but we may not have the complete story yet, and it is not clear at this point how this might impact multi-GPU support for higher-end processing tasks.

 

13 hours ago, Novak said:

Interesting.  So that might open a door for native Affinity apps on Windoze/ARM at some point in the future too.

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On 6/26/2020 at 11:04 AM, fde101 said:

At one time that might have been said of PowerPC as well.

ARM is the current fad, and it certainly does have its share of advantages at this point in time, but it will eventually be replaced by something else as well (RISC-V seems to be gaining a lot of momentum for example).

That is the way of the computer world.

I'm not too worried about Macs on Apple's ARM implementation; I am much more curious to see how their GPU performance stands up against the big players.  From the WWDC announcements it definitely sounds promising, but we may not have the complete story yet, and it is not clear at this point how this might impact multi-GPU support for higher-end processing tasks.

 

Interesting.  So that might open a door for native Affinity apps on Windoze/ARM at some point in the future too.

 

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  • 2 months later...

 

Quote

Windows ARM64

We added support for Windows ARM64 as part of this release. We’ve made the relatively late decision to delay the Windows Desktop component (Windows Forms, WPF). Windows Forms is near ready, but WPF is not, and we don’t want to release only half the Windows Desktop component, in part because we don’t test it in a split configuration. We hope to add the Windows Desktop component back as part of a 5.0 servicing update.

We are working with some ISVs currently who want their apps available on Windows ARM64. Please contact us at dotnet@microsoft.com if this matches your scenario. We will want to get you access to builds as soon as they are available.

 

 

From last month's .net 5.0 preview 8. hopefully someone contacted Microsoft lol. Or that it'll be ready in preview 9. I might have to make a twitter to keep track on the progress on this. It says .net 5.0 is supposed to be released in November but who knows. Oh nevermind, just took a look at their roadmap. Arm64 support for WPF isn't expected until the first half of next year...so yeah hopefully someone from serif is in contact with the dotnet team at Microsoft. 

https://github.com/dotnet/wpf/blob/master/roadmap.md

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