Hacking Windows RT Journal Part 3: Emulating x86 Apps


First we talked about how to get started with hacking Windows RT (Here), and then we showed off some of the apps that are available for the hack (Here). This time we are going to talk about something different: emulation. The idea behind this is pretty simple. To run a program which simulates an x86 interface to run desktop Windows apps without the need to recompile the apps to run on ARM. This has a tremendous amount of possibilities. The process is as follows:

  1. Make sure your device is jailbroken. See Here if you need directions.
  2. Download the emulator Here
  3. Install the emulator, by double clicking on it and following the instructions.
  4. Run the emulator.
  5. You will need to select the .exe of the program that you are trying to run.
  6. Then select run.
  7. If the program is successfully able to run it will run, otherwise it will do nothing or give you an error log.

This is what the emulator looks like when open.

So a few things about this emulator that is very important to understand:

  1. It is a beta, so it is still very much in development.
  2. You can only run Win32 programs. 64-bit and 16-bit will not work.
  3. Anything that needs drivers will not work.
  4. This cannot run programs that are very resource intensive, or need a lot of power.
  5. Most installers will work.
  6. To be straightforward: compatibility is very low right now, and performance is not always the best on bigger programs.

Don’t expect to be playing Crysis on your Surface with Windows RT anytime soon, there are still hardware limitations, so keep that in mind with the programs that you try. This is still very much in development, and it will improve as time goes along. The developer recently stated they are near to a second release that will improve compatibility and other things with the emulator, so keep updated, and as more things progress with the emulation we will keep you informed as well. Try it out for yourself, this is the start of something great! Check out the source for the original thread over at XDA.

[XDA Forums]

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