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Dev Brings Windows 10 to Raspberry Pi 4

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The Raspberry Pi 3 doesn't have many advantages over the Raspberry Pi 4. The more recent model offers much better performance, includes additional I/O options and otherwise improves on its predecessor in pretty much every way. One of the only exceptions was the ability to install Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 3. The Raspberry Pi 4 couldn't repeat that feat--that is until last weekend.

Windows Latest reported Monday that "Marcin," the developer who previously brought Windows 10 to the Raspberry Pi 3 and other devices, got the operating system to run on the Raspberry Pi 4. But the implementation isn't perfect: Marcin said Friday that only 1GB of the device's supported 4GB memory is usable while running the operating system (OS). Still, every project has to start somewhere.

Marcin used an old build of Windows 10 on Arm--the version of the OS Microsoft introduced in conjunction with Qualcomm in 2017--for his project with the Raspberry Pi 4. Windows Latest identified the build as the Windows 10 on Arm April 2018 Update (Build 17134), which means it might be a little stale, but we suspect Raspberry Pi 4 owners won't care too much about that.

Besides the 1GB memory limit, Marcin said that Windows 10 on Arm on Raspberry Pi 4 has some other limitations. He "can't create pagefile on SD card or USB storage for some reason," for example, and the OS' reliance on x86 emulation means that some desktop apps could be very slow. Still, he said that Windows 10 on Arm "is so much faster" on Raspberry Pi 4 than on its predecessor.

We'll have to experiment with Windows 10 on Arm on the Raspberry Pi 4 ourselves before reaching a conclusion. (You might recall that we weren't particularly impressed with the Windows 10 on Arm's performance on the Raspberry Pi 3.) Anyone who wants to run their own side-by-side comparison can check out our instructions on how to install Windows 10 on a Raspberry Pi.