Does Mathematica v.8 (or will v.9) run on Windows 8 systems with ARM processors? (like the MS Surface Tablet)


Today I was reading that the Microsoft Surface RT is available for pre-order. (For the curious, click here.)

I know the version of Widows 8 that runs on x86 processors should be compatible already with Mathematica 8... but what about the version of Windows 8---called Windows 8 RT---designed for ARM processor devices, like Microsoft's Surface device?

Also, from what I've read there will also be an Intel version, called the Surface Pro, that will run Windows 8 Pro. (Note I'm not sure if this will be an ARM or x86 Intel processor.)

Summarizing my question(s): Will Mathematica run on the Surface RT or the Surface Pro?

Info about the Surface on Wikipedia here.


Posted 2012-10-16T18:23:26.377

Reputation: 2 324

There is an free(!) ARM version available for the Raspberry Pi, see

– Gerhard Burger – 2014-12-24T17:31:05.493

4Mathematica 8 does not list Windows 8 on their supported operating systems:

Mathematica 9 hasn't been released and there are no details about it available. – Searke – 2012-10-16T18:34:09.660

6I don't think hypothetical questions about products that are not yet released should be asked. – rm -rf – 2012-10-16T18:41:55.557

1Mathematica 9 came out and it doesn't support ARM so I guess you can accept my answer now ;) – Gerhard Burger – 2012-12-03T17:34:10.080 - cha-ching! (And FWIW, I've crashed v9 3 times already in the first couple of hours with it---all just clicking around in the documentation center.) – telefunkenvf14 – 2012-12-07T12:03:29.483



Mathematica 8 will only run on the Surface Pro since it has a x86 processor (Ivy Bridge Core i5) and runs Windows 8 Pro (which is the same as the desktop/laptop version). The Surface RT will have an ARM processor which means that if you want software to run on it, you should recompile it for ARM. Mathematica 8 is not compiled for ARM, so it will not run.

Most likely Mathematica 9 won't be compiled for ARM either. I say this because Mathematica needs quite a bit of computation power, usually not available on ARM machines, so I think it is not a very interesting market for Wolfram.

So I would go for the Surface Pro, since Mathematica 8 (and 9) will definitely run on that.

EDIT (24-12-2014): Apparently it does run on ARM since there is a free(!) version available for the Raspberry Pi (, no word on Microsoft Surface version.

Gerhard Burger

Posted 2012-10-16T18:23:26.377

Reputation: 186

1On the other hand, Wolfram has been talking of a player for iPad, and they have already presented a beta on one of their events. Since the player has all the calculation capacity of the pro version, apparently they have developed all that was missing. So, you never know... – P. Fonseca – 2012-10-21T12:37:21.213

From what I understand the Player app is only for presentations/demonstrations. To make the notebooks for Player you'll still need the normal version of Mathematica. Moreover, an i5 has a lot more computation than an ARM device, or an Ipad/Iphone for that matter. – Gerhard Burger – 2012-10-21T18:32:51.683

I wonder how much is there in the full version kernel that's missing from the player. What can go in a CDF Manipulate is not really that restricted. – Szabolcs – 2012-11-19T19:23:47.747