Microsoft is working on a small Arm PC and a native Arm64 version of Visual Studio 2022. A preview version of an Arm native version of Visual Studio 2022 will be available “in the coming weeks,” with full Arm64.NET compatibility due later this year.
Visual Studio and Mini PC
While Arm devices somewhat like Surface Pro X may run Visual Studio via x64 emulation, several features aren’t supported, and performance suffers as a result. Developers will be interested to learn more about native Arm support in Visual Studio 2022 and Visual Studio Code, as Microsoft is developing an “Arm-native toolchain”: Full Visual Studio 2022 & VS Code, Visual C++, Modern .NET 6 and Java, Classic .NET Framework, Windows Terminal. WSL and WSA for running Linux and Android apps.
Once again Microsoft has collaborated with Qualcomm to develop an Arm-powered developer device that goes along with this native Arm push. Project Volterra allows developers to create cloud native AI apps using a Snapdragon processor and a neural processing unit (NPU).
Furthermore, the device, which resembles a Mac Mini, is stackable, allowing engineers to stack additional Project Volterra PCs on their workstations or within server racks. Project Volterra has three USB ports on the back, as well as a DisplayPort and an Ethernet port, which Microsoft isn’t exposing just yet. The device also has two USB-C connections on the side and is made from recycled ocean plastic.
Microsoft and Qualcomm
Windows and Devices Chief Panos Panay said: “We want you to build cloud native AI applications. With native Arm64 Visual Studio, .NET support, and Project Volterra coming later this year, we are releasing new tools to help you take the first step on this journey.”
Last year at its Build developer conference, Microsoft teamed with Qualcomm to produce an Arm-based dev kit for developers to create native Arm64 apps for Windows. Despite this, we’re still waiting for more Windows devices and programs powered by Arm.
Many developers rely on Windows’ Arm64 emulation to allow consumers and businesses to run their software, and that’s unlikely to change without a greater install base of Arm devices.
Microsoft is also expanding its Microsoft Store today at Build. The business has abolished the win32 application wait list, making the store available to all app developers. With the release of Windows 11, a rush of desktop apps appeared on the Microsoft Store, and the removal of the wait list should result in even more in the coming months.