Microsoft Announces New Native Developer Tools on Windows on ARM

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Microsoft is continuing its work to make Windows on ARM a better platform for app developers. Last year, the company announced at Build 2022 a complete development toolchain for Windows on ARM that includes native versions of Visual Studio 2022 and VSCode, Windows Terminal, and the Windows Subsystem for Linux and Windows Subsystem for Android. 

The company followed up in October 2022 with the launch of the Windows Dev Kit 2023 (Project Volterra), a mini PC powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform. While it’s too early to say if last year’s announcement already help Windows on ARM to get any momentum, this week’s Build conference brings us news about new developer tools available natively on ARM-based Windows PCs.

New developer tools get native ARM support

Microsoft announced that Visual Studio 17.6 will soon ship with MAUI support for ARM. Additionally, the ARM version of Visual Studio 17.71 Preview 1 added support for Linux development with C++.

The rest of the announcements include the LLVM Compiler Infrastructure Project getting support for cross-compile and native compile options for ARM devices with version 12.0 and onwards. WiX installer version 4.0 also lets developers create native ARM64 installers, while the version 20.0.0 of Node.js is now available with native ARM support.

Lastly, Microsoft announced that a native ARM version of the AI-powered photo editing app Luminar Neo is now available from the Microsoft Store. Developers using the Unity Player middleware engine will also get access to an ARM64 version in early June. 

Microsoft is testing support for vTPM in Hyper-V on Windows on ARM

Yesterday, Microsoft released the Windows 11 Insider build 25370 for testers on the Canary channel. On Windows on ARM devices, this new build adds support for the virtual TPM 2.0 chip in Hyper-V.

This means that it’s now possible to upgrade Windows 10 on ARM virtual machines created with Hyper-V to Windows 11. The virtual TPM 2.0 chip can be enabled in the security section of a VM’s settings, and doing so will make a Windows 10 on ARM virtual machine detect the TPM 2.0 requirement. 

Microsoft announced many other Windows 11 updates this morning including the upcoming Windows Copilot for Windows 11 and a new Dev Home experience for developers. Make sure to check out the rest of our Build 2023 coverage on Petri.