A new mini PC from Microsoft for the development of ARM apps

Microsoft is launching a new PC, but it’s not a Surface line computer! It is a development kit (SDK) which has the form of a NUC. His goal ? Help developers design applications for PCs with ARM chips.

The ARM chips that are at the heart of smartphones and most tablets allow the devices equipped with them to benefit from good performance, both in terms of calculation and autonomy. And these chips don’t stop at these product lines, as seen at Apple with the Mac M1 and M2. Microsoft launched itself very early on this niche with Windows RT which failed, but that did not prevent the company from returning to it.

A device suitable for ARM development

The latest confirmation dates back two weeks, with the presentation of the Surface Pro 9 which comes in an x86 version (12th generation Intel Core) and an ARM version with an SQ3 chip developed by Microsoft, based on the Snapdragon 8x chip. Gen 3. The publisher has also been developing a version of Windows for a long time adapted to PCs under ARM.

But to go further in the adoption of ARM chips, Microsoft must now convince developers to get started in turn. This is why it is launching a “Windows 2023 SDK” which will allow them to “ group everything [leur] application development process (…) for Windows for ARM “.

Sold for €699, this small 960-gram computer features Qualcomm’s famous Snapdragon 8x Gen 3 chip, 32 GB of LPDDR4x RAM, 512 GB of NVMe storage, an Adreno GPU, five USB-C ports (USB3.2 Gen 2), an Ethernet port, a mini-DisplayPort port, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2. We are far from a player’s machine, but that is not the goal! The chip integrates its own Neural Engine for all applications requiring artificial intelligence.

More importantly, Microsoft provides all of its development tools native to ARM: Visual Studio 2022 17.4, .NET 7, and previews of Visual C++ and the Windows App SDK are also offered.

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