Microsoft Project Volterra ARM Developer Kit Launched

Microsoft has launched a new Windows developers kit for its Project Volterra, which aims to bring the Windows operating system to devices running ARM processors

Snapdragon Processors, Developers Kits, Apps & OS, PC Computers

Thu Oct 27, 2022 - 00:00

Microsoft Project Volterra Developer Kit Launched

Windows On ARM 2023

Microsoft has been working hard for quite some time on their new Project Volterra, which aims to mix the functionality of the Windows operating system with the portability and power efficiency of ARM-based processors and devices. Towards this end, they have finally released a new Microsoft Developers Kit for 2023, which will let users finally start integrating their own third-party apps with this new operating system and architecture.


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Design & Internals

The new Windows Dev Kit looks like a slim yet large set-top-box, which follows the design cues of the Mac Mini, but in a smaller, wider form factor. The IO is spread across the bottom two sides, with the top only featuring the Windows logo, surrounded by a plain matte finish. When it comes to connectivity, you get three USB-A, two USB-C ports, a Mini Display port, an ethernet port, as well as the expected power supply port and button.

On the inside, the system is powered by Snapdragon’s 8cx Gen 3 Compute Platform, which is paired with up to 32GB LPDDR4X RAM and up to 512GB NVMe SSD storage. The device even gets a special Neural Processing unit to fast-track all the new and exciting AI applications and tweaks that have become a critical part of the mobile computing segment.

This is more than enough power to simulate the new Windows on ARM code, as well as work with Qualcomm’s own Neural Processing SDK to deliver maximum performance and test hybrid compute workflows. These new types of software-hardware combos were first introduced at Microsoft Build 2022, and this is the first major step in ensuring that it all works well together.

ARM Native Apps

To make it easier for developers to work within this new framework and develop new versions of their popular apps, the company has also introduced a host of native ARM apps, which will bring the fabled Microsoft versatility to a whole new device segment.

This starts with the inclusion of an arm-native version of Visual Studio, which can now support Desktop workloads, Windows SDK and Windows App SDK components, as well as Web, Universal Windows Platform (UWP), Node.js and game development workloads. It is supported by the new Windows App software development kit (SDK) and the VC++ Runtime, which are now available for downloads, alongside the .NET Framework 4.8.1 for ARM that was released with the Windows 11’s 2022 update.

Even the .NET 7 toolchain has been updated to offer functional parity for ARM against x64 architecture, thanks to new versions of Microsoft's Azure virtual machines and a special Arm64EC that integrates native Arm code with x64 code as part of the same process. All of this has been done to hasten the transition between traditional x64 apps and the new ARM architecture.

Other key software conversions include new native versions of Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Edge Browser, Microsoft Defender, and OneDrive. As well as some key third-party platforms for creativity, video conferencing, security, and benchmarking, such as those made by Adobe, Zoom, Sophos, Cisco, PassMark, and others.

Price & Availability

Developers can take full advantage of the entire setup and all the new software solutions as long as they purchase the Windows Developer Kit 2023 for a starting price of $599.99. The new kit is available for purchase in the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and China.


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