Microsoft has partnered with Qualcomm to create a Windows-based ARM-based SDK for developers. The miniature PC will be sold on the Microsoft Store this summer and is designed to be more affordable to encourage developers to build ARM64 apps for Snapdragon PCs.
Until now, developers had to buy devices like the Surface Pro X to fully test their ARM64 apps on Windows. It’s an expensive exercise for developers, especially when the Surface Pro X sells for $ 999 and up. While Microsoft and Qualcomm haven’t put a price on this new SDK, there are promises that it will be more affordable than what developers can buy today.
“This development kit provides an affordable alternative to other consumer and commercial devices,” says Miguel Nunes, senior director of product management at Qualcomm. “With the smaller desktop configuration, this kit gives developers more flexibility than the notebook options, and at a lower price.”
The SDK announcement comes as Qualcomm reveals its second-generation processor powered by Snapdragon 7c ARM. It is designed for entry-level Windows PCs and Chromebooks, with increased clock speed over the original.
This SDK will also help developers test Microsoft’s new x64 app emulation for Windows on ARM. This was tested for Windows in December and allows users to run 64-bit apps that haven’t yet been compiled for ARM devices. The emulation layer will bring a whole range of application compatibility to Windows on ARM once it is fully available to end users.
Microsoft and Qualcomm promise to reveal more about this SDK in release 2021 today, in a session titled “What’s New for Windows Desktop App Developers.”