Microsoft has lagged behind in the race to adopt ARM chips in desktops and laptops, especially compared to the Mac and Linux ecosystem. However, the company is slowly changing course, and now Microsoft has new hardware to prove it.
Hot on the heels of the Surface Pro 9, which offers a custom Qualcomm chip in some models instead of an Intel CPU, Microsoft released “Windows Dev Kit 2023,” also known as Project Volterra. As its name implies, this computer’s primary purpose is to develop software: Microsoft says it’s a “developer-class desktop device for building, debugging, and testing native Windows applications for Arm.”
The compact PC measures 8 x 6 x 1.1 inches (196 mm x 152 mm x 27.6 mm), about the same size as Apple’s Mac Mini, and can be stacked if you need multiple systems. It has multiple USB Type-A and Type-C ports, along with Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.1, and RJ45 Ethernet. The Dev Kit could be the most powerful Windows ARM PC to date, with a whopping 32GB of RAM, a 512GB NVMe drive, and a Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chipset. It also comes with Windows 11 Pro.
Microsoft hopes the PC will provide software developers with a test machine for the growing number of ARM devices running Windows 10 and 11, including the Surface Pro X, Lenovo ThinkPad X13s, the 5G version of the Surface Pro 9, and modern Mac computers that run Windows in a virtual machine (such as Parallels or VMware Fusion). Microsoft is also updating its development tools to work better on ARM, such as Visual Studio, the Windows App SDK, and .NET 7.
The miniature desktop PC is available to buy in eight countries, and in the United States it is priced at $599.99. Although it is mainly aimed at software developers, anyone can buy it to try out the future ARM of Windows.
Source: Windows Blog