Microsoft Store now lets developers submit native ARM64 apps

Microsoft this week announced that the Microsoft Store is now accepting submissions for 64-bit ARM apps. As of the latest Visual Studio release, version 15.9, developers can now create ARM64 apps or recompile their existing UWP and Win32 apps to run as 64-bit ARM apps, and submit them to the Microsoft Store.

This is an important milestone for Windows 10 PCs running on Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, as it should now allow developers to eke out every last drop of potential performance. From Microsoft:

Developers can use Visual Studio 15.9 today to recompile apps – both UWP and C++ Win32 – to run natively on Windows 10 on ARM devices. Running natively allows applications to take full advantage of the processing power and capabilities of Windows 10 on ARM devices, resulting in the best possible experience for users.

Prior to this, Windows 10 on ARM PCs were limited to running legacy x86 apps through an emulation layer, hindering performance by a small, but sometimes noticeable, amount. This also opens up the ability for developers to recompile 64-bit Win32 desktop apps (x64), which couldn't be emulated, as ARM64 apps. Those apps, along with existing 32-bit ARM apps, can now be recompiled for ARM64, allowing them to tap into the full processing capabilities of Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips.

If Microsoft can get developers on board, this could be a big deal for apps like Adobe Photoshop Elements, which can't currently run on Windows 10 on ARM devices. Likewise, opening up submissions on the Microsoft Store allows apps like VLC, which was recompiled for ARM64 early on, to head directly to the storefront instead of requiring people to download it from the VLC website.

If you're a developer, you can learn more about recompiling your apps and submitting them to the Microsoft Store at the Windows blog.