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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.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to daniel.thorp-lancaster@futurenet.com.

15 Comments
  • Maybe submit an update for the Windows Central app?
  • The app doesn't even open in Windows 10 pro desktop!
  • Are you sure? It works fine for me. Maybe you should reinstall it, maybe it would work then.
  • Sweet. Another step forward in making always connected laptops the new smartphone. Nadella’s vision is genius. I foresee a day when we all carry around always connected laptops with us and some of us portable mice. We just need bigger pockets right? ;o)
  • Genius?
    Sorry, but that makes me laugh Windows was always heading towards always connected devices through unification of the kernel and o/s to run on many types of devices. The annihilation of the mobile division after he became CEO is at odds of your "vision". Always connected laptops can only replace smartphones if they have the apps and for that they need UWP. But! Did they focus on UWP?
    Nope, they did not and chose to focus on ios and android instead. Hence WoA doesn't enjoy a stronger foundation, which it would have had if Microsoft did not remove the mobile division and focused on UWP. PWA is next to useless for complicated applications, they should have used UWP to leverage PWA development. But as usual, no foresight. Right now they are again starting focus on UWP as they rightly should, however their current focus on ios and android is not really helping developer adoption of UWP let alone PWA.
  • I think that's what makes Nadella such a genius. It appears to us mere mortals to be an insane move on his part to reject small screen mobile in a phone-crazed world. But like any great chess player he knows when to retreat and maneuver the board back into a game that favours his own strong suits. Rejecting phones and doubling down on laptop sized devices plays to Microsoft's strongest suit… productivity. Putting LTE in laptops and giving them all day battery life, making ppl productive every where they go... genius. In 10 years we're all gonna be laughing about the tiny little phones we carried around and tried to get things done on the same way we laugh about the short trunks ball players wore in the 70s. UWP (for devices under 10 inches) needed to be let rot on the vine, same as PWA, in order to start the laptop Renaissance.
  • Phones are going nowhere lmao. They're are still the best mobile device yet. But it still cannot do work that a laptop can.
  • Windows on ARM exists because it's an organic evolution of a unified kernel and the lack of SoCs from Intel and AMD that increase charge to charge times (requiring less charges) thus reducing battery wear and tear as well as reducing the drain on resources (electricity). So no, not genius at all. You really need to think more holistically and if you think PWA will be able to perform and replace complex applications? Then I'm sorry, you need to do hellova alot more research because the bandwidth required and infrastructure required is fraught with issues. As firstly, you need very reliable connections without ANY dropped packets, sustained upload and download of data and that's not getting into the other aspects such as building material composition because for any of what I mentioned to be a reality.... you are looking at mass over saturation of 5g at the very least.
  • Awesome, the Elite x3 or IDOL 4s are being supported? Oh wait...Microsoft forgot to build out W10M to support ARM64 for the SD820...
  • Microsoft didn't forget, they just stored caring. It is only a matter of time before they stop caring about WoA as well.
  • I'm guessing you cry yourself to sleep every night.
  • Hook line and sinker...
  • I guess it has its pros and contras. After Xamarin though I can't help think why recompiling for another platform should stop be an isolated process. I think it would be better if microsofts mantra of coding once and compiling for multiple platforms, which now also includes ARM64 was communicated and implemented like that. It still feels like windows RT otherwise, and we know how that turned out. It doesn't sound like a viable and efficient model beyond 2018.
  • I guess it has its pros and contras. After Xamarin though I can't help think why recompiling for another platform should stop be an isolated process. I think it would be better if microsofts mantra of coding once and compiling for multiple platforms, which now also includes ARM64 was communicated and implemented like that. It still feels like windows RT otherwise, and we know how that turned out. It doesn't sound like a viable and efficient model beyond 2018.
  • Theoretically possible however in reality it's much more difficult as to work on a broad spectrum the Apps must be able to use native APIs on ios and android otherwise it would be a frustrating experience for both the app user and developer.