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Qualcomm and Microsoft team up to expand App Assure Program for Snapdragon PCs

Surface Pro X LTE
Surface Pro X LTE (Image credit: Daniel Rubino/Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft is expanding its App Assure program to include ARM64.
  • App Assure helps ISVs, consumers, and developers test and validate apps for Windows.
  • The free program should encourage vendors to adopts ARM64 more quickly.

Microsoft is pushing forward with Windows on ARM with a new collaboration with Qualcomm to ensure app compatibility with the Snapdragon compute platform. Both companies today announced the expansion of Microsoft's App Assure program to include ARM64 support.

Announced in late 2018 (and made available in early 2019), Microsoft's App Assure program is designed to address any application compatibility issues when running Windows 10. The free program is for customers, developers, and independent software vendors (ISVs) who qualify under existing Microsoft 365 subscriptions.

Initially, the Microsoft program helped companies transfer apps to Windows 10 and modernized them, but now the plan is expanding to ARM64 PCs powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon processors. From today's press announcement:

Microsoft's App Assure with FastTrack program is a service designed to help customers, developers, and independent software vendors address application compatibility issues, at no additional cost for qualifying customers. With this announced expansion, Microsoft commits to delivering exceptional experiences across Windows 10 devices powered by Snapdragon compute platforms, providing end-users with consistent application experiences. A focus of the program will be to engage vendors to deliver compatibility of Windows 10 apps on Snapdragon compute platforms so that users working anywhere can confidently use Windows 10 apps on Snapdragon-powered devices. This announcement is another milestone in redefining the mobile computing experience delivered by Snapdragon-powered PCs.

The goal of the updated program is to "deliver superior user experiences for enterprise customers and consumers across Windows 10 on ARM64 devices, including the global Snapdragon-powered PC ecosystem." Hopefully, that translates into more apps that run natively on ARM64, as many in the industry consider ARM to be a significant player in mobile computing as we advance.

The program is going now live, and more information can be found on Microsoft's App Assure program website (opens in new tab).

Qualcomm recently announced its new Snapdragon 8cx Gen 2 5G processor, which is set launch in Acer's new Spin 7 laptop and a teased HP convertible. Microsoft is also expected to join with its Surface Pro X with SQ2 processor sometime early next month.

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

7 Comments
  • Hopefully this works
  • This is great. They need to be bending over backwards and doing everthing possible to make this platform work. I want it to work, because I love low-powered computing.
  • Unless Microsoft releases more ARM powered models of their devices, I don't see how this will help. They'll be trapped in a loop. It would be a sign of commitment if they killed the X line, and offered an ARM version of an existing line, or just completely ditch Intel/AMD for said line.
  • @eduardobragaxz I'm sorry, but killing the X86 platform is....... Think this through: By killing the x86 platform they end of life every. single. windows. based. device in use that is using windows 7 and above as well as any sort of x86 derivative of these O/Ses for IOT devices (any device that is running EOL'd platforms such as CE, XP etc has been unsecure for years anyway unless the company is paying crazy fees for patches). That includes the Windows 10 PC you most likely use. As well imploding every single app in the works for the windows ecosystem as there'd effectively be no visual studio. Given, the Xbox One Series and the latest consoles use X86 you can say goodbye to all the games, studios, ips, talent and jobs too. There is a time and place for cut offs / instruction transitions - ARM is nowehere near that point. So, next time please think things through will you 😂🤣.
  • I am not sure how abandoning Surface Pro X, Microsoft's one ARM product, would demonstrate a commitment to ARM. As for offering ARM in an existing product line instead of the Surface Pro X, wouldn't that put them in the exact same place as they are right now? Unlike Apple which makes its own silicon, Microsoft doesn't. They have exactly one ARM CPU to choose from right now. That seems like a thin basis to dump x86 CPUs which run close to 100% of the desktop and laptop computers used by businesses and consumers worldwide. The app assurance program, especially 64 bit ones, along with the announced Surface Pro X 2 is clear indicator that Microsoft is committed to ARM for the long haul. Add in Apple's whole hog, spread eagle, double down on ARM and I think it is safe to say developers understand that ARM is the future and that Microsoft's support here is a positive move. I cannot imagine that the Surface Pro X is the alpha and omega of Microsoft's ARM efforts. We are at the beginning of a long game with respect to ARM as a primary PC CPU. While I am only speculating, I cannot imagine we will not see a wider range of ARM PCs in a few years.
  • Awesome, good needs for climate too we seriously need devices that have longer charge to charge times. Devices that have shorter charge to charge times ultimately consume alot more power overall therefore that electricity demand has to be met which in turn releases more fossil fuels. Additionally, longer charge to charge times places less burdens on renewable energy sources too. I'm curious, where is Mediatek in all of this? Given that they effectively have massive market control over the extremely cheap smartphones getting them on board would be a massive boost over all and better for everyone in the long term too.
  • How about they practice what they preach and get Powershell working on ARM with all modules! That'd be a great start.