What you need to know
- Qualcomm has announced a small, standalone Snapdragon Developer Kit for Windows 10 PCs.
- The device lets developers code, test, and optimize apps for Windows on ARM without needing to purchase an expensive 2-in-1 Qualcomm laptop with LTE.
- While no price was given, it will be cost-effective and available later this summer at the Microsoft Store.
Microsoft and Qualcomm have teamed up to deliver something long belated: a proper Snapdragon Developer Kit. The compact mini PC is based on the new Snapdragon 7c Gen Compute Platform and lets more devs jump in on coding for Windows on ARM without having to purchase an expensive convertible 2-in-1 like a Surface Pro X.
From the Qualcomm press release:
Miguel Nunes, Senior Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. went on to note:
The kit itself is unremarkable: a small black box with the Qualcomm Snapdragon logo, USB Type-A, microSD card slot, and presumably a few other ports, including display-out and room for peripherals.
The kits let developers build, test, and deploy apps for Windows on ARM much more quickly and cheaper than buying a separate PC. Dev kits are pretty standard as Apple released a similar Apple Developer Transition Kit back in 2020 for its new Apple Silicon. It worked well for Apple, which saw many developers convert and prepare for the eventual new MacBook Pros running the M1 processor.
Today's news follows last year's announcement from Microsoft of its App Assure Program expansion to support Snapdragon PCs. Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Edge, and Visual Studio Code were all announced as enhanced for Windows on ARM devices. The momentum continued with the revelation of forthcoming x64 emulation preview is in the works.
Also announced at Qualcomm's virtual announcement today was a new optimized app. Zoom Video Communications Inc. stated the company's commitment to releasing a "new version of the video conferencing application, optimized for devices powered by Snapdragon compute platforms." While no firm date was given to the Snapdragon-optimized Zoom app, it is slated for "this summer."
The Snapdragon Developer Kit will be commercially available at the Microsoft Store this summer as well. No pricing or firm date was announced, but it should be much more affordable than a full ARM PC since it lacks a display and keyboard.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.