To use the new Windows AI Studio tool, you must first install Linux. No, it's not a joke

Snap install on Ubuntu on WSL
You'll need Ubuntu for this. (Image credit: Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Windows AI Studio is a new tool designed to help developers integrate AI into their Windows apps. 
  • It's offered as an extension to Visual Studio Code and is available to install now. 
  • But first, you must install Linux (and have an NVIDIA GPU). 

Microsoft has a new developer tool it has made available to help make it easier to integrate generative AI into apps. It all sounds pretty interesting, but there's an important requirement that, while deadly serious, is also quite humorous. 

Let me paint the picture. 

This morning I was scrolling through social media, as I always do, and came across a post on Mastodon. To use the Windows AI Studio, you have to first install Linux?!

Nope, there it is, Linux! (Image credit: Microsoft)

Specifically, you need to be running Ubuntu 18.04 or later. Naturally, Microsoft isn't suggesting you run Linux over Windows, this is of course referring to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

VS Code operates seamlessly on Windows while using WSL as its backend, and that seems to be what's happening here. Microsoft has built WSL so it has interoperability between Windows and Linux without users having to jump through unnecessary hoops. 

Assuming you have WSL set up and Ubuntu is set as your default, the Windows AI Studio will just work without any additional setup on your part. If you need help with the Linux part, our guide on how to install WSL 2 will get you pointed in the right direction. 

You'll also need an NVIDIA GPU right now to use it at all. 

Linux is important even for Windows developers

Some might not want to admit it, but Linux is important. It's a useful thing to learn about, even if you're not a developer, and I think WSL is the perfect way to do this if you've only ever really used Windows. 

If Linux wasn't important, then WSL probably wouldn't exist, either. There are still things it can do easier than Windows, and it looks like giving access to AI tools and models for Windows developers is one of those things. 

The argument for Windows being a superior development environment now, though, has legs, in part thanks to its integration with Linux. Without leaving the comfort of Windows 11 you can work inside Linux, use Linux apps, even code using Linux from within the Windows version of VS Code. 

Jokes aside, the Windows AI Studio is a perfect example of the two working in perfect harmony. You can't laugh at that. 

Richard Devine
Managing Editor - Tech, Reviews

Richard Devine is a Managing Editor at Windows Central with over a decade of experience. A former Project Manager and long-term tech addict, he joined Mobile Nations in 2011 and has been found on Android Central and iMore as well as Windows Central. Currently, you'll find him steering the site's coverage of all manner of PC hardware and reviews. Find him on Mastodon at mstdn.social/@richdevine

  • ShinyProton
    Someone failed to read the memo...
    I would be surprised the tool will be officially released this way. This is pretty bad.
    Reply
  • wojtek
    Windows Central said:
    Microsoft has released the new Windows AI Studio extension for VS Code, but the first requirement is to install Linux. Really?

    To use the new Windows AI Studio tool, you must first install Linux. No, it's not a joke : Read more
    well, the remark about windows being superior de environment was... funny at best 🤭😅

    It depends a lot on the environment, but anything backed (java, go, etc) is way better on Linux / macos :-)
    Reply
  • scoutmanpt
    Windows Central said:
    Microsoft has released the new Windows AI Studio extension for VS Code, but the first requirement is to install Linux. Really?

    To use the new Windows AI Studio tool, you must first install Linux. No, it's not a joke : Read more
    Howdy, I'm actually wrapping a PowerShell module (PnPWsl2) that will ease up wsl2 installs. It will be available in GitHub before Christmas I'll post it here the link also . hope it helps anyone on this
    Reply