Windows 11 on ARM just got a big boost at Microsoft Build 2023

Surface Pro X front
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft shared several announcements related to Windows 11 on ARM at Build 2023.
  • Unity Player will be generally available for Windows with native Arm support in June 2023.
  • Visual Studio 17.6 will ship with Multi-platform App UI support as well.
  • The improvements should combine to create a better Windows 11 on ARM experience by attracting developers to support the platform.

Microsoft Build is one of the largest developer-focused events of the year. At Build 2023, Microsoft shared several pieces of news centered around Windows 11 on ARM that should result in a better experience on devices like the Surface Pro 9 (ARM), Surface Pro X, and the new Dell Inspiron 14 with a Snapdragon 8cx 2 processor.

On the gaming side of things, Unity with native Windows on ARM support will become available in early June. Once launched, the tool will let developers target Windows on ARM devices for current and future games, resulting in better performance.

Unity is a very popular development platform for games, and native support for Windows on ARM is a welcome addition. Unity announced its plans to support Windows on ARM in October 2022, but it did not share a release date until today.

Microsoft shared a quick rundown of some of the biggest Arm-related announcements in its press release:

  • Visual Studio: Visual Studio 17.6 will ship with MAUI support for Arm.
  • Visual Studio 17.71 Preview 1 now ships with support for Linux development with C++.
  • LLVM v12.0 and onwards for cross compile and native compile options for Arm.
  • Node 20.0.0 with native Arm support.
  • WiX installer v4.0 is available to create native installers for Arm.
  • Luminar Neo: Skylum is releasing its native Arm version of photo editing AI software, Luminar Neo, which can be installed from the Microsoft Store on Windows.
  • In addition, Unity Player will become generally available in early June for Windows on Arm natively. Developers using the middleware engine can easily target Windows on Arm devices to get native performance on current and future titles.

Multi-platform App UI (MAUI) allows developers to target multiple operating systems. Android, iOS, macOS, Windows 10, and Windows 11 are all supported. Visual Studio having MAUI support for Arm will give developers another way to target Windows on ARM PCs.

Luminar Neo is a popular photo editing app. Native support for Windows on ARM should result in much better performance, which will likely be quite noticeable on a creative app.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at