Microsoft has launched a mini PC that it hopes will boost Windows application development on ARM. Simply known as Windows 2023 SDK. This small computer is similar to the Mac Mini, but its target audience is different. Unlike Apple’s alternative, Microsoft’s computer is aimed at software developers.
Windows Dev Kit 2023 debuted a few months ago with the announcement of Visual Studio 2022 for ARM. Microsoft was known at the time as Project Volterra, and identified this development kit as the ARM-native toolkit. The tech company promised full support for Visual Studio 2022, VS Code, .NET 6, Java, Visual C++, and more.
Inside, it features Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 processor, 32GB of RAM, and 512GB of NVMe storage. In terms of connectivity, we find USB-A (3) and USB-C (2) ports and a small display. Redmond confirmed that the Windows Dev Kit 2023 supports up to three external monitors, including two with 4K resolution at 60Hz.
Microsoft’s Mac mini is powered by an AI chip similar to the Surface 9 Pro.
Perhaps most importantly, this microcomputer includes a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) that enables the use of artificial intelligence. According to Microsoft, developers can build apps to speed up AI and machine learning workloads without compromising app performance. An NPU will be 80 to 90 times faster than a CPU and 20 times faster than a GPU for these tasks.
If you had some kind of deja vu feeling when you heard about NPU in Windows Dev Kit 2023, you’re not alone. Microsoft’s Mac mini has similar specs to the recently announced Surface 9 Pro. Even if its performance is slightly lower than that of the Apple computer, its creators have another goal. Microsoft wants to boost Windows 11 app development on ARM, and this is the first step.
The company announced that it has moved several of its apps to provide better performance in native mode. In the list are Microsoft 365, Teams, Edge, OneDrive, and MDE, along with Photoshop, Lightroom, Zoom, and other third-party apps. Microsoft has also enabled the use of antivirus software, VPN, security tools, and standards.
Windows Dev Kit 2023 is another step in creating a new development platform that allows you to build highly ambitious cloud-native AI applications.
The Mac mini Windows Dev Kit 2023 from Microsoft will retail for €599 and will be available today in the US, Canada, China, Germany, France, UK, Japan and Australia. Although it is intended for developers, anyone can purchase it. It is currently unknown if it will be sold in other countries, although Microsoft promised more information during the ARM Dev Summit on October 26.