Microsoft Build Windows still rules the enterprise, and among all the Azure and Power Platform action during Microsoft’s annual Build event for developers, the company had news for users of its flagship operating system.
The first followed this week’s revelation that Windows Subsystem for Android is now running on Android Open Source Project (AOSP) 12.1, and concerns the Amazon Appstore preview.
After an inexplicable delay, Microsoft is finally adding additional countries on top of the US. Users in France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the UK will now be able to join in previewing the Amazon Appstore, although there appears to still be no official way to get access to apps outside of those brought to Windows 11 via Amazon.
Ever keen to get developers on-side when it comes to Microsoft Store, the Windows giant also announced the removal of the waitlist program for Win 32 apps. “Any app,” it said, “that runs on Windows, including C++, WinForms, WPF, MAUI, React, Rust, Flutter and Java, is welcome in the Microsoft Store.”
(The Store is less popular than its rivals, but nonetheless Microsoft boasted of a 50 per cent year-on-year growth in desktop apps and games for the first quarter of this year. It would not, however, confirm the number those apps have grown to.)
While the Microsoft Ad Monetization platform for Windows UWP apps was shut down in 2020, at Build 2022 Microsoft announced “Microsoft Store Ads”. Flagged as “coming soon” the tech, powered by Microsoft Advertising will “help developers surface their apps to the right user at the right time, and to help users discover new experiences.”
Windows on Arm
Also demonstrating that there remains life in Windows on Arm, the company announced Project Volterra, new hardwar for developers powered by the Snapdragon compute platform meant to enable local AI-accelerated workloads. The platform’s integrated Neural Processing Units (NPUs) are all the rage, and Microsoft reckons the tech will turn up in pretty much every computing device in the future.
Microsoft didn’t want to reveal too much information about Volterra (it “will share more details at a later date” was the boilerplate comment), we can but hope it has more horsepower than the Snapdragon 7c-powered QC710 Arm desktop of 2021.
More interesting is the “end to end Arm-native toolchain for Arm native apps” also announced. Visual Code and Windows Terminal are cross-platform by design, however, Visual Studio 2022 running natively on Arm is an altogether more intriguing prospect, particularly considering how long it took to arrive in 64-bit guise.
A preview of it, and other eyebrow raising components, such the “classic” .NET Framework, are due “in the next few weeks.” ®