Microsoft is opening up Windows 10 on ARM to developers looking to build apps compiled natively for the platform, and Visual Studio 15.8 Preview 1 contains an early preview of an SDK that allows developers to create their own 64-bit ARM apps.
Until now, only 32-bit apps could run on top of the ARM64 instruction set used by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 CPU found in Always Connected PCs.
Always Connected PCs are thin, light, fast, and designed with instant-on 4G LTE connectivity and great battery life - now measured in days and weeks, not hours. Thanks to an x86 emulation layer, these Always Connected PCs also allow Microsoft's customers to tap into the wide ecosystem and legacy of Windows apps.
Developers interested in targeting this new ARM-based platform can use these early preview tools to build apps that run natively on ARM processors rather than relying on the emulation layer. While the algorithms that make emulation possible are engineered to optimize performance, running your app natively allows your customers to get the most performance and capability from your app on this new category of devices.
Microsoft says developers won't be able to submit ARM64 packages to the Microsoft Store, but they can post preview versions of ARM64 Win32 apps to their website.
Visual Studio 15.8 Preview 1 provides an early preview of the full support that will be coming later this year.