Microsoft is launching today its Windows Dev Kit 2023, an ARM-based mini PC that was previously introduced as “Project Volterra” at the company’s Build 2022 conference. The new device is part of Microsoft’s ARM-native toolchain, which also includes native preview versions of Visual Studio 2022 17.4, the Windows App SDK, and the .NET Framework 4.8.1.
“With Windows Dev Kit 2023, developers will be able to bring their entire app development process onto one compact device, giving them everything they need to build Windows apps for Arm, on Arm,” Microsoft said today. In addition to its ARM-native toolchain, Microsoft is also working with Unity to make the game engine run natively on Windows on ARM.
“More apps, tools, frameworks, and packages are being ported to natively target Windows on Arm and will be arriving over the coming months. In the meantime, thanks to Windows 11’s powerful emulation technology, developers will be able to run many unmodified x64 and x86 apps and tools on their Windows Dev Kit,” Microsoft said today.
Microsoft opted for a stackable design with a shell made with 20% recycled ocean plastic. The device’s dimensions are comparable in size to a Mac Mini (8 x 6 x 1.1 in), and the Windows Dev Kit 2023 weighs just 960g.
The Windows Dev Kit 2023 is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip, which is the same SoC behind the Microsoft SQ3 chip in the Surface Pro 9 with 5G. This chip includes a neural processing unit, which will allow developers to build AI-powered experiences in their apps.
In addition to this Qualcomm’s latest SoC for Windows on ARM PCs, the Windows Dev Kit 2023 also comes with 32 GB of RAM and 512 GB of Storage. Even though it’s ARM-based, the device does come with a fan to manage the thermal load. It’s also powered by a 90W power supply.
Thanks to its Mini-Display Port port and two USC-C 3.2 Gen 2 ports, the Windows Dev Kit 2023 can be connected to up to three displays at once. It also has 3 additional USB-A ports, an Ethernet port, Bluetooth 5.1, and WiFi 6 support.
Microsoft’s Windows Dev Kit 2023 is launching today in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The device is priced at $599 in the US, which could make it somewhat appealing even for a non-developer audience.