It’s been around a year since Ubuntu was made available via the Microsoft Store, and a lot has changed. One of the biggest differences in the ecosystem is Windows 10 on ARM PCs, which allows a long battery life and cellular capabilities while still supporting win32 apps.
At Build 2018, Microsoft announced that Ubuntu will soon be available on those devices. In a session called Windows 10 on ARM for Developers, it demoed the app, which was also available via the store.
The functionality will be available on ARM64 PCs but not x86 devices, launching alongside the ARM64 SDK. The SDK is part of the Visual Studio 15.8 preview and lets developers recompile their apps. Its existence was confirmed by Windows general manager Erin Chappie last month, along with the release date.
Other Distros Incoming?
The big question now is whether other Linux distros will follow suit. Open source aspects of the Windows Subsystem for Linux lets developers craft custom distro packages, and collaborations have already put popular ones on the store.
In June of last year, SUSE Linux Enterprise and OpenSUSE were made available on the Microsoft Store. Earlier this year, pen-testing OS Kali Linux got a release, though it ran into some issues with Windows Defender.
It’ll be interesting to see how many of these release ARM64 versions. It will require a manual recompile by the developers, but Microsoft has made it relatively easy to do so. Until then, keep an eye on Ubuntu for Windows 10 on the store. It’s not yet available for ARM, but the page should be updated soon.