Microsoft launched its ARM64 SDK at Build 2018 last month and developers are already launching apps. VLC media player is one of the first, recompiling via the new release.
The app works exactly the same as other versions, except its designed specifically for Windows 10 ARM PCs. In collaboration with several OEMs, Microsoft launched laptops that utilize mobile ‘ARM’ processors, allowing for cellular connectivity and significantly increased battery life.
A Good Start
Before now, devs could compile packages for x86, x64 and ARM32 UWP apps, but not ARM64. Apps like Adobe Photoshop Elements are unable to run natively as a result, putting off consumers significantly. However, with support from Ubuntu’s canonical and now VLC, it’s likely other devs will follow suit.
According to Microsoft, they won’t have to edit to code to create an ARM64 version, only recompile the app. Another service demonstrating the simplicity is OpenVPN, which released a version in its latest update.
It’s a great start to Microsoft’s initiative, but we’ve yet to see sales figures for the laptops themselves. It’s unclear if general consumers understand the benefits and limitations of ARM, and little has been done to address.
Still, as app support grows, OEMs may feel more inclined to push the PCs. HP has its Envy x2, Lenovo the Miix 630 2-in-1, and Samsung and Xiaomi allegedly have devices in the works. If Microsoft’s improvements align with developer and OEM support, it could be enough to sway consumers towards Windows 10 on ARM, despite the tradeoffs.
You can find the ARM64 version of VLC via the dropdown on the Windows download page.