On day 1 of its Build 2022 conference, one of the biggest announcements from Microsoft was a new Windows on ARM solution currently in development as Project Volterra. This is a new development kit that will run on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon platform.
At the event, Microsoft said Project Volterra will provide Windows developers with a service to build native ARM applications on the platform. When the development kid launches later in the year, developers will be able to use it to build apps with AI processing.
This is clearly Microsoft’s next step toward driving up interest in Windows on ARM, a platform that has struggled to gain traction since its launch.
Windows on ARM has been something of a disaster since making its debut in 2017. At the time, Microsoft signed an exclusive deal with Qualcomm but Windows machines running ARM have not been successful. As that exclusive deal is now over, Qualcomm will continue to offer its chips but not in an exclusive capacity.
Microsoft describes Project Volterra as an “intelligent hybrid compute” platform, meaning local computing and cloud compute through Azure. Developers will have access to Neural Processing Units (NPUs), something Microsoft says will be in most computing devices eventually.
In recent months, Microsoft has been making a lot of noise about edge computing recently. It seems a message the company is carrying from the top. Indeed, during its recent fiscal Q3 financial call, CEO Satya Nadella specifically spoke of the importance of hybrid computing.
“The AI layer, both the training supercomputers as well as the inference layer, that’s a place where you will see us integrate what, today, you all consider to be two different businesses, whether it’s Azure and Windows. They’re just one business to me because to me, where training happens, where inference happens will be written once by developers, and then it’ll light up across this distributed fabric.”
Tip of the day: Do you often experience PC freezes or crashs with Blue Screens of Death (BSOD)? Then you should use Windows Memory Diagnostic to test your computers RAM for any problems that might be caused from damaged memory modules. It is a tool built Microsoft which can be launched at startup to run various memory checks.