Just a few weeks ago at the Build 2022 conference, Microsoft announced Project Volterra, an ARM64 device based on the Snapdragon computing platform that makes it easier for developers to build and test ARM native applications.
The idea behind the program is to enable developers to use their favorite tools and programming languages including Visual Studio 2022, modern .NET 6, classic .NET Framework, WSL, WSA, Windows Terminal, C++, Java, Python, Node JS, Git work in the “Open Hardware Ecosystem”, etc.
Today, Microsoft took a major step in that direction, releasing the first native ARM64 version of Visual Studio on Windows 11. This release is available through Visual Studio 2022 17.3 Preview 2 and supports the following workloads:
- Desktop development with C++ (for MSBuild-based projects),
- .NET desktop development (WinForms, WPF) using both .NET Framework and modern .NET
- NET and web development
Microsoft has noted that the aforementioned workloads are currently in preview, but should reach general availability (GA) by the end of the year.
Starting with a native developer using the Microsoft Visual C++ (MSVC) toolset, the compiler will run natively, not through emulation. Microsoft reminds us that many C++ libraries, including Vcpkg, already support ARM64 natively.
For managed developers, Microsoft emphasizes that .NET 6 has natively supported ARM64 since its release, and this release is dedicated to extending support for the .NET Framework in the form of the .NET Framework 4.8.1 runtime and SDK.
It’s worth noting that .NET Framework 4.8.1 will be available by default in Windows 11 version 22H2 later this year, and will also roll out to previous operating systems sometime in the future. This preview release supports Windows Forms, WPF, and Web Apps, but plans to expand it to include the Windows App SDK, .NET MAUI, and the Universal Windows Platform (UWP).
Users can download Visual Studio 2022 17.3 Preview 2 from the Microsoft Portal. The installation will be handled through a single installer that will automatically download the appropriate version of the IDE based on your system architecture. That said, if users want to try out the ARM64 variant, make sure they’re running Windows 11 on the hardware and have uninstalled any previous versions of Visual Studio.