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Open Hardware EcoSystem & Project Volterra

New ways to reach and engage customers through the Microsoft Store

With Windows 11, we rebuilt the Microsoft Store from the ground up for developers: placing their success at its core and designing it to help you run your business with open policies. The Microsoft Store on Windows gives you the choice to use the commerce engine that we provide, with industry-leading revenue share, or your own commerce engine in your app, in which case you get to keep all the revenue

We’re pleased to share the following announcements for the Microsoft Store on Windows:

  • Microsoft Store is open to all: We have removed the waitlist program for Win32 applications in the Microsoft Store, opening it up to all app developers.
  • Microsoft Store Ads: Based on feedback from the developer community, we’re soon piloting new developer tools to help reach the right customers at the right time. Using Microsoft Advertising, developers will be able to create, run and view ad campaigns in the Store, improving discoverability and conversion for apps.
  • Amazon Appstore: The Amazon Appstore preview on Windows 11 is currently available in the US, and it will be expanding to five additional countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the United Kingdom, by the end of this year.

The Microsoft Store on Windows is the best place for you to get in front of 1B+ Windows customers that are always looking for new experiences. To learn more about what’s new in the Microsoft Store, visit this blog post.

Open Hardware Ecosystem & Project Volterra

We believe in an open hardware ecosystem for Windows giving you more flexibility and more options, and the ability to support a wide range of scenarios.

As such, we are always evolving the platform to support new and emerging hardware platforms and technologies, such as GPUs that render an app’s user experiences, Wi-Fi and cellular chipsets that ensure devices are always connected, and CPUs including MIPS, x86, Alpha, Itanium, and x64.

As we look forward to what is next and how we can further innovate in this space, we are excited to announce Project Volterra, a new device powered by the Snapdragon compute platform. With Project Volterra* you will be able to explore many AI scenarios via the new Qualcomm Neural Processing SDK for Windows toolkit announced today by Qualcomm Technologies.

And because we expect to see NPUs being built into most, if not all, future computing devices, we’re going to make it easy for developers to leverage these new capabilities, by baking support for NPUs into the end-to-end Windows platform.

To ensure ease of use for our shared customers, we are also announcing a comprehensive end-to-end Arm-native toolchain for Arm native apps, including:

  • Full Visual Studio 2022 & VSCode
  • Visual C++
  • Modern .NET 6 and Java
  • Classic .NET Framework
  • Windows Terminal
  • WSL and WSA for running Linux and Android apps

You’ll see the first preview of many of these tools in the next few weeks, including VS 2022.

We’re also hard at work helping many open-source projects natively target Arm including Python, Node, git, LLVM, and more.

Hybrid Loop

AI is evolving at a rapid pace. We know that keeping up with the fast-paced evolution has been challenging. We are working on solving this problem for you.

We’ve built a powerful, cross-platform development pattern for building AI experiences that span the cloud and edge. This pattern allows you to make late binding runtime decisions on whether to run inferencing on Azure or the local client. It can also dynamically shift the load between client and cloud.

We are calling it the hybrid loop. And we are bringing this as a cross-platform capability through the ONNX Runtime and Azure ML, along with a Prototype AI toolchain to make heterogenous targeting easy.

And because Project Volterra contains a powerful Neural Processing Unit (NPU), it will be a great device upon which to explore the new Hybrid Loop pattern and the Prototype AI toolchain in Azure ML.

We will be sharing more details on Hybrid Loop and the AI Toolchain soon, so stay tuned.

Where we are today…and where we are going tomorrow

We hope you are as excited as we are about where we are today and where we are going tomorrow.

With new app building tools, you can take your existing code and make new and compelling app experiences while reaching your customers in new ways through Widgets and Microsoft Store Ads.

Our emerging model of hybrid compute and AI, along with NPU-enabled devices creates a new developer platform for you to build high ambition apps leveraging incredible amounts of power.

We want you to build cloud-native AI applications. With native Arm64 Visual Studio, .NET support, and Project Volterra coming later this year, we are releasing new tools to help you take the first step on this journey.

You can get started today by building on our cloud and taking advantage of our tooling and services. And it’s just the beginning of what will be possible. We can’t wait to see what you build.

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