Microsoft recently launched the Surface Pro 9 and Surface Laptop 5, but those weren’t the only devices unveiled by the tech giant this fall. The company also announced its Windows Dev Kit 2023, which is available now for $600. The mini PC runs on a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8cx Gen3, making it Microsoft’s first Windows on ARM developer kit.
Our senior editor and Microsoft hardware expert Zac Bowden ordered a Windows Dev Kit 2023 and recently went hands-on with the device. The unboxing is a straightforward experience, in part due to the fact that the PC isn’t aimed at consumers.
The Windows Dev Kit 2023, which was previously known as Project Volterra, is a compact PC meant to help developers optimize apps for Windows 11 on ARM. It pairs its Snapdragon 8cx Gen 3 chip with 32GB of RAM and 512GB of storage.
Those specs compare well against the Mac Mini, which has 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage for $699. The devices are securely in different markets, but the comparison is noteworthy.
While the Windows Dev Kit is aimed at developers that want to optimize their apps for Windows 11 on ARM, anyone can purchase one.
The Windows Dev Kit 2023 comes on the heels of several ARM-related announcements by Microsoft. The company merged the Surface Pro X and Pro lines by offering the Surface Pro 9 with either Intel or ARM chips. It’s also optimized many of its apps for ARM architecture. The likes of Adobe, Zoom, and Spotify have all embraced ARM as well.
Now, Microsoft hopes that more developers jump on board the ARM train. The Windows Dev Kit 2023 is a cost-friendly way for devs to optimize their applications for ARM.