back to article Microsoft ships non-Surface PC: a cheap Arm box for devs

Microsoft has delivered on its May 2022 promise to give devs a cheap piece of Arm-powered hardware on which to run AI-accelerated workloads for Windows, by revealing the Windows Dev Kit 2023 and placing it on sale at $599. The box packs 32GB RAM and 512GB fast storage, plus Wi-Fi 6, an RJ-45 slot, three USB-A sockets, a pair …

  1. alain williams Silver badge

    Anyone put Linux on it yet ?

    Hopefully the BIOS equivalent is not locked down.

  2. TReko

    Windows RT 2?

    Anyone remember how Microsoft screwed their users last time by abandoning Windows 8 on ARM?

    1. Tim 11

      Re: Windows RT 2?

      The problem with RT was that it couldn't run "legacy" apps - i.e. every single app in the universe not written for RT.

      Apparently the new version can simulate the intel architecture - time will tell whether that proves to be just a pipe dream

      1. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        Re: Windows RT 2?

        Apple have done some stellar work in getting x86 code running on the M series processors. I would hope Microsoft have managed to do the same. I'd love to see that, but I'd also love to see Windows running natively on my Mac Mini M1. This is partly out of curiosity, and partly because, being one of the designated Mac support bods at work, at *some* point, I am probably going to be expected to get Windows for Arm running on Apple Silicon.

        1. TaabuTheCat

          Re: Windows RT 2?

          "... Windows running natively."

          Just curious, do you not count Windows 11 (ARM version) running via Parallels "native", or are you looking for it to boot(camp) into Windows? 11 under Parallels actually runs decently on my lowly M1 mini for those times when I need Windows-only apps.

          1. Only a Sith

            Re: Windows RT 2?

            This - I’m running Win 11 on Parallels on an M1Pro MacBook and performance is pretty impressive, and have not hit compatibility issues with non native binaries.

            You can even get some reasonable gaming out of it (not the latest and greatest, but better than I expect a lot of people here are thinking). Check out https://www.applegamingwiki.com/wiki/Home for a good overview.

        2. VicMortimer

          Re: Windows RT 2?

          I mean, I just installed Windoze in VMware on a M1 mini last week. It already works.

        3. Mostly Irrelevant

          Re: Windows RT 2?

          I've got Windows 11 running on VMWare Fusion on my M2 Air so that's another data point for you. Nothing is really stopping Windows from running on M-series processors, Apple just needs to provide a way for their proprietary bios to boot Windows.

      2. doublelayer Silver badge

        Re: Windows RT 2?

        I can confirm that it does run the emulation at least somewhat successfully, but this was when I tried it out on a Raspberry Pi (and it was a 3B). Unfortunately, that means I can't comment on how well it works, as any performance problems (and there were some) can be put down to using a low-end 2015-era processor and 1 GB of RAM to run Windows 10 which wouldn't enjoy that process. It booted, applications ran, X86 applications did too without crashing, but it was so slow that I ended the experiment and didn't try it again. It's probably better on modern hardware designed for it.

      3. Geoff Campbell
        Windows

        Re: Windows on ARM compatibility

        It's not a pipedream. I've been running an Surface Pro X as my travelling machine for a couple of years now, it's run all the Intel applications I've asked it to.

        GJC

    2. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Windows RT 2?

      "...Anyone remember how Microsoft screwed their users last time by abandoning Windows 8 on ARM?..."

      WinRT - Yes. Let's produce a device that can't run any Windows application because we can't be bothered to put a virtualisation layer in.

      WinPho - Yes. Let's produce what could turn out to be an actually decent phone OS then screw all of early adopters by bringing out the next version and making it so that they can't upgrade to it unless they buy a new phone.

      Buying any non-Windows compute device from MS other than an xbox seems to be a dodgy proposition.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows RT 2?

        >Buying from MS seems to be a dodgy proposition.

        FTFY

    3. Sandtitz Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Windows RT 2?

      "Anyone remember how Microsoft screwed their users last time by abandoning Windows 8 on ARM?"

      AFAIK, those Windows 8.1 RT devices (both of them) are still getting security updates, and the Windows store is still functional.

      The product didn't sell, so why should Micros~1 continue flogging a dead horse?

  3. Czrly

    That'll make a nice Linux build box to run "C.I." in my WFH-environment, locally..

    .. was my first thought.

    I just woulnd't want to put Windows on it.

    1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: That'll make a nice Linux build box to run "C.I." in my WFH-environment, locally..

      Ha! Beat me to it. That was my first thought too!

  4. badflorist Silver badge

    RaspberryPi is $200.

    "on sale at $599"

    That's a sale? I guess 1 good thing about this is that if you really wanted an ARM based device to develop on then, a year from now there will be Chinese clones at half the price.

    The Raspberry Pi is $200 for the 8GB model, in reality, not fantasy MSRP. So for $400 LESS you might only miss that "NPU" but, how powerful is that NPU anyhow?

    1. Sandtitz Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: RaspberryPi is $200.

      "The Raspberry Pi is $200 for the 8GB model, in reality, not fantasy MSRP. So for $400 LESS you might only miss that "NPU" but, how powerful is that NPU anyhow?"

      Ludicrous fanboi comment of the week.

      Handily you forgot that the $600 Dev Kit has 32GB memory and a proper 512GB NVMe flash drive, not a puny SDHC interface. (you also forgot to check the price for a 512GB SDHC card)

      Lenovo Thinkpad X13s seems to contain approx. the same CPU/GPU combination and packs a reasonable punch for everyday use.

      The SoC is probably quite a bit faster than what RPi 4 can do because these things are aimed at different use cases. Similarly someone getting the RPi Pico laughs at your 8GB RPi extravaganza!

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: RaspberryPi is $200.

      I think you're well aware that this box, in comparison to the Pi, has more RAM, faster RAM, more cores, faster cores, more storage (any storage), faster storage, and an NPU. They're not competing, and acting like they are is going to make the Pi look bad. Somehow, you missed both of these and wrote a comment like the Pi is actually better. They're not meant for the same uses, and they won't serve well in each others' ones.

  5. AceGrace

    Ordered.

    Pretty good price for what you get.

    Could be a cracking emulation box as well :-)

    1. MatthewSt

      You must have got the only one! Out of stock now

  6. wsm

    I've got one

    It's like the Microsoft version of a Mac Mini. One mini-DP port, two USB C ports, one Ethernet port, three USB A ports and two different power buttons. One of those is for a UEFI boot and one is for a USB C device boot.

    I hope the two power button options mean that I could run any flavor of Linux for ARM that I can muster onto a USB stick. By muster, I mean compile and abuse as I like.

    Now to find the time to break this thing at work while I tell them I'm testing Windows 11 before we have no choice but to use it in our corporate environment.

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