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EngadgetMay 24, 2022
Microsoft's Project Volterra is a mini PC for ARM developers
At its annual developer conference, Microsoft doesn't typically announce new hardware. But at Build 2022 the company made time to unveil Project Volterra, a PC Microsoft designed to assist developers with building native ARM apps that employ AI-accelerated workloads.

While we don't have all the details on Project Volterra just yet, what we do know is that it will feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset with a dedicated neural processing unit or NPU. Microsoft told TechCrunch the component would deliver "best-in-class" AI computing capacity and efficiency.

A neural processor isn't something you typically see on PCs. They're far more common in phones where they help save on battery power by taking on machine learning tasks from the CPU. But with chips like Apple's M1 including built-in NPUs, they're becoming more commonplace, and it's that future that Microsoft wants to be prepared for when it comes.

"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," said Panos Panay, Microsoft's chief product officer.

With Volterra, Microsoft is adding Windows support for NPUs. The company also said development tools like Visual Studio 202


PC World Latest NewsMay 24, 2022
Big changes to the Microsoft Store could make Windows better, or a lot worse

Microsoft said Tuesday at its Microsoft Build 2022 conference that the Microsoft Store is "open to all," meaning that it has removed a waitlist program for Win32 apps. The store is now open to all app developers. Microsoft also announced an ad program, Microsoft Store Ads, which will allow developers to create ad campaigns to promote their apps within the Store app. Microsoft will also begin testing a "restore" feature that will automatically load apps that Windows users own when setting up a new device.

It's true that the Microsoft Store on Windows represents one of the improvements Windows 11 offers versus Windows 10. It's detailed and well-organized, with comprehensive features that range from ratings to a recommendation for whether the app will run on your PC. Developers have apparently responded. In the first three months of 2022, Microsoft says, there was a more than 50 percent increase in new desktop apps and games added to the Store, versus the same period last year. Unfortunately, Microsoft hasn't said exactly how many apps those numbers represent. (It's slightly less hazy on the total userbase of Windows 10 and 11: A combined 1.4 billion people.)

We have a better idea of how many apps Microsoft's competitors offer. AppBrain estimates that there are

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