Good news for those who have splashed the cash on Microsoft’s flagship Surface Pro X – the software behemoth has emitted an ARM64 build of Visual Studio Code.
— João Moreno (@joaomoreno) May 28, 2020
However, since Visual Studio Code depends on the Electron framework, support was not forthcoming until the platform itself played nicely with Windows on Arm. Back in 2018, one of the Electron team remarked: “We’re happy to support Electron on Windows on ARM as soon as Chromium does :)”
As 2019 rolled around, Electron 7.0.0 debuted, bringing with it the needed 64-bit Windows on Arm support. Microsoft’s crack at showing hardware makers what it actually meant when it said Windows on Arm cropped up as the Surface Pro X shortly after.
Sadly for those developers who took the plunge with the Windows giant’s new shiny, native Arm applications from Microsoft were somewhat thin on the ground. Even its own Chromium-based browser was notable by its absence and those wishing to get their kicks in the popular VS Code were forced to use the sluggish x86 emulation mode of the OS.
It took until February for Microsoft to finally release Chromium Edge for its ARM64 users, and in the same month a Windows Insider Fast Ring build added developer-friendly Hyper-V features for the platform. But of the beloved VS Code there remained no sign.
While there remains work left to do to persuade extension authors to port their wares and, being still in the Insider branch, the platform is not quite ready for production yet, the news will bring relief to those developers wondering if that pricey Surface Pro X was really worth all that precious cash. ®
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