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Visual Assist and ARM

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced that Visual Studio now officially runs on Windows ARM. What does this mean for Visual Assist?

Visual Assist is a native plugin, so compiled for either 32-bit or 64-bit Intel depending on which version of Visual Studio you’re using. If you run the normal version of Visual Studio, this is exactly what you need. But if you run the ARM version, you would need an ARM build of Visual Assist, and we haven’t yet shipped one. That is, right now you can’t use Visual Assist using the ARM build of Visual Studio.

We have a history of supporting new versions of Visual Studio very close to release. When Visual Studio 2022 was announced, we spent many months moving Visual Assist to 64bit, including blogging about our progress and which preview builds of Visual Studio we suggested using our beta version with. So you might expect us to release an ARM build within a few days… but we are not.

First, we will support ARM. It’s coming. It’s important to us to be on all platforms where Visual Studio is.

Second, we’re not prioritizing as urgently as we did for Visual Studio 2022 support, for the simple reason that very few of our customers are expressing interest in it, including requiring it – ie moving to ARM for development and thus being unable to use Visual Assist. What we’ve seen is interest along the lines of,

  • ‘Do you have any plans in your roadmap?’
  • ‘Will there be support for ARM sometime in the future?’
  • ‘I’d like to use Apple Silicon.’

Those are close to verbatim quotes from the inquiries we’ve got, and we have only a handful. None of the feedback we’ve been sent indicates an urgent need for it, just interest. And that’s why we’re working on it, but not as urgently.

Currently, and with the caveat nothing is promised until it’s GA-ed / shipped, that means first half 2023.

We want to check: is this the right decision for you?

Do you need ARM? Do you need it now? What’s your use case: why are you using ARM?

Please send us an email at support@wholetomato.com. We will read with interest!

– David Millington, Visual Assist Product Manager

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