Packaging PowerShell Scripts for ARM64

ARM processors have been part of the Microsoft Windows computer infrastructure for some time. Windows 10 officially started supporting it back in 2017. I am intentionally leaving out Windows 8 on Windows RT; if you have encountered this, you likely understand why. However, those were 32-bit devices offering an x86 emulation at a time when everyone was already moving full tilt towards 64-bit exclusively. As a result, adoption of these devices was just about as slow as the devices themselves.

Fast forward to 2023, and you have 64-bit ARM processors with an x64 emulation, full Windows 11 support, and—on top of that—Windows Parallels supporting the ARM64 version of Windows 11 on Apple M1/M2 chips. Rumor has it that server farms are switching to ARM64 processors for their lower power consumption. Samsung released some nice Windows 10 and 11 laptops with SnapDragon 7c, 8c, and 8cx, which run far longer on battery than some Intel-powered counterparts.

The biggest hurdle preventing faster adoption of ARM64 processors is the availability of software, as is always the case with new hardware. While Windows 11 on ARM64 offers an x64 emulation for existing Windows applications, it is just that—an emulation. Which usually translates to “far slower than it should be”.

With PrimalScript 8.1.180 and PowerShell Studio 5.8.221 we introduced the ability to package your PowerShell Scripts for ARM64. With PrimalScript you can also package any legacy VBScript or JScript applications for ARM64. As far as PowerShell is concerned, ARM64 support will be available for Windows PowerShell 5.1, PowerShell 7.3.3 and later, as well as 7.2.10 and later. 

A new platform selector in the SAPIEN Script Packager enables you to package your application for all selected platforms at once:

Naturally, if you need to package your PowerShell applications for ARM64, you must also generate installers supporting this platform. In this new version of the SAPIEN MSI Builder, a platform selector was introduced to support this:

Please try out this new ability to generate applications for ARM64. As we continue to increase our support for this version of Windows 11, we welcome your feedback and details about any obstacles you may face.


Please use the blog comments below or our support forum to tell us about your experience with this new capability.