Microsoft officially releases developer tools for the Windows 10 Technical Preview

windows-10-family1Microsoft has just released the developer tools (SDK) for the Windows 10 Technical Preview for Windows Insiders. As of today, developers can start building Universal Windows 10 apps.

This is the first version of the SDK and it will continually be updated as the development of Windows 10 continues towards RTM.  Here are the key aspects in this preview release.

  • Adaptive UX: Windows 10 provides the ability to use a single UI that can adapt from small to large screens. For developers with an existing Windows 8.1 app, you can quickly try this one out by (a) removing one of your UI projects (and going from three Visual Studio projects to one!) and (b) add the improved ViewStateManager to control how your UI adapts at runtime.
  • User controls: A number of our Windows 10 UI controls will determine, at runtime, how the customer is interacting with your app and render the appropriate user experience (e.g. on a laptop with a touch-screen, an app fly-out control will provide larger touch-targets if tapped with touch, as opposed to clicked with a mouse).
  • API contracts: With Windows 10, you can directly verify if a Windows feature is available rather than inferring based on the operating system version. This empowers you to start checking, at runtime, if a Windows feature is available on the device before you call a related API. A good API contract for you to try out in your code to see this in action is HardwareButtons, which is present on phones (via the Mobile Extensions SDK), and thus available on the phone and mobile emulator but not available on the desktop. We believe that API contracts and the extension SDKs will allow you to adapt your code at runtime to deliver user experiences that feel right on the device it’s being run on.
  • Visual Studio Tooling improvements: As you experiment with the new developer tools, there are a number of improvements you’ll want to check out. For more details on this topic, I’d highly recommend you review the today’s post by S. Somasegar: Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview.

This is a critical step for Microsoft as it gives developers the ability to target the entire Windows ecosystem of devices with Universal apps. This is vital in order to ensure that the Windows App Store thrives and effectively competes with iOS and Android in the future.

For more information regarding this release, check out the Windows Blog

Download: Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview or ISO

Download: Visual Studio CTP6