Windows 10 SDK Available as Preview

Developers enrolled in the Windows Insider Program can now download a preview version of the Windows 10 Software Development Kit, Microsoft exec Cliff Simpkins announced in a blog post.

Microsoft highlighted a key component of the new OS -- the Universal App Platform -- at the Mobile World Conference in Barcelona early this month. The SDK is part of new tooling also announced with the platform.

One of the goals for Windows 10 and the Universal App Platform is a simplification of the process for building apps that are, from a developer point of view, universal -- build once and the app adapts to the device it's running on. The capability is there now, with Windows 8.1 and a bit of a work-around. With Windows 10, it's made a bit easier with the incorporation of the Adaptive UX and its singular UI. The ability of UI controls to configure themselves at runtime based on user interaction with the app is also a key to the new platform, and so is recognition of APIs being used (via API contracts).

For developers, the secret sauce will be in the Windows 10 SDK that was released into preview today. S. Somasegar, Microsoft corporate vice president of the Developer Division, blogs separately the particulars of the developer tools for the Windows 10 platform. He said that devs can use any Visual Studio 2015 version of the programming tool of choice, and the apps should be able to run on any Windows 10 device with no additional device-specific configuration. The SDK provides tools for using features that are device-specific; it's all a matter of writing apps to check for the presence so APIs or specific SDK extensions.

He said that this preview also contains the tools for testing the apps on a Windows 10 test PC, with emulators for Windows 10 Phone and Xbox to come. Somasegar also calls out the debugging and testing tools that are available in the preview that have been announced in the weeks since MWC: "new diagnostics tools, XAML UI debugging, and all of the profiling tools" in various stages of development can be tested.

Somasegar also writes that apps will benefit from performance gains, as apps will be compiled in .NET Native from within the Windows Store before users install them on Windows 10 devices.

You can read about other Windows 10 SDK features on Somasegar's blog; to download the SDK, go here (where you can also read about software requirements prior to downloading it).

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.