September 30, 2014 11:28 am

Universal Windows apps get better with Windows 10

By / Corporate Vice President of Windows Developer

Today Terry Myerson and Joe Belfiore talked about the future of Windows and gave the world its first look at Windows 10. They demonstrated new features designed to make people and businesses more productive and announced that a Technical Preview build of Windows 10 will be available tomorrow through the Windows Insider Program. I know you’re probably wondering what this all means for you.

From a developer standpoint, Windows 10 continues the work shared at Build last April. Universal Windows apps and the ability to leverage the same code to deliver appropriately tailored experiences to multiple device types were the centerpiece of that announcement. They continue to be the cornerstone of the single Windows application platform announced by Terry and Joe today. The most important thing you should take from today’s announcements is that the best way to prepare for Windows 10 is to keep building universal Windows apps.

We have more work to do before we can share details about the Windows 10 developer experience, but you can already see that Windows 10 is designed to reach more customers and device types with a common user experience that includes several news ways for people to discover and engage with apps.

Windows 10

Windows 10

We continue to make progress in platform commonality, Store unification, and discoverability. Giving you the ability to easily publish to one Store across all device types and providing you a variety of new places in which to showcase your app functionality will increase your ability to reach new users and engage your existing users, in ways you couldn’t before.

Windows 10 will:

  • Build on our commitment to provide a common Windows platform and give you one consistent API layer with consistent UX design surfaces and flexible tools.
  • Enable Windows Store apps to run in a windowed environment on the desktop so that they perform better on a wider range of hardware.
  • Deliver one Store for all devices, making it easier for you to reach customers in consistent and compelling ways no matter what type of device they’re using. We’re also planning to make the Store more useful for corporations with volume app purchasing, more flexible distribution mechanisms, and the ability to create a custom or curated Store experience (note that the Windows 10 Preview contains the existing Windows 8.1 Store).

For more information about Windows 10 and the Windows Insider Program, check out Blogging Windows.

Where do we go from here?

The path forward for developers is simple. Today’s universal Windows apps provide the foundation for development on Windows going forward.

I know many of you will participate in the Windows Insider Program. Keep in mind that this is all prerelease software and you are likely to encounter a variety of issues at this stage:

  • We don’t recommend using Windows 10 as your primary OS for software development. The Windows App Certification Kit does not currently work on Windows 10 and there also a few bugs in the tools which mean that this combination can’t be used for ‘go live’ software development.
  • Don’t worry if you encounter issues running your apps. We have not yet done the extensive app compat work that we do for every Windows release, we are too early in the cycle yet. These problems will be fixed and we remain committed to app compatibility.
  • We haven’t integrated all of the visual designs into this build. As with previous previews of Windows the look and feel will be finalized as we get closer to the release date, so please don’t consider the UI you see, or the features you use, as complete. Things will change.

When you join the Windows Insider Program, you’ll get information on how to let us know what you find. We want your feedback.

And, if you haven’t yet, now is a great time to get started building universal Windows apps. Here are some links to some of the best resources to get started:

Official Documentation
Comprehensive Online Training


Updated November 7, 2014 11:25 pm

Join the conversation

  1. What is going to be the mechanism for developers to give feedback? Previously by the time that we were given options to give feedback the Apis were already written and some of them are extremely poorly designed, and completely inconsistent with other xaml platforms. how can we see the Apis before they are finalised so that we can make the development experience even better?

    • I second this. Just got an email today from Microsoft encouraging developers to test our apps on Windows 10, but nothing is mentioned about giving feedback on the bugs we find in the OS.

  2. Are there any chances to run phone-sized apps on the desktop Windows?
    Given there are less, or none, gaps between those two systems using same OS.

    • I’d like to hear an answer for this too, but I suspect we won’t get more details until Build next year.

      Hopefully phone apps (including WP7/WP8 apps already existing) will run in phone-sized windows on the desktop or in snapped mode on tablets. Suddenly having an extra 300,000 apps in the Windows Store will instantly add massive value to the platform, and developers can use the momentum and new tools to update their apps to work even better.

      Any official details, Microsoft?

  3. Great work. Make sure you keep things simple and straight for developers.
    Appreciate all the great effort and the superb dev ecosystem created. Please take it forward and continue the great work.

  4. @stefan – Yesterday’s announcements are really just about the Technical Preview; we aren’t ready yet to share detail on the developer platform, (other than to note that the best way to prepare for Windows 10 as a developer, is to build universal Windows apps). The Technical Preview will be available through the Windows Insider Program, and that program has a comprehensive feedback mechanism you can find out about on their pages, ( Rest assured, once we are prepared to share information and detail on our developer platform, we will have a similar feedback mechanism.

    • I understand you guys don’t want to talk about developer tools as of yet, but since you keep saying that universal apps are the future, and we know WinRT is the only thing we can use there, just wanted to state that WinRT as it stands is very limited. Comprehensive SQL support (CE especially, and not the open-source replacements) are necessary. Having access to DirectX through more high-level languages like C# and VB and not just C++ goes a long way.

      Just a few quick notes 🙂

  5. @Thiwakorn Faengrit and @Damien Allan – Just like in Windows 8.1 today, developers can compile universal Windows apps to run on either Windows desktops, notebooks, tablets, or Windows Phone devices, and this continues to be true in the Technical Preview. We aren’t quite ready to share details on the developer experience in Windows 10.

    • As with every version of Windows, our goal is to provide an easy, frictionless upgrade. We plan to make it possible to upgrade from either Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 8.1. More details will come as we near the completion of the product.

  6. Can you share any more information on the “bugs in the tools”? In particular, is it just Store apps that are affected or other projects as well, and do you have an estimate yet as to when go-live dev will be supported?

    • @Mark Allan – The biggest understood bug right now with regard to Windows store app development, is the mentioned bug with regard to the Windows app certification kit. The other understood bugs are very small and inconsequential, but it is extremely early in our development cycle, and we are not in a position to recommend using the Windows Technical Preview as your primary development operating system.

  7. Windows Store doesn’t work in Iran (and some other countries I imagine). So as a developer, I can’t publish my app even if it’s free. And a Windows 8/8.1 user here cannot install any modern apps, any single one at all, even with the developer consent. They get a crippled Windows experience, even though they paid for the product like everybody else. At least offer some licensing options for free apps to be used inside a country like Iran, or allow install and distribution of apps outside the Store system.

    The Windows Store should be an opportunity for developers, and not a limitation.

  8. It’s great to get a new Windows from you. All features, especially the Modern Edition of Windows 7 style UI 7 Start menu. Also the Multiple Desktop feature is the BEST thing that you’ve brought. All modern looks of Windows Store apps. I appreciate your changes on Windows Snaps feature which was started in Windows 7 by you.
    So my feedback is: Please bring back the Windows Charms, because this Charms helps me to work with Windows easily, as I’ve loved the feature in Windows 8.1. By Windows Charms my work have been made easy-to-go. I ‘m missing the Charm Bar win Windows 10. Please let me know about your decision. Thank you.

    • I agree. At least it would be good to have an option to use the Charms, or have the sidebar include everything the Charms included.

  9. Given that you’re calling them universal apps, how do you plan to target the 10-foot UX with these developer tools? Is that even considered a valid scenario or is the 10-foot UX being phased out?

    I would love to hear more about this as I have several projects that would be wonderful to run on a Windows platform with a 10-foot interface.


  10. Windows 10 developers was done great Job. But I need more features that’s while comparing windows 8/8.1 its takes nearly 10GP space on local disk (C:). The developers just change the start up screen and start menu tails that’s fine. I need more changes like background change on user login screen, cancel the home menu like that etc… I’m waiting for complete windows 10 and I have to say wow……………….. All the very best
    Thank you

  11. Appreciate the hard work on improving the ecosystem of Windows apps on Windows 10. Can’t wait to use Windows 10.

  12. My team and I are from Informatics College Northgate, Philippines and we are developing a Windows 8 App intended for our school entitled (ICNG App for Windows 8 & Windows Phone 8). The application’s goal is to provide customer service for students, connecting them to the school with comfort, and updates them about events or activities instantly. We are avid supporters of Microsoft and are currently using Windows 8 as the operating system in our personal computers and laptops. We believe in its capabilities that is why we chose to make an app that runs on Windows 8.
    For our upcoming defense, we need a supporting document, article, or confirmation which states that the Windows 8 app we are developing will still run on Windows 10. We are hoping for your response regarding the confirmation or article or documents that will help us defend our case. Please. We relly need your help.

    Thank you and God bless!

    Nilo Sabillo
    Developer of ICNG App

  13. If I’m not mistaken, it looks like Universal Apps will be tied to the Windows Store and, unless the T&C have changed greatly, that does not bode well.

    UA just cannot be the future of Windows development while it is hidebound by the limitations of the Store. No ability to create app’s that wouldn’t pass a “12” rating means most AAA games are out of the question, and I really don’t like the idea of the limitations this implies. It amounts to censorship of a platform, and that just plain stinks.

  14. Just installed Windows 10.. How can I update my Windows apps? Went to the Windows Store and can’t see “Updates” anywhere…? Please advise, I’d like to update the Movie Guide app, no images load… :-/ thanks!

    • Nevermind, I found it, it’s under Downloads in the context menu that appears beneath your Account avatar

    • Oh looks like I found it immediately after my initial post.. Under My Account’s avatar, go to Downloads and you’ll find Updates, although it seems like there are none at the current moment.. :-/

  15. ITunes doesn’t work for windows 10. I went to a website that some people used to help them get around the bug but on my computer nothing works to fix it. I cant sync my iPhone the iTunes store doesn’t recognize it. My computer recognizes there’s a device but iTunes claims to not read it now that I did the windows 10 upgrade. Has anyone had this problem and has gotten around it other than doing step by step on website?