June 22, 2015 3:52 pm

Getting ready for Windows 10 – SDKs, compatibility, bridges

With Windows 10 being released July 29, 2015, we want to update you on some new things and some things you can do to get ready now.

Windows 10 SDK

We are working to deliver the Windows 10 developer tools for Visual Studio 2015 with the release of Windows 10. This will allow you to build your Universal Windows Platform apps and submit them to the Windows Store.

In addition, starting this month, we will release previews of the Windows 10 SDK more often to our Windows Insiders. Our goal is to release a Windows 10 SDK preview that corresponds to OS flights delivered through the Windows 10 Insider Preview Fast Ring. As part of these preview releases, we will also release a matching version of the Windows 10 Mobile emulator. While we’ll do our best to align with the OS release schedule, it is possible that not every OS release will bring an updated SDK.

When running the latest SDK and emulator in your local development environment, your apps will be able to access the latest Windows capabilities and APIs available in the preview build. Each preview SDK release installs side by side of the official Windows 10 tooling for Visual Studio 2015. This allows you to install each preview release of the SDK and emulator with previously-installed SDKs and emulators on the Windows 10 SDK; allowing you to manage which OS version (released or preview) you want to develop and test your app against. If you want to try out the newest features and have the latest bug fixes delivered in a Windows Insider Preview release, this is for you – each release is a snapshot of work in progress, so expect functionality or APIs to be impacted and that final functionality may vary. As new releases happen, this blog will report which build each version works with, a change log of new APIs, major bugs fixed, and issues you can expect to encounter.

As always, you can download the latest Windows SDK and mobile emulator from the Windows 10 Developer Tools page.

Test existing apps for compatibility and delight new users by updating your app to Windows 10

Windows is committed to compatibility. The Windows compatibility team has been looking at user telemetry and reacting to feedback from Windows Insiders to ensure that existing apps work well with Windows 10. Windows 10 is designed to run Windows 8.1 and Windows Phone 8.1 software programs. And yes, everyone’s favorite VB6 Runtime will continue to work, too. In the near future, the compat team will go more in-depth on this topic on Blogging Windows.

Your apps will continue to work on Windows and remain available in the Windows Store. We suggest testing to verify your apps perform as you intend on Windows 10. You should do this now with existing builds to catch any issues prior to launch.

And while you’re at it, this would be a great time to upgrade your apps to take advantage of Windows 10. Wondering what to do? Add in a feature or two that your users are requesting. The Windows Dev Center contains guidance such as design basics, design guidelines, and platform basics – examples of great starting points. Channel 9 has the Build 2015 sessions and Microsoft Virtual Academy, A Developer’s Guide to Windows 10, just a few of the resources at your fingertips. If you are having trouble finding content, we can assist you. Post your inquiry in the MSDN forums or send a tweet to @wpdev.

Universal Windows Platform Bridges update

At Build 2015, we announced the four Universal Windows Platform Bridges:

  • “Project Astoria” enables developers to bring their Android code to Windows
  • “Project Centennial” is for classic Windows platform code (e.g., .NET, Win32, etc.)
  • “Project Islandwood” allows developers to bring their iOS code to the Universal Windows Platform
  • “Project Westminster” enables developers to bring their website to the Windows Store.

Over the summer, we’ll share more about how to use each of the bridges, and go into more detail on how each bridge can be used for getting your app on to Universal Windows Platform and availability. “Project Westminster” is already available.

Updated June 23, 2015 12:56 pm

Join the conversation

  1. Please Support the x86 platform at Windows Phone emulator!

    Original Text:
    Prjeprajam suporta la piataforma x86 sur le emulatore dei Windows Phone!

  2. Good to see that the VB6 Runtime will continue.

    Any news on the VB6 programming IDE ? It does seem to be fine on the Windows 10 previews.

    Also any timescale on Project Centennial ?

    • The VB IDE is no longer supported as of April 8th, 2008. We’ll have more to share on the UWP Bridges over the Summer.

  3. Thanks for the good news about our beloved VB6! I have the same question like S Ten, but I guess that it would be no problem to install IDE since on the current release it works.

    • MikiSoft, official support for the VB IDE ended April 8th, 2008. It may work but we don’t offer any support on it. I would love to know what makes key features make you stay on VB6.

      • Thanks for asking that in the first place, I’m really glad that you’re interested to know the answer, so here it is:
        Talking about IDE, maybe the simplicity is one of the reasons why it keeps me stick to it. And with simplicity comes speed in every aspect. I absolutely love that! Too bad that Microsoft has done that radical move and abandoned it, I would love to work in an IDE like that with the newest technologies that will make production faster than it already is. I’ve also been told that I’m not the only one who is incredibly productive there because he has that kind of feel when working with it like he is in its natural environment.
        I have also tried once to work with one of the newer VS (I think that it was 2010 release) and after first run I was completely lost there because I didn’t work before in a modern IDE, but yeah that was great experience to see how much it is advanced. But I realized that I don’t need an enterprise solution. I like clean and simple, and that is enough for me.
        Also, I would like to say that my VB6 applications work on any Windows version without any problems, they’re also lightweight, fast in execution, and basically they don’t have any dependencies nor they leave temporary files in the system – in other words, it can be said that they’re native and portable. That is also one of the reasons that I have to mention why I love VB6!
        Therefore, with such advantages I don’t understand why Microsoft didn’t continue to develop it, because the VS team certainly had made a great product and only a few things left to be done in order to make it perfect. I’ve read that there are still many companies that use VB6 applications and don’t want to rewrite them for some other platform because they just work, so they don’t have a single reason to spend time and money for that. Unbelievably, there are some petitions still around that are asking to bring back VB6, to make its IDE to be downloadable for free, or even to open-source it. That I think tells enough.
        Thanks for reading and have a nice day!

      • And don’t forget there are a lot of legacy VB6 applications that still need supporting.

        Which makes Microsoft’s policy of supporting the VB6 Runtime but not the IDE a little strange.

        Fortunately the IDE does install and run on Windows 7, 8 and 10.

  4. Only one question (which no one seems to want to answer to this point), Will Win 10 run Virtual XP? If not, we’re faced with setting up a standalone XP platform to run a number of high-end printers and astronomy devices, or staying with Win 7. If so, we’re quite happy to upgrade to Win 10 (from Win 7 Pro).

    Upgrading these devices is not an option, either device drivers are not available or we’re facing a $10,000+ bill to buy new equipment…

  5. Can some help me, yesterday my Dell Venue 8 upgraded to preview build 10158. Everything was going great and all files were installed correctly as shown on the screen.

    Then the tablet restarted, the Dell sign came on and the rotating wheel was going around, then the tablet re-started and again shows the Dell sign and rotating wheel. It has been doing that since last night.

    I’ve been unable to get the tablet out of that cycle. Has anyone had the same experience and was able to get out of it and finish the installation? Or knows of a way to go back to prior versions?

    Thanks for any help.


  6. I have two large x86 application suites that were designed for Win7 on x86 or x64 platforms. I started testing on Win 10 and found a problem with the first one. One of the elements of this suite is that it installs a custom menu as the Windows shell (Set HKLM\SOFWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Winlogon\Shell). This worked fine in both x86 and x64 Windows 7 environments.

    When I tried this on Windows 10 x64, all I got was a black screen – the menu didn’t run following the Windows logon and neither did explorer.exe. I did some experimenting and found that there appears to be a new security requirement in Windows 10: The shell program on an x64 platform must be a 64 bit application. I found this out by creating a small program that did nothing more than pop up a window and say hello. I first compiled as a 32 bit application and that gave the same result as my menu application. Next I compiled as a 64 bit application. That worked. First question answered.

    I then modified this application so that it would start my menu using the CreateProcess API. This failed. Checking the execution error, I found that the menu required elevation to execute. Because of some of the things my application does, it runs as administrator and, as a result, I compiled it with the manifest requiring that it run as administrator to enforce this.

    Elevation was never an issue in Windows 7 because programs compiled this way were automatically elevated. Not so on Windows 10. To get around this I used ShellExecute with “runas” instead of CreateProcess. I now have two versions of this little program, one x86 and the other x64. When the system is set up, the appropriate version is put into the shell registry variable. Problem solved.

  7. It seems that the Windows 10 SDKs are not yet available with the standalone installers of Visual Studio 2015 Community Edition.

  8. Since the recent updates of Win10, VB6 and the applications I created are considered as not compatible.
    This is on an Asus laptop previously under Win8.1
    On my desktop computer HP, previously under Win7 everything works fine.
    What happened?
    Thanks for your help

  9. I’m curious if there has to be some SDK 10 redistributable that I need to install on older OS, like Windows 7, if I start using this new SDK.