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September 30, 2014

Universal Windows apps get better with Windows 10

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