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March 23, 2015

Windows 10 developer tooling preview now available to Windows Insiders

Three weeks ago, at Mobile World Congress, we had the opportunity to share with you a first look at the Windows 10 universal app platform. Today I’m excited to announce that we are making the first technical preview of the Windows 10 developer tooling available to Windows Insiders.

However, I’d like to point out that this is a preview. Our goal with this release is to give you the opportunity to experiment with the cool new platform capabilities while we continue working to finish Windows 10. As you go through what’s new I’d invite you to explore some 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.

Developer Content

In addition to the preview tooling, we are also releasing a number of resources to help you quickly come up to speed on the new universal app platform capabilities:

  1. Introducing the Universal App Platform: From Mobile World Congress 2015, Kevin Gallo provides a first look at the platform and how to build universal apps to target it.
  2. Windows 10 Jumpstart Preview: A first look at the upcoming Jumpstart training content. These videos provide you with the information you need to bring a Windows 8.1 app up to Windows 10.
  3. What’s New in Windows 10 for Developers: The Windows 10 developer documentation is online on the Windows Dev Center. This page provides a nice overview of what’s new in the documentation, with deep links across the relevant topics.
  4. Code samples: New with Windows 10, documentation code samples will be published on GitHub. Today, we’re publishing an initial couple dozen samples, with many more planned for the Build timeframe.

Getting Started

To get started with the preview:

  1. If you haven’t already, Join the Windows Insider Program. Instructions and downloads links are now available to get your developer machine set up.
  2. Once installed, get started by creating a Windows app using the universal app templates. You can find them under the <Language> | Windows 10 node – see the screenshot below.
  3. If you run into any issues while you are experimenting with this preview…
    1. First, check out the release notes and known issues with Visual Studio 2015 CTP6 to see if it’s a known issue.
    2. Continue to use the Windows and Windows Phone apps MSDN forum for development issues.
    3. If you believe you found a bug, you can use the new Developer Platform categories in the Windows Feedback app that is installed as part of Windows 10.
  4. If you have a platform capability or API suggestion, please continue to post them to the Windows platform developer UserVoice site. Please note that we will be updating this site between now and Build to reflect the new capabilities of Windows 10.

See You at Build

We hope that you enjoy the first look at the new developer tools. Please spend some time with it and send us feedback. We have put a ton of work on this release and we are excited to be able to share our progress with you. Our next major milestone, Build, is around the corner and we plan to go deep on Windows 10 and the Windows universal app platform at the event. If you aren’t able to attend in person, save the date to check out the Build site for information on how to participate in the online keynote and access recorded sessions from the event. I’m looking forward to seeing all you there.