Today marks a huge milestone for Windows developers – Windows 10 and the related developer tools are now both available for download and for use in a production environment. Today, you can officially start building for Windows 10 in three steps:
- If you’re not already on Build 10240, update to the latest Windows 10 today
- Install Visual Studio 2015 plus the Windows 10 SDK, emulator, and tools
- Learn how Windows 10 provides new opportunities to engage with your users
Over the past four months we’ve discussed how Windows 10 and the Universal Windows Platform empower you to build mobile experiences – experiences that move with users seamlessly and easily across devices; experiences that are as mobile as the user and are not defined solely by the device they run on. We’ve also introduced an expanded vision of what it means to run Windows by introducing the Windows Holographic and Windows 10 IoT device families, enabling you to run your experiences on more than just PCs, tablets, phones, and the Xbox. We’ve also provided a few preview releases of the Windows 10 SDK; to the over half a million developers who installed the SDK and shared their experiences, we thank you for that and we hope you can see that we’ve taken your feedback to heart.
Windows is upgrading the world
Today we take the first step toward bringing this unified Windows core and unified app platform to one billion devices. Windows 10 is now available in over 190 markets for PCs and tablets. Our existing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users will be offered their free upgrade* via a notification in their taskbar, bringing them onto the 10240 build that the Windows Insiders have been on for a couple weeks now. Additionally, new devices will be available with Windows 10 pre-installed.
As a developer, you’ll want to ensure you’re running Windows 10 before you install the developer tools to get the best experience. If you’re already running Windows 10 Build 10240, you already have the version of Windows we’re making available today. If you’re not yet on Windows 10 and wish to expedite the upgrade, please visit windows.com/windows10upgrade.
Visual Studio updates for the tools you love
Also available this morning is the final version of the Windows 10 developer tooling. Today’s tools release updates Visual Studio 2015 to provide everything you need to build, debug, and submit apps to run on any Windows device running the Universal Windows Platform. If you’ve already started working on a Windows 10 app using a prior version of the Windows developer tools, you will need to load up your Windows app using today’s release and rebuild the AppX package to submit it to the Windows Store.
In addition to being the final, production version of the developer tools, there are a few goodies in the RTM version that are new to today’s release and worth calling out. Soma released a blog post going into more detail about all the updates in Visual Studio tools for Universal Windows apps – here are my top picks:
- Create a Universal Windows app in the language of your choice – C#, VB, C++ or JS – and deploy to a Windows 10 device.
- New debugging and diagnostic tools including UI debugging tools for XAML apps and a network profiler.
- Create app packages for submission to the unified Store.
- The Windows 10 Mobile Emulator now takes advantage of your PC’s graphics hardware (GPU) to make the screen render faster. It provides a faster and more responsive debugging environment using Microsoft RemoteFx.
- You can now use the NFC simulation feature in the Windows 10 Mobile Emulator to build and test NFC/proximity-enabled universal apps.
- Rich XAML designer support for creating user experiences tailored for the device.
- .NET Native compilation of .NET apps in the cloud.
If you already have Visual Studio 2015 RTM installed, you will need to go back to the installer and check the “Universal Windows App Development Tools” and click “Next” to install. If you currently have an RC version of Visual Studio installed, installing the RTM version will handle everything you need to do.
It’s time to start updating your apps
Windows 10 opens up a number of new capabilities that help you engage users in new ways. To get a feel for what you can do with the platform, check out the following resources while your developer machine is updating:
- Windows Dev Center: What’s new for devs in Windows 10
- Microsoft Virtual Academy: Best of Build and Windows 10
- Microsoft Virtual Academy: A Developer’s Guide to Windows 10
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be sharing our favorite Windows capabilities in Windows 10, not only looking at how they can help your apps and games, but also sharing pointers and sample code to help you get started fast.
We’ll also share more about our progress with the Windows bridges, and how these toolkits make it easier for a wide range of developers to bring their existing code to the Universal Windows Platform. Our bridge for web apps, ‘Project Westminster,’ was the first bridge to RTM, enabling web developers to quickly distribute and monetize their web experiences in the Windows Store.
Windows Store is open for submissions
The Windows Store is now accepting app submissions for Windows 10 – you can now submit your updated Windows 10 apps and games. Todd Brix talked about the new Store experience, enhanced discoverability and unified Store front earlier and we’ll have an additional post tomorrow on the Building Apps for Windows blog that digs into updates we’ve built out on the Windows Dev Center in more detail.
As Terry called out in his blog, we already have a number of new and updated Windows 10 apps, including “Minecraft: Windows Edition” beta, USA Today, and Candy Crush Saga, with many more coming in soon. It’s good company to join, and we are excited to see what you build.
Stay tuned to the blog here and follow @WindowsDev to stay up-to-date on what’s coming; we have some amazing content ahead.
*Limited time offer valid for qualified and genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 devices (including devices you already own). See www.windows.com/windows10upgrade.