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May 12, 2020

Start Developing on Windows 10, version 2004 Today

The Windows 10 SDK for Windows 10, version 2004 is now available with a go-live license. Build 19041, also known as the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, is now in the Release Preview Windows Insider ring.

New APIs and Features for developers

Every Windows 10 update is loaded with new APIs, but don’t worry, Windows Dev Center has a full list of what is new for developers.

In addition to the new APIs, check out these updates to the app model, MSIX and WSL.

  1. Windows Subsystem for Linux: The Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 is the latest and greatest version of WSL. It has significantly faster file IO performance (up to 20x faster) with full system call compatibility, meaning you can run more of the Linux apps you love (like Docker).
  2. Hosted App Model: Applications can now declare themselves as a host for other applications via the new HostRuntime extension. These hosted apps look and behave like independent apps and can have deep Windows integration, even though they get their main executable from the host app. This technology powers PWAs on Microsoft Edge. To get started using the Hosted App Model, see this blog.
  3. Sparse Signed Packages: Applications can now include a signed MSIX package in their existing installers and have their installers register it. This allows applications to keep their existing installers but still assign themselves identities. An identity makes the app known to Windows and allows for a more deeply integrated experience by enabling the app to call Windows APIs that require identities such as Tiles, Toasts, Notifications and BackgroundTasks. To take advantage of Sparse Signed Packages, see this blog.

Update your dev environment in two simple steps today

The first step in updating your dev environment is to update your system to the Windows 10, version 2004 (by using the Release Preview Ring). The Insider team has a great blog post that will walk you through how to get on the Release Preview Ring.

Then, go into Visual Studio 2017 or 2019 and grab the new SDK, and you’ll be good to go. Once version 2004 goes to general availability in May, the SDK will become the default SDK inside Visual Studio.

Today, with Windows Insider Release Preview for Windows 10, version 2004 Update:

  1. Run the installer or go to and download it.
  2. Go to “Individual Components.”
  3. Go to “SDKs, libraries, and frameworks” section.
  4. Check “Windows 10 SDK (10.0.19041).”
  5. Click “Install.”
Visual Studio - Windows 10 SDK

When the Windows 10, version 2004 goes to general availability:

  1. Run the Visual Studio installer, or go to and download it.
  2. Select “Universal Windows Platform development” under Workloads — Windows 10 SDK (10.0.19041) will be included by default.
  3. Click “Install.”

Which workload should I choose?

Do you want tools for C++ desktop or game development for UWP? Be sure one of these two are selected:

  • C++ Universal Windows Platform tools in the UWP Workload section
  • Desktop development with C++ Workload and the Windows SDK 10 (10.0.19041)
  • If you want the Universal Windows Platform tools, Select the Universal Windows Platform tools workload.

Once your systems are updated and recompiled and your app is tested, submit your app to Dev Center.

Your Take on Windows 10, version 2004

Tell us what crazy things you’re working on with the new update by tweeting @WindowsDev.