Microsoft Launches Dev Tools For Windows 10 Universal Apps

Microsoft launched the toolset developers need to create apps for the universal application platform (UAP) in Windows 10. To grab this toolset, aka the "Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview" (which includes the SDK), developers must be a member of the Windows Insider Program. They must also download Visual Studio 2015 CTP6. Both are required when developing for the UAP.

"If you're running CTP5 or earlier, uninstall your previous version of Visual Studio 2015," the instructions said. The CTP6 version of Visual Studio 2015 can be downloaded here.

Microsoft's Cliff Simpkins pointed out in a blog that this release is still a preview, that it's meant for developers to experiment with the UAP's capabilities while Microsoft continues to hammer out Windows 10 for a "summer" release. Some of the features he highlighted include an adaptive UX, Visual Studio Tooling improvements, and more.

As an example of what's to come, an adaptive UX means an app developed for the Windows platform of any size, ranging from a smartphone to large HDTVs, that can use a single user interface; no more multiple interfaces for multiple form factors. Developers with apps already on the market can experiment with this new feature. Windows 10 can also see how a customer is reacting with an app and load the "appropriate user experience."

Developers also now have access to several resources to help educate them about the new platform's capabilities. These include code samples, information about the Jumpstart training content, a view of what's new in the developer documentation, and an introduction to the UAP, which stems from Mobile World Congress back in February.

Once Microsoft's software is installed, developers can create an app for Windows 10 Technical Preview by using the universal app templates. Those who experience issues creating an app can hit Microsoft's release notes and the known issues with Visual Studio 2015 CTP6. Developers should also check the MSDN forum for answers regarding both Windows and Windows Phone issues.

"We hope that you enjoy the first look at the new developer tools," Simpkins wrote. "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."

Simpkins said the next major milestone will be revealed at BUILD, which opens its doors to developers and the press on April 29. During the conference, Microsoft plans to go "deep" on Windows 10 and the UAP.

As previous insider talk has promised over the last several years, Microsoft plans to launch a universal app platform by the summer. The company wants a "One Windows" environment, providing apps that can run on a variety of devices including desktop, smartphones and tablets.

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  • alextheblue
    Universal apps are great, and looks like they're getting better. I hope more developers take advantage of not only Universal Apps including single purchase / multiple Windows platforms option. So you can buy your favorite apps/games once and play them on various MS platforms. Hopefully Xbox will increasingly be part of this Universal App push as time goes on.
  • red77star
    Universal Apps do not offer anything worth buying cause in nutshell they are crap we had on PC 15-20 years ago, functionality wise
  • Osmin
    Universal Apps is a great concept but I hope they fix the Start button on Windows 10 to really get me excited to use Windows 10. They have not listened to all the different threads of people complaining that they want an "All Programs" menu button to function like in Windows 7, with subfolders for organization, in addition to the All Apps menu button to separate the crippled tablet apps. Right now All Apps looks like the Windows 8 start menu's all apps view but all icons scrolling vertically making it more cumbersome to use. Right now the start button works just like the Windows 8.1 start menu but with a smaller view that needs vertical scrolling. The only improvement is the recently used program list. We just wanted the Windows 7 start menu functionality with a small area for live tiles.