As a Windows developer, the pace of updates for Microsoft's latest version of Windows is fast and furious: Just a couple of weeks after you likely finalized the updates for your apps to prepare them for the Fall Creators Update, it is time to begin looking towards the next major feature update. Redstone 4 (RS4) is the code name for the pending fifth major update to Windows 10, estimated to be available in March or April 2018.
Microsoft released Windows 10 RS4 Build 17025 to Fast and Slow Ring testers over the last week and now they have published the first version of the SDK that is used by developers to build, update, and test their apps against the new enhancements that will be added to RS4 over the next five months.
The announcement blog post by Clint Rutkas, Senior Technical Product Manager for the SDK, provides items of note, known issues and breaking changes for this release which requires Windows Insider Preview Build 17025 or later for compatibility.
He lists two key notes for this release: First, this build works with previous SDKs and Visual Studio 2017, so developers can submit apps targeted for previous versions of Windows 10. The second note is that from here on out, Windows SDK is formally supported only if developers are using Visual Studio 2017 and beyond.
The one listed known issue is that this Build 17025 SDK Preview will only install on systems running Windows 10 Insider builds 17025 or later.
There is also a breaking change relating to MIDL keywords that have been added and will cause an error when building your app. The work around is to add the @ symbol in front of the keywords so they are treated as identifiers instead of keywords.
- Download: Windows 10 SDK Preview for Build 17025
- Feedback and Known Issues Updates: Windows 10 SDK Developer Forum
- New Feature Requests: Windows Platform UserVoice
- Download: Visual Studio 2017
Holiday App Submission Deadlines
Developers may want to take advantage of an increase in customer app downloads during the holiday season: Microsoft says that last year, there was a 30% increase in downloads during the late year holiday period.
In order to take advantage of an anticipated repeat during the this year's holiday period, developers should submit their work prior to November 14th for Thanksgiving, and prior to December 14th for Christmas. If a developer wants to roll out an app for New Year's Day, Microsoft suggests submitting it by December 18th to make the cut.
In addition to these deadlines, developers should also look at updating their Store listing and taking advantage of new features that were announced this past July. Those include video trailers and scheduled sale prices to entice end users.