Today Microsoft took another step towards the release of their all device encompassing Windows platform that is expected to be released this summer.
Microsoft's BUILD 2015 conference sold out in just under an hour and is still five weeks away. It is expected the focus of that event is going to be all about developing for the Windows 10 platform and these tools are an important element for that. By getting them into the hands of developers this far ahead it means they can start working on new apps and be ready to ask all their questions during Build.
Some of the features in this preview include:
- 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.
If you are ready then there are five steps to get started with these new tools:
- Sign up for the Windows Insider Program, if you haven't already.
- Install, or upgrade to, the latest flight of Windows 10 Technical Preview to best support Windows Universal App Platform development.
- Run Windows Update to check for the latest updates.
- If you're running CTP5 or earlier, uninstall your previous version of Visual Studio 2015.
- Install the tools; both Visual Studio 2015 CTP6 and the Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview, which includes the SDK, are required when developing for the Windows Universal App Platform.