How Developers Can Prepare for Windows 10

Posted on January 23, 2015 by Paul Thurrott in Dev with 0 Comments

We’re still three months away from Build 2015, where Microsoft is expected to fully reveal its plans for how developers can take advantage of new Windows 10 functionality to reach hundreds of millions of customers on a diverse array of device types. But the firm today provided some general guidelines for how it will advance the developer vision for Windows 10 from the basic ideals it discussed at last year’s show.

“Last April at Build 2014 we talked about the principles behind the design of our Windows development platform,” Microsoft’s Kevin Gallo writes in the Building Apps for Windows blog. “In Windows 10, we are further simplifying how we talk about these goals.”

There are three basic goals:

Driving scale through reach across device type. Windows 10 is a unified developer platform that works across phones, tablets, PCs, Xbox, IoT devices and the new Surface Hub and HoloLens hardware.

Delivering unique experiences. With Windows 10, developers will be able to build on top of Microsoft investments in Cortana and speech recognition, touch, audio, video and holograms to extend their app experiences in exciting new ways.

Maximizing developer investments. With Windows 10, developers will continue to use the tools, languages, frameworks and cloud services with which they’re already familiar, but now they’ll all work consistently on apps that span a wide array of device types.

To get started early, Microsoft recommends using the latest Visual Studio version (including the free Community Edition) and writing universal apps for Windows 8.1 since the Windows 10 technologies are built directly on top of those. The firm provides some great online training, too, including Developing Universal Windows Apps (C#/XAML) Jumpstart and Developing Universal Windows Apps with HTML and JavaScript Jumpstart.

Also, you should sign up for the Windows Insider program, so you can gain access to new pre-release Windows 10 builds as soon as they’re released. The next build, the January technical preview, will include many of the features that were announced this week at the Windows 10 media event. This build won’t include any developer tools, but Microsoft says that future builds will include its developer tools and SDKs so you can jump right in.

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