Developers interested in getting an early start on Microsoft’s next-generation software development initiatives can now install preview versions of Visual Studio “15” and the Windows 10 Anniversary SDK.
Visual Studio “15” is the codename for the next version of Visual Studio—I expect the final product to be called Visual Studio 2016 or 2017—and it was announced during the Build 2016 day one keynote yesterday. You can download the preview from the Visual Studio web site. (It can be installed side-by-side with the current version.)
New features include:
There’s an optional new installer, codenamed Willow, too, but it currently supports only .Net desktop apps, C++, Unity, and Python.
As for the Windows 10 Anniversary SDK, also announced yesterday, it of course supports all of the new Windows 10 Anniversary update features that Microsoft announced Wednesday. But the firm has outlined the following additional new features:
Connected Devices. This technology enables Cortana extensibility and the new Action Center in the Cloud. (See below.)
Background execution. This is the ability to run your application in the background without requiring two separate processes. Writing applications that run when they need to will become simpler and more powerful.
App Extensions. The UWP now supports app extensibility so you can build an ecosystem based on your application. Microsoft Edge uses this technology for its own extensions.
Action Center in the Cloud Now, your apps can engage with users on all their devices: When you dismiss notifications on one device, they will be dismissed everywhere.
Windows Store & Dev Center. Microsoft is introducing new new tools that let you use your data outside of the dashboard and more.
Windows Ink. The platform provides beautiful low-latency ink rendering, handwriting recognition, and ink data management so you can bring Ink to your own apps.
Cortana. Now Cortana allows you to do more and integrate proactive actions into your apps and register those actions with Cortana.
You can now download Windows 10 Anniversary SDK Preview Build 14295 from the Microsoft web site. It can be used with Visual Studio 2015 Update 2, which is now also available.