Microsoft says it will deliver the final version of its Windows 10 developer tools for Visual Studio 2015 concurrently with Windows 10 on July 29. And to facilitate that schedule, it is changing how it delivers pre-release versions of the Windows 10 SDK (software developer kit). Now, new builds of the SDK—which target both desktop and mobile versions of the OS—will be delivered with each new build of Windows 10.
The result will be far more frequent releases of the Windows 10 SDK. And, interestingly, faster looks at future mobile builds, in particular, thanks to the built-in mobile emulator that ships with each SDK.
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“Starting this month, we will release previews of the Windows 10 SDK more often to our Windows Insiders,” Microsoft’s Adam Denning writes in a new post to the Building Apps for Windows blog. “Our goal is to release a Windows 10 SDK preview that corresponds to OS [builds] delivered through the Windows 10 Insider Preview Fast Ring. As part of these preview releases, we will also release a matching version of the Windows 10 Mobile emulator. While we’ll do our best to align with the OS release schedule, it is possible that not every OS release will bring an updated SDK.”
By aligning the SDK with build releases, Microsoft says it can ensure that apps created with the SDK will be able to access the very latest Windows 10 features and APIs. And because the desktop/tablet and mobile emulators that ship with the SDK are the same build, you can write to newer versions of Windows 10 even if your development PC is on an older build.
“If you want to try out the newest features and have the latest bug fixes delivered in a Windows Insider Preview release, this is for you,” Denning notes. “Each release is a snapshot of work in progress, so expect functionality or APIs to be impacted and that final functionality may vary.”
On a semi-related note, Microsoft also provided a very short update about the status of the four “bridge” technologies it is creating for developers so that they could reuse code from other platforms in their Windows 10 universal apps. These bridge technologies are:
“Project Astoria” for bringing Android code to Windows 10.
“Project Centennial” for bringing classic Windows platform code (.NET, Win32, and so on) to Windows 10.
“Project Islandwood” for bringing iOS code to Windows 10.
“Project Westminster” for bringing web site to Windows 10 as contained native apps.
So far, only Project Westminster is available, Microsoft says, but it will ” go into more detail on how each bridge can be used for getting your app on [Windows 10] … over the summer.”
The latest Windows 10 SDK and mobile emulator are always available from the Windows 10 Developer Tools web site.