It’s Microsoft 365 Developer Day!

Posted on February 11, 2020 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Dev, Hardware, Mobile, Windows 10, Windows 10X with 4 Comments

Today, Microsoft will finally explain how developers can target dual-screen experiences and give us our first real peek at Windows 10X.

“The Microsoft 365 Developer Day [is] focused on dual-screen experiences,” Microsoft corporate vice president Kevin Gallo wrote back in the January blog post announcing today’s event. “The keynote and sessions will show how to get the most out of the [Surface Duo and Surface Neo/Windows 10X] SDKs and emulators, use cross platform tools and languages, design apps for dual-screen devices, build dual-screen experiences on the web, and connect your apps with Microsoft 365.”

Microsoft 365 Developer Day is a day-long virtual event that anyone can view on the web. It starts at 11:30 am ET (8:30 am PT) and runs through 4 pm ET (1 am PT). Sessions include:

  • Microsoft 365 Developer Day (Introduction)
  • How Windows 10X runs UWP and Win32 apps
  • Application security and deployment
  • Getting started with Microsoft Emulator and Windows 10X
  • How to build dual-screen experiences with Windows UI on Windows 10X
  • Cross-platform dual-screen experiences with Xamarin
  • How to bring your Android apps to Surface Duo
  • How to build dual-screen experiences for the website & web apps
  • Building cross-platform experiences using React Native
  • Dual-screen app UX guidance
  • Dual-screen devices + Microsoft Graph

For those of us specifically interested in Windows 10X, the first hour is, of course, the most important: We’ve reported here on that Windows 10X will run native Windows 10 desktop apps using some kind of container technology, though Microsoft has never officially confirmed that. But the title of that first real session—How Windows 10X runs UWP and Win32 apps—is nonetheless interesting. Why would Microsoft call out UWP apps too? Is Windows 10 so stripped down that they will also run in containers? If so, that is very interesting.

To date, what Microsoft has said is that Windows 10X is “an expression” of Windows 10, which is cute wording that likely means that it is a “subset” of “real” Windows 10 that can nonetheless still run all Windows applications, overcoming the key limitation in previous Windows-like products such as Windows RT, Windows 10 S/S mode, and Windows 10 on ARM. We’ll see.

We also know that Microsoft will deliver the Windows 10X emulator for developers today, and that’s how we’re all going to get our first real peek at this new platform. The emulator will require Hyper-V, so you’ll need a 64-bit version of Windows 10 Pro or better, plus a PC that supports the underlying virtualization technologies (which is most modern PCs).

We’ll report back today when we know more. But this will be an interesting event for all of us, not just developers. So you’re going to want to pay attention to the news today.

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