Launch: Microsoft Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch Beta

ToolkitWe’ve got some great news for Windows Touch developers. Today we’ve launched a toolkit for Windows Touch that allows developers to use some of the same controls that are used by developers on Microsoft Surface hardware today, but for PCs using Windows Touch.

Before you can use the toolkit, you must have Microsoft Windows 7 Operating System and Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 or Microsoft Visual C# 2010 Express Edition, as well as Microsoft .NET 4.0 installed on your computer.  The .NET 4.0 Framework and the Surface Toolkit support input devices such as mouse, stylus, and touch. With the Surface Toolkit, you can develop an application that supports various types of input.

To create great natural user interfaces, a focus on user experience design as well as testing on multi-touch hardware are essential. To test your application in a touch-enabled environment, your computer must have a touch-screen digitizer.

You can also visit Technical Resources to learn more about developing on Microsoft Surface hardware.

– Eric (follow Surface on Twitter and Facebook)

Comments (20)

  1. jawss says:

    the documentation talks about issues with Blend

    "Expression Blend crashes when you create a project

    Issue: Expression Blend crashes when you attempt to create a WPF project.

    Reason: Surface Toolkit is designed to work with Expression Blend 4.0 Release Candidate. You may be using an earlier version of Expression Blend.  

    Resolution: Install Expression Blend 4.0 Release Candidate. (Specifically, do not install Expression Blend Preview for .NET 4.0.)"

    Where can we get EB 4RC?

  2. Thons says:

    i installed Surface Toolkit and runtime,but i cannot find item templates in Surface –> Windows Touch in VS2010RC,it displays "no items found"…

    beacuse my VS is RC not Release?

    i reinstall Surface toolkit and runtime but the problem still exists

    and…where’s EB4 RC?

  3. shaggygi says:

    Thanks for the tools.  Been waiting on this for some time now.  I noticed the ElementMenu control is not included.  Any plans to add this added to RTM version?  What other Surface controls did not make it in this release?  Any plans to release in-depth tutorials in near future regarding this toolkit?

    Thanks again.  Looking forward to playing with the bits and seeing what Surface v2 has to offer in future:)

  4. shaggygi says:

    Any plans to add the Sketch Styles from SketchFlow to Surface Controls?

  5. Surface controls not in the Microsoft Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch Beta:

    ElementMenu and TagVisualizer.

  6. Thons / jawss,

    Please use the Expression Blend 4 Beta from  Expression Blend 4 Beta that you can download from:

    We will update the links in our download page.



  7. Thons,

    Regarding your templates not showing up. Could you try repairing the Toolkit installation and see if the issue goes away?

    We officially support the release version of Visual Studio, but you may be able to get by with the older version.



  8. jawss says:

    Hello, do you allow any interop scenarios with this project type? i was trying to use a control that does some flash interop but the app crashes on it. 🙁

  9. jawss,

    We are not doing anything in the Microsoft Surface Toolkit for Windows Touch Beta to either increase/decrease the interop scenarios that are supported by WPF.

    So I really doubt your app is crashing due a toolkit specific issue… but I would need to know more about the exception you are getting and what component is raising it.



  10. jawss says:

    hi luis, i’m basically trying out this to embed a flash player within the application.

    I built the WPF user control and it works fine in a WPF App. When I embed the control in a Windows Touch application, it generates a "System.Runtime.InteropServices.COMException" with the message saying, "This program requires flash.ocx, which is no longer included in this version of Windows" I tried embedding the Adobe Reader and it gives the same message.

  11. says:

    Wondering what the best practice is for porting an existing Surface application that makes extensive use of SurfaceUserControl to use this new framework.  I noticed in v1.5 the SurfaceUserControl base class doesn’t exist in Microsoft.Surface.Presentation.Controls – is there an alternative we should be using, or is this just not supported yet?

  12. says:


    I’m suffering from the same problem , did you find any workaround ?

  13. darin.brown says:

    I’m trying to deploy a simple Surface application using VS2010 and ClickOnce and keep getting an error that the assembly Microsoft.Surface.Presentation must be installed in the GAC first when I try to deploy to a machine without VS2010 (but with both .NET4 and the Surface Toolkit Runtime for Touch installed). any ideas?

  14. ChadEmm / Mrme,

    You don’t need a special SurfaceUserControl in the toolkit. Use a normal UserControl.



  15. Black Designer says:

    Its first eveing of mine trying surface toolkit.  really amazing control library

    Beginner question: In the scatterview the wave visualization effect which follows my fingure, what actually is it?  And If i wanna achieve same kind  of effect in WPF App. Any idea…

  16. Black Designer,

    I am not sure if you are referring to the touch visualizations (called ripples in the video at or maybe you are referring to the "sheen" of the ScatterView. The sheen is just the animation of a linear gradient brush.



  17. Gstercken says:

    Just wondering about the roadmap for the toolkit – we are already using it heavily in real-world MT projects, but it is still Beta since April 2010. Any plans for further development / RTM soon?



  18. parker07 says:

    such an improvement since the ones I saw this past summer in sacramento, ca

    check it out!

  19. Ashish Kumar says:

    Hi Luis,

              Will the toolkit 2.0 beta with .Net 4.0 , work on Surface 1 or toolkit1.0 with .NET 3.5 work on Surface 2?

    Thanks in advance!!!


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