Visual Studio Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview

Update: The final release of Visual Studio 2015 and Tools for Universal Windows apps is now available.  Read more about the release here.

Today we are making available a first preview of the Visual Studio 2015 tools for building Windows 10 applications.  Windows Insiders can get access to the Windows 10 Technical Preview tools now, and use them with Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6 and the Windows 10 Technical Preview.

Windows 10 will be an exciting release for developers, with support for Windows universal apps that run across all Windows 10 devices and improved tooling for every Windows application type.

In this post, we’ll take a look at a few of the highlights of the preview Visual Studio 2015 tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview.  You can read more about the Windows 10 Technical Preview tools on the Windows blog.

Creating Windows universal apps

You can create a Windows universal apps with the new project templates in Visual Studio 2015 in a language of your choice – C#, VB, C++, or JavaScript. With Windows 10, it is now possible to have a single universal app project that when deployed can run on all Windows 10 devices like PC, Phone, Tablet, or XBOX. However, just as on Windows 8.1, you still have the option to have multiple projects in your solution that you can tailor for functionality and form-factor exhibited by various devices running Windows 10 and can maximize code sharing across those projects using Shared projects.

Testing your Windows universal apps on a PC and phone

You can deploy a Windows universal app to any device running Windows 10. To deploy applications created using this preview version of the tools, you need to have the latest PC flight of Windows 10 installed. Deploying the application to a phone running Windows 10 is not yet supported and will come in the future with a flight of a future release on Phone. In the meanwhile, you can experiment by deploying your app to a Windows 10 Phone emulator that is installed as a part of these tools. Support for other Windows 10 devices like XBOX is not yet available in this preview.


Tailoring your app for a particular device

With Windows 10 universal apps, you can choose to tailor your app to light up additional device-specific capabilities using adaptive code patterns. You can reference an Extension SDK that supplies either Windows or Windows Mobile specific APIs and write code that checks for the presence of the API when running on any device before code execution.


In the example above, we have added a reference to a Windows Mobile extension SDK. Wrapping the access to such an API in an if block allows for the code execution to be bypassed when the app is running on any Windows 10 device that does not support the API.


This enables you to adapt your application to deliver the right user experience on the right device.

Debugging support

All of the capabilities that we have introduced in previous previews of Visual Studio 2015 are also available for Windows universal apps including the new diagnostic tools, XAML UI debugging and all of the profiling tools.  Together, these tools make debugging and diagnosing your Windows apps easier than ever.

.NET Native

With Windows 10, all .NET apps will be compiled with .NET Native by the Windows Store before being delivered to devices. As previously described, apps compiled with .NET Native will have a faster startup time and smaller memory footprint. This preview allows you to compile and run your .NET apps with the .NET Native toolchain on Window 10 PCs and Phones.

Windows Desktop applications

All of your Windows Desktop applications (WPF, Windows Forms, Win32) continue to work on Windows 10 without any changes. With the Visual Studio 2015 tool for Windows 10 you can now leverage the new Windows 10 APIs in your Win32 applications. Windows 10 also comes pre-installed with .NET Framework 4.6 which includes many new features including improvements in WPF and Windows Forms.

Application Insights integration

Gaining deep insights into the usage patterns of your application is key to its success in the market place. This release of Visual Studio integrates Application Insights with Windows 10 applications by default so that you can get telemetry for your applications easily via the Microsoft Azure portal.  Application Insights offers deep visualizations and insights into the usage patterns of your applications. Read more about getting started with Application Insights in your Windows applications here.



This is an early preview of the Windows 10 tools for Visual Studio 2015, and a good opportunity to test drive the new Windows 10 Technical Preview tools.  If you aren’t already a Windows Insider, sign up today to get access to the tools and the Windows 10 Technical Preview. Then try out the tools and send us your feedback via the Visual Studio Connect site, Send-a-Smile or the on Windows tools forums.


Comments (31)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Blend for Visual Studio crashes when I open a Windows 10 Blank Application project.

  2. Anonymous says:

    "With the Visual Studio 2015 tool for Windows 10 you can now leverage the new Windows 10 APIs in your Win32 applications"

    Are these new APIs discussed or documented anywhere that is available to non Windows Insiders?

  3. Anonymous says:

    Did things maybe change since these screenshots were taken?  In the screenshot the templates are under "Windows 10", but on my machine it seems it is now named "Windows UAP".  Is this correct?

  4. @Tom: Yes, that screenshot is correct to the best of my knowledge and should be under the Windows 10 node. Are you sure you did not have a previous install of these tools on the machine? 🙂

    @Zach: Yes, absolutely – we will be writing in greater detail about how you can write Win32 apps that use the new Windows 10 SDK. The APIs should be documented in a location that should be accessible to everyone.

    @Agile Hobo: I am sorry to hear that. Is there anyway you can get in touch with me offline at unnir at Microsoft dot com so we can try to diagnose this issue further? One thing you can try is to launch the VS developer command prompt as an Administrator and type "Blend /setup".



    Unni Ravindranathan

    Program Manager, Visual Studio

  5. Anonymous says:

    blend crashes after install the SDK tools for Windows 10

  6. Anonymous says:

    Any plans to release new design guidelines updated?

    Also, Windows 10 will have 3rd party support for interactive notifications? I still didn't see the API for it.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The installation of the Package OneSDK_WindowsPhoneDesktop fails on my machine with error 0x80070643: Failed to install MSI package.

    Sadly, this causes the Windows Phone emulators to not work.

  8. Anonymous says:

    @Unni Ravindranathan – MSFT

    I will try your suggestion when I'm back home and will let you know the result.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Can people people compile to .NET Native without the App Store?

    Has/Is Microsoft focusing on providing a much better story for the enterprise app store such that devs release their internal tools to their private inside the firewall store?

  10. Anonymous says:

    "You can create a Windows universal apps with the new project templates in Visual Studio 2015 in a language of your choice – C#, VB, C++, or JavaScript."

    So, a language of your choice, as long as you don't choose F#?

  11. Anonymous says:

    @younky I'm sorry to hear that. Could you please contact me at kinoa at Microsoft dot com to troubleshoot your issue? Thanks! Kino

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you! I couldn't find any info on how to make it work with XNA though.…/jj207003(v=vs.105).aspx

    Public opinion:…/3725445-xna-5

  13. Anonymous says:

    @Chris Marisic: Yes, absolutely you can compile the apps that you would side-load in your Enterprise environment (in fact, it is required since the CoreCLR will not be present on all Windows 10 devices). With the current tools, the app packages we create when you build for Release are already compiled with .NET native, though eventually the Store will do that if you went the route outside of side-loading in an Enterprise.



  14. Gavin..Williams says:

    @Dev XNA ? Please move on. That things nearly 10 years gone. There are a dozen systems that are superior to XNA and are maintained and up to date. Why don't you take a look at one of those instead of harping on about a library that is deprecated. See Monogame, SlimDX, SharpDX, Paradox, Wave, Duality, Unity, Omni, Unreal Engine (C# version), OpenTK,, Delta, etc

  15. Anonymous says:

    @Gavin..Williams – in that case why not open-source it?

  16. Anonymous says:

    The error log got from event viewer is

    Application: Blend.exe

    Framework Version: v4.0.30319

    Description: The process was terminated due to an unhandled exception.

    Exception Info: System.NullReferenceException


      at System.Runtime.CompilerServices.AsyncMethodBuilderCore+<>c__DisplayClass2.<ThrowAsync>b__5(System.Object)

      at System.Threading.QueueUserWorkItemCallback.WaitCallback_Context(System.Object)

      at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.RunInternal(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

      at System.Threading.ExecutionContext.Run(System.Threading.ExecutionContext, System.Threading.ContextCallback, System.Object, Boolean)

      at System.Threading.QueueUserWorkItemCallback.System.Threading.IThreadPoolWorkItem.ExecuteWorkItem()

      at System.Threading.ThreadPoolWorkQueue.Dispatch()

      at System.Threading._ThreadPoolWaitCallback.PerformWaitCallback()

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hi, I'm getting this error when I try to deploy an app created from the new template for Universal Apps :

    Severity Code Description Project File Line

    Error Error : DEP0700 : Registration of the app failed. Deployment Register operation with target volume C: on Package e138fccc-24e1-4862-82fb-642d8ed741cb_1.0.0.0_neutral__8snedp9x8m7mp from:  (c:usersfabricedocumentsvisual studio 2015ProjectsApp3App3binDebugAppXAppxManifest.xml)  failed with error 0x80073CFD. See for help diagnosing app deployment issues. (0x80073cfd) App3

    Any idea how to fix this ?


  18. Anonymous says:

    .IsTypePresented("…") – guys, why not typed, like, for example, IsTypePresented<T>(); ? Or IsTypeSupported(PlatformComponents.HardwareButtons) where PlatformComponents is enum.

    You force newbies to write not good things)

  19. @Eugeniy – There are a few reasons why the API is designed this way: (1) This API needs to work reliably even when the type information is not available at runtime, so the goal is to not reference the type itself until you have done this check (2) this is a Windows Runtime API which is projected to C#, JavaScript and C++, and the generic method approach doesn't have any clean mapping into JavaScript (3) the enum approach would have required keeping a single enum up to date with every type ever added to the entire Windows Runtime surface area, which wouldn't be practical.  

    Also, the normal reason to avoid type names in strings is concerns about refactoring – but in this case the types are platform APIs which cannot change.

    There are a few more details on this API here:…/dn894631.aspx

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am running windows 10 preview in Lumia 730 and also in my laptop. Windows Phone Registration tool is not recognizing my phone when connected using USB. I want to unlock the phone for testing the app.

  21. Anonymous says:

    XAML designer will not load, crashes every time ("Unhandled Exception").

    Phone emulator never starts, permanently stuck on "OS is starting"

    When closing Win10 project run locally, IDE hangs.

    Luckily my expectations were low, why do you even release these things? The RTMs barely work let alone these previews.

    Can we please slow down the constant churn of frameworks, IDEs, project types etc, it's getting ridiculous.

  22. Anonymous says:

    @Unni Ravindranathan – MSFT, do you have an article that explains how to do what you're talking about? How can I compile (or package) a Windows 10 Universal App EXE and place it on our network so that another person can copy it to their machine and run it, without having to use the Windows Store?


  23. Anonymous says:

    @Oliver Braun – With this Technical Preview release of Visual Studio Tools for Windows 10, the emulators are supported only on Windows 10. If you install the Tech Preview on Windows 8.1, OneSDK_WindowsPhoneDesktop.msi will fail to install. Another case where the installation will fail is if you try to install the Tech Preview on a flight earlier than 10041, which was released on March 18. To fix this, re-install the latest Windows 10 flight, and do not keep applications. Then, install Visual Studio again. If you are still stuck, please reach out at dajaco at Microsoft dot com. I apologize for any frustration this may have caused.

  24. @LMK: Windows build 10049 had known issues that would cause what you are seeing (XAML designer crash), as are likely the Emulator issues. These were called out here, and Windows is actively working on fixes for these in the next build.…/windows-10-technical-preview-build-10049-now-available

  25. Anonymous says:


    Is it possible to target WP10 on real hardware with VS2015CTP from a stable dev machine that runs Windows 8.1? So far all my attempts say that VS needs an update. I did install the SDK. What else is required? Would it be possible soon?

  26. @Xavier Rigau

    Yes, it should be – but please do note that you do need a build of Windows 10 on the phone that is newer than the one that shipped for the PC, otherwise apps won't deploy. You should be able to create/build/debug/deploy from a Windows 8.1 machine that is running CTP6 and the Windows 10 tools. If you are having issues, please do get in touch with me at unnir at Microsoft dot com and I can help diagnose and suggest workaround.


  27. 22296662 says:

    I completely registered developer center windows phone 8.1 but not download any apps from store enroll individual

  28. Anonymous says:

    We developed/ported a Win 8 app over to Win 10 UAP and succeeded in deploying it to Win 10 laptop and Surface Pro 2. Also able to run the UAP app in Win 10 phone emulator. But could NOT deploy it to Lumia 830 running Win 10 build 10.0.12534.56 — in the original post, it said deployment to Win 10 Phone was NOT supported yet. Just want to check if any update on this in the recent couple of weeks: can we deploy Win 10 UAP app to physical Win phone running Win 10 now?

  29. Gregory PAKOSZ says:

    What if I want to ship a DLL that is meant to be consumed by a Windows 10 UAP app. I don't see any DLL template project. Is it enough to bump the Platform Toolset to v1440?

    Also will there be v140_wp80 and v140_wp81 toolsets or is everything unified?

  30. Anonymous says:

    I installed VS 2015 Community RC including Windows Phone 8.1 Tools on Windows 10 Preview.

    I can create a cordova project, but when trying to run on a local windows phone device it want's me to register it as a developer device first. Do I need to install a SDK on top (thought that would have been installed already then), I cannot find the "Windows Phone Developer Registration" on my system?

  31. Anonymous says:

    HI, what will be the binary format for the universal build -.exe or .appx?  If I already have a .ppx build, should I convert it to Universal build format to run on Win 10 ?

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