Building Apps for Windows 10 with Visual Studio 2015


Today is an exciting day for Windows users and developers alike with the launch of Windows 10.  For developers, Windows 10 represents the culmination of our platform convergence journey with Windows running on a single, unified Windows core. This convergence enables one app targeting the Universal Windows Platform to run on every Windows device – on the phone in your pocket, the tablet or laptop in your bag, the PC on your desk, and the Xbox console in your living room. And that’s not even mentioning all the new devices being added to the Windows family, including the HoloLens, Surface Hub, and IoT devices like the Raspberry Pi 2. All these Windows devices will access one unified Store for app acquisition, distribution and updates.

Today, I’m excited to announce that along with the RTM of Windows 10, you can now build apps for the Universal Windows Platform with Visual Studio 2015. The Windows Dev Center is also now open and accepting submissions of your Universal Windows apps.

Since the first preview of these tools in March, we have made significant updates to many parts of Visual Studio to make it easy to build apps for the Universal Windows Platform. Throughout the course of the past few months, these tools have gotten better with your feedback – thank you!

Acquiring the tools

If you don’t already have Visual Studio 2015 RTM, you can install the free Community Edition. If you prefer the Professional or Enterprise edition, you can download them from VisualStudio.com, and during setup, choose ‘Custom’ to install the Tools for Universal Windows Apps.

If you already have Visual Studio 2015 RTM, you can now add these tools to your existing Visual Studio installation. You can run the installer, or open Programs and Features from Control Panel, select Visual Studio and click Change. Then in setup, click Modify and select the Tools for Universal Windows Apps.

Creating Projects

You can create a Universal Windows 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. You can also create Win32 applications that target the Windows 10 SDK to leverage the new APIs exposed by the platform.

.NET Framework libraries delivered as NuGet packages

The entire set of .NET Framework libraries is included in your Universal Windows app as a set of NuGet packages (built on top of NuGet v3). In addition to providing you a rich .NET surface area that works consistently across all Windows 10 devices, this will also will allow us to bring newer APIs to you at a faster cadence. We will also be able to consistently evolve these APIs across all mobile devices that you can target using set of updated platform targets in Portable Class Libraries (PCLs).

XAML Designer and Editor

The Universal Windows platform allows you to tailor your app for any Windows 10 device using built-in platform capabilities. The XAML Designer has been enhanced to allow you to create and edit view states that can be triggered automatically when running under different form factors. Combined with new Windows 10 controls like the RelativePanel and the ability to specify completely tailored views on different devices, you should have the tool to delight your users with great user experiences. See this video to get an overview of just how easy it is to get started with designing your first XAML app.

.NET Native improvements

Windows 10 Universal apps built with C# and VB are optimized with .NET Native, which provides up to 60% faster start time and 15-20% less memory usage.  We have continued to make our .NET Native compiler throughput and error diagnostics better. We have also enabled cloud compilation of your apps in the Windows Dev Center, allowing us to eventually deliver fixes and improvements to your apps without requiring re-submissions. Learn more about .NET Native here.

Packaging apps for the Store

You can reserve names for your Universal Windows apps with the Store, and create app packages for submissions to the Windows Dev Center. Visual Studio also generates packages that are ready for side-loading in an enterprise scenario using the tools in the SDK. The manifest designer in Visual Studio has been updated to allow you to target the full breadth of capabilities that you can express for your app.

Summary

Try out the tools and send us your feedback via the Visual Studio Connect site, Send-a-Smile or the on Windows tools forums. We are looking forward to your submissions of apps targeting Windows 10 and demonstrating the entire breadth of capabilities unleashed by this new platform release.

Namaste!

 

Comments (37)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Please make Universal Windows Platform cross-platform and open source, thereby consistent with the rest of the new Microsoft development ecosystem:

    wpdev.uservoice.com/…/7989744-make-universal-windows-platform-open-source-and-cr

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hi,

    I installed the Visual Studio 2015 Community RTM but I could not find the Universal Windows App Dev Tools option in the Features List.

    When I start Visual Studio and select New project, it shows an option to Install Universal Windows Tools. Clicking on that launches the setup and then gives the following error:

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: Setting string variable 'SecondaryInstallerParameters' to value '/q /BurnBundleProviderKey {50b32652-69d2-4b93-9316-edcd12067b8b} /lcid 1033 /cacheLastUsedFeed "C:UsersratisAppDataLocalTemp1562628026.xml" /primarylog "C:UsersratisAppDataLocalTempdd_vs_community_20150729105535.log" /FeedUriToRegister "go.microsoft.com/fwlink /FeedRegistryKey "SoftwareMicrosoftVisualStudio14.0Setupvscommunity"'

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  Stop Block: FilterFeatureSelectionTreeValidationErrorBlock : Invalid entries passed to /Filterfeatureselectiontree switch. For more details, please see the setup log.

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  Warning Block: ProcessBlock : Please close Visual Studio now to reduce the chance that a computer restart will be required later.

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  Warning Block: InstallSelectableItemsValidationErrorBlock : Invalid selectable features encountered. For more details, please see the setup log.

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  Detect Completed

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  Wait for View to be loaded

    [06E4:156C][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  Detect Completed, now create view

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  View loaded

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i000: MUX:  Go to Blocker page.

    [06E4:1648][2015-07-29T10:55:40]i199: Detect complete, result: 0x0

  3. Anonymous says:

    Awesome achievement getting OS, dev tools and emulators all out of the door on same day 🙂 DO WIN 10

  4. Anonymous says:

    Congrats with this HUGE milestone! The amount effort which has been put into this Visual Studio and Windows Release must have been insane. These release must have been insanely complex to realize.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Having installed Windows 10 RTM today followed by Visual Studio 2015 RTM, I am not given the option in the custom settings part of the VS installer to add Universal App development support. i.e. the check boxes as shown in a number of Microsoft help pages do not appear in the list – “Universal Windows App Development Tools”. If I try to add the feature as I mention below, I get a message from the installer “Setup blocked” with the following details in the setup log file:

    “Invalid lineup Id encountered for /Filterfeatureselectiontree switch: Windows10_ToolsAndSDK”

    I’ve also tried:

    * File-> New Project-> Windows Universal (then select “Install Universal Windows Tools”

    * Downloading the “Windows Standalone SDK for Windows 10″ (the necessary options don’t appear either).

    * Downloading “Visual Studio 2015 with Windows developer tools” (VSToolsForWindows1C.exe).

    None of these approaches worked either. Any thoughts?

    Note the machine I am installing on is fresh (no preview/RC components ever installed on it). I am trying the Community version. It’s now about 7pm UTC, July 29.

  6. Paul Chapman - MSFT says:

    Richard & Ratish — please contact me at paul.chapman at Microsoft.com and we’ll help you troubleshoot the install.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Cross platform C#/.net development progress without a third party tool?    Legacy methods such as an app hosting a browser control with embedded html/JavaScript are at best legacy methods.

  8. Anonymous says:

    On my third try installing this in VS 2015 Community on my Win 10 Pro machine. The Win 10 SDK still isn't showing up, and a new 8.1 JS Hub app won't build without errors. Bing Maps JS example also doesn't work. Sorry guys, you really don't have the bugs worked out of the installer. I am going to have to waste a bunch more time uninstalling VS 2015 and doing a clean install… I really wanted to come back and try VS after switching to Linux and Eclipse ten years ago, but not if it's not going to work reliably. Shipping is great, but shipping stuff that breaks isn't.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Hi, why in the Dev Center gave me Windows SDK 10.0.26624? Did I do something wrong? Since VS2015 does not recognize. Saludos.

  10. Paul Chapman - MSFT says:

    Geoff – please contact me at paul.chapman at Microsoft.com and we’ll help you troubleshoot the install

  11. Paul Chapman - MSFT says:

    Fabricio – there's a known issue where the standalone SDK installer and Control Panel displays the incorrect version of the SDK. The version released with Visual Studio is 10.0.10240. You can verify that version is installed by checking for this folder: C:Program Files (x86)Windows Kits10Lib10.0.10240.0

    social.msdn.microsoft.com/…/rtm-known-issue-windows-sdk-version-in-setup-and-control-panel-100266270-does-not-match-the

  12. Anonymous says:

    Dear Paul,

    I've been trying to reach you through netnativehelp@microsoft.com for an updated targets file for the known issue with submitting a UWP app to the Windows 10 store with Desktop Extensions SDK included. Can you please email me the updated targets ASAP as we are trying to get an app ready for a Samsung OEM release. j b w e i m a r a t g m a i l d o t c om

    Thanks!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I have VS2015 and today I installed W10 RTM. In the control panel won't allow the "repair" option, only to uninstall. I ran the installer you provided in this post, and it installed me the SDK and the templates. But the templates in VS are really buggy. For instance, when creating a blank Universal App, the generated MainPage.xaml won't even display, the XAML designer throws a null reference exception (reallyyyy?!?!). Additionally, when I add a new page, it creates MainPage1.xaml, then it asks me if I want to save the XAML file. When clicking "Yes", it prompts me a message saying that MainPage1.xaml file already exists.

    These are vanilla tests, can't figure out what's wrong…

    Best regards!

  14. Anonymous says:

    @Joris – Like we established in our conversation, the issue you are running into is not .NET Native specific (it should only reproduce if you have both Desktop and Mobile Extension SDKs referenced). My guess, based on our e-mail conversation, is that you are bringing in 3rd party C++ code, that was previously compiled for Windows 8.1, into a UWP project and that is causing the WACK failures since that is not supported.

    @Fernando – The XAML designer crash issue is something that we are likely already investigating. But to be sure, we would appreciate it if you get in touch offline at unnir at Microsoft dot com so we can get some more diagnostic logs.

    Thanks,

    Unni

    Program Manager, Visual Studio

  15. Anonymous says:

    Please. Provide a simple upgrade path for people who installed Visual Studio 2015 RC.

    There are no menu items within the Visual Studios app to upgrade or check for new versions.

    WHY?

    Must I hunt through microsoft.com and read tons of articles just to find out what am I supposed to do? There are no options in Store to upgrade. No options in Settings->Windows update. NOTHING!

    I can't right click on a big folding from "all apps" and uninstall. I do see manual options WITHIN the Start menu VS folder to uninstall, but doing it manually for EACH item is kinda scary.

    Why is it so unintuitive? Why are there NO instructions for people on what to do? You need to communicate with developers and hand-hold them more. Otherwise, expecting them to lose valuable time hunting down solutions to unintuitive dev process is insane.

  16. Pat Litherland (MSFT) says:

    @edepot

    Thank you for the input.  We are indeed working on features to address this.  Look forward to a more lightweight and straightforward upgrade process in the coming releases and servicing events.  In addition we are working on additional tooling and support for uninstall scenarios.

    Pat Litherland

    Program Manager, Visual Studio

  17. Anonymous says:

    Hello,

    I installed VS 2015 Community on my new Windows 10 but cant create app packages, there is no menu option "Store" available. I select create project, then Universal App but it seems all the App Store environment is disabled. I tried to reinstall VS but no luck. I selected on custom install options Universal Apps an Windows 10 SDK.

    This is dissapoining, never had such a problem under Win8.1/VS 2013

    Any ideas?

  18. @ enarmedia

    In VS 2015, we turned many setup options off, including Win10 tools. Did you run the Advanced installation and turn them on? To install the Win10 tools, run setup and select Advanced on the first screen, then select the tools from the advanced options list.

    John

  19. David Smith says:

    We're having serious problems trying to obtain the Windows 10 SDK sadly. On our laptops, at home, this was not an issue. In the office we are behind a rather aggressive proxy server. If the SDK was available as a complete "offline installation" download (ISO or other format), as has been the case for 8.1 and older, there would be no problem. However, the installer for the SDK is non-standard and does not pick up the proxy settings from either IE or system (netsh winhttp).

    In short; VS2015 works, NuGet works (with proxy settings), but the SDK is not available to us, and this is really holding back our adoption rate.

  20. Paul Chapman - MSFT says:

    @David Smith —

    Please contact me at paul.chapman at Microsoft.com so I can understand better what portion of the Windows 10 tooling and SDK is failing to install and help unblock you. There's several components we install as part of the Windows 10 UWP tools feature and I want to make sure we get all of those installed for you

    Thanks!

  21. Paul Chapman - MSFT says:

    @ David Smith —

    We'll need your setup logs to diagnose the problem and fix the issue in general. But in the meantime, here's a few options that may help you get unblocked:

    1. Download the installer and run Visual Studio setup with the /LAYOUT switch (e.g., vs_enterprise.exe /layout). This will create a folder that you can copy to a USB stick or onto another computer and perform an install without any internet connection. You'll then need to run the resulting setup on a machine without VS installed. (e.g., uninstall what is on your machine first, then reinstall)

    2. If the error is only with the Windows 10 SDK, you can try installing that directly outside of Visual Studio setup. You can find it here: dev.windows.com/…/windows-10-sdk. That installer also supports the /LAYOUT switch.

  22. LMK says:

    Hi, I'm building a c# xaml uwp app that has two mediaelement controls on screen (one for start position, one for end). Under WP8.1 this didn't work and crashed. According to the documentation (below) that should now work. However I am still getting a random crash on the Windows 10 Mobile emulator in Visual Studio. Works fine on desktop. Is this something yet to be fixed in Win10 Mobile? Or an ongoing restriction on that platform that is undocumented? Need to know before I submit my app… Thanks.

    msdn.microsoft.com/…/windows.ui.xaml.controls.mediaelement.aspx

  23. Ismael says:

    Your link to VS 2015 Community seems to not work if you have previously installed it from the ISO file , but the link from dev.windows.com/…/downloads works fine (LinkId=534599). The binaries are almost the same but the one from dev.windows download something before starting with the setup.

  24. Paul Chapman - MSFT says:

    @Ismael — I've not been able to reproduce your experience (install Visual Studio from the ISO, and then install the tools for Universal Windows apps using the link go.microsoft.com/fwlink).

    If you're still blocked, contact me at paul.chapman at Microsoft.com.

    thanks

    -Paul

  25. LMK says:

    How do we update mobile emulators to the latest build??

  26. Unni Ravindranathan - MSFT says:

    @LMK –

    Visual Studio 2015 RTM tools for Universal Windows apps come with a 10240 emulator, so you should just be able to use those for testing. However, if the Windows team does decide to release new emulators for a newer Phone OS, you can also just install that and use. I am aware of such new releases at the moment, newer than what Visual Studio already carries with it.

    Thanks,

    Unni

    Program Manager, Visual Studio

  27. LMKz says:

    @Unni Ravindranathan

    Thanks. I'm getting a lot of crashes (with no detail) on the mobile emulators, whereas running my apps locally works fine. There are also glitches(?) such as hidden app bar buttons not showing when in portrait, app bar remaining visible when keyboard is up etc. I don't know if these are yet to be fixed, or these are just how mobile is meant to work (I sincerely hope not as it is terrible UX). We need some detailed guidance from MS around the state of the mobile OS and what we can expect to work and not work in the current versions.

  28. Unni Ravindranathan - MSFT says:

    @LMKz –

    Yes, there will be a new build of the Windows 10 Phone emulators in the (near) future – just not yet. If you can get in touch with me offline at unnir at Microsoft dot com, we can make sure that the issues you are running into are addressed (some of them are clearly Shell glitches that might go away, but I was not aware of any issues where the same app that runs on the local machine fails to run on the Phone emulator that ships with Visual Studio 2015 for the most part). Phone support is not RTM yet and hence worth checking to see what improvements will just happen in the future, versus what we need to make happen :).

    Thanks,

    Unni

  29. Bread_AP says:

    Hi,

    Does the mobile emulator 10.0.10240 version not support for a win 8.0 pc?

    Because I can't start the emulator after updating to 10.0.1024 from 10.0.1.

    Thanks for your help!

  30. Thomas Schmidt says:

    Hi,

    I'm experiencing mysterious freezes of VS2015 RTM. I'm running VS2015 Enterprise on Win10/64bit in developer mode. I got a solution with several C++ and C# projects targeting desktop, PCL, Win10 runtime components and Win 10 apps. Two days before, a deploy of the app to the local machine freezed VS. I had to kill the VS with task manager. Each restart of VS with the solution freezed VS while 'Initializing'. Kill process again. Reboot machine. Restart VS – hang. Remove .suo and .sdf files. Restart VS. Solution opens fine with another arbitrary startup project. Trying to set the startup project to my universal app again – hang. This is reproducible via context menu in solution view or the startup project combobox. Building the concerning project works, but trying to debug it via context menu (without setting as startup project) hangs VS, too. I also tried getting the solution from TFS to a clean folder but to no avail.

    The only solution I found was refreshing the VS install – a very long process I did overnight. The next morning the solution worked fine. Until the afternoon, when suddenly a deploy failed again with the same symptoms. Tonight I refreshed again. VS works today. Half an hour ago, VS hangs again, can't work anymore.

    Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Thomas

  31. t_sch says:

    Hi,

    I'm experiencing mysterious freezes of VS2015 RTM. I'm running VS2015 Enterprise on Win10/64bit in developer mode. I got a solution with several C++ and C# projects targeting desktop, PCL, Win10 runtime components and Win 10 apps. Two days before, a deploy of the app to the local machine freezed VS. I had to kill the VS with task manager. Each restart of VS with the solution freezed VS while 'Initializing'. Kill process again. Reboot machine. Restart VS – hang. Remove .suo and .sdf files. Restart VS. Solution opens fine with another arbitrary startup project. Trying to set the startup project to my universal app again – hang. This is reproducible via context menu in solution view or the startup project combobox. Building the concerning project works, but trying to debug it via context menu (without setting as startup project) hangs VS, too. I also tried getting the solution from TFS to a clean folder but to no avail.

    The only solution I found was refreshing the VS install – a very long process I did overnight. The next morning the solution worked fine. Until the afternoon, when suddenly a deploy failed again with the same symptoms. Tonight I refreshed again. VS works today. Half an hour ago, VS hangs again, can't work anymore.

    Any ideas?

    Regards,

    Thomas

  32. Paul Chapman - MSFT says:

    @thomas_schmidt  — We'd like to help troubleshoot your issue and get you unblocked. Can you contact me at paul dot chapman at Microsoft.com?

    -Paul

  33. LMKz says:

    Can someone from MS please comment on the bug preventing many users from viewing video in "modern" win 10 apps? This is making it impossible for me to develop video-based UWP apps…

    answers.microsoft.com/…/3411a7c0-f234-45da-9c38-4d584264f119

    answers.microsoft.com/…/87fc32c7-5034-4fb1-9e26-f7c11e8a7bda

  34. Chris Gripeos says:

    Hi,

    I'm trying to create and compile a C++ "Universal App: Blank Project" in Visual Studio 2015 running in Windows 10.

    After I created it using the wizard, I tried to compile it and got this error:

    1>c:"my app directory"app.xaml.h(8): fatal error C1083: Cannot open include file: 'App.g.h': No such file or directory

    Any ideas what might be going wrong? I can't find anything on Bing/Google, so I'm kind of stuck.

    Thanks in advance,

    cg

  35. Kristo says:

    Hi Thomas Smidth,

    I had the same issue -> it came out that VS tried to access somehow my Win10 phone during the time I tried to set my UWP as Startup project. The phone was plugged to USB, allthough none of my projects build target was ARM. I unplugged the phone and the freeze issues disapeared.

  36. Unni Ravindranathan - MSFT says:

    @Chris Gripeos –

    Looks like something is not correctly installed on the machine – either the C++ toolset or the Windows SDK. If you could please get in touch with me offline at unnir at Microsoft dot com, we will take a look at your setup logs and should be able to figure out how to correct this.

    Thanks,

    Unni

    Program Manager, Visual Studio

  37. No third party tools :( says:

    Since I tried back in 2013 to understand how to print in VB Windows Store apps and encountered such an obfuscated code in the print sample together with useless documentation about the process, I have been looking for a third party tool that prints without two years of research.

    MSFT needs to create samples that illustrate clearly the roadmap and have educational value, instead of being a demonstration of complexity.

    That new framework will not take off until the show stoppers for any serious application are lifted.

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