Microsoft has made available the first preview of the Visual Studio 2015 tools that developers will need to build the universal apps that will debut with the upcoming Windows 10 operating system.
Microsoft first revealed its plans for universal apps in January. The apps will run on anything from PCs, tablets and phones to single board computers and devices forming part of the Internet of Things.
The firm disclosed more details earlier this month at Mobile World Congress, and is now following up with developer support in the shape of pre-release tools for Visual Studio 2015, which is itself still available only as a Community Technology Preview (CTP).
Customers signed up to the Windows Insider programme can download the Windows 10 Technical Preview tools now, and use them with Visual Studio 2015 CTP 6 and the Windows 10 Technical Preview.
However, Microsoft warned that deploying applications to a device running the phone version of Windows 10 is not yet supported, and even on the PC, users need to have the latest preview build of Windows 10 installed.
"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," said S. Somasegar, writing on Microsoft's Developer Tools Blog.
"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 maximise code sharing across those projects using Shared projects."
Microsoft said that the developer tools showcase the features talked about at MWC, including the adaptive user interface that lets an application adapt from small to large screens.
Many of the Windows 10 user interface controls will also automatically determine at runtime how the customer is interacting with the app and render the appropriate user experience, such as providing larger targets for touch input.
Microsoft said that Windows 10 allows developers to directly verify whether a Windows feature is available rather than inferring this based on the operating system version.
The upshot is that an app can check at runtime whether a Windows feature is available on the device before attempting to use it.
British Airways blames 'global systems outage' for IT meltdown
Mark Zuckerberg mercilessly trolled by Harvard student newspaper after return to university he dropped out of 12 years ago
'Unauthorised user' blamed by Harvard for insulting Mark Zoinkerberg
Android under attack from 'Judy', Google Play Store malware that has infected up to 36.5 million users
Yet more Android malware discovered on the Google Play Store
Airport believes new system will be more reliable than GPS or Google Maps