Microsoft’s Surface 2 SDK is now available.
Microsoft’s latest Surface SDK will now run on WPF 4.0, XNA 4.0 and Windows 7. Surface developers can now target physical Surface hardware and Windows 7 touch PCs with a single SDK. The Microsoft Surface team call this “write once – touch anywhere” and it may explain the company’s plans for Windows 8. Microsoft is attempting to unify its user interface design across the PC, mobile and TV with a Metro style design based on the company’s Windows Phone interface.
Developers will be able to query the hardware capabilities of each device and design their applications accordingly. Microsoft has added a number of APIs for devs to query the capabilities of the hardware. Developers can access the following:
- Maximum number of touches recognized by the hardware
- Whether the hardware can actually distinguish touches caused by fingers versus other touches
- Tag recognition support
- Tilt support
Microsoft’s Surface 2.0 SDK has been in private beta “for a few months” with some external partners according to the company. The company’s new visual style for Microsoft Surface is Metro design inspired. The same design is being adopted for Microsoft’s Windows 8 Start Screen, the replacement to the company’s long standing Start Menu. Judging by the fact Microsoft is positioning the Surface 2.0 SDK as a Windows Touch and Surface hardware combination, it should provide vital clues as to how developers can target Windows 8 touch tablets and Surface devices at the same time.
Microsoft is expected to demonstrate some new partner uses of the Surface 2 during several keynote sessions at its Worldwide Partner Conference later today. The Surface 2.0 SDK is available for download immediately at Microsoft’s download center.