Microsoft Surface 2.0 SDK now available to download

By Tom Warren, on 12th Jul 11 12:35 pm with 7 Comments

Microsoft Surface 2.0

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.

Surface 2 UI

  • Impartial

    2019 vision inching closer and closer

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    Why develop any touch applications using Surface SDK when Windows 8 is just around the corner?

    if a specialized touch applciation needs to go out in the next few months then sure, but otherwise there’s no point. 

    The Microsoft BUILD event is coming up and with it a beta version of Windows 8 and with it an entirely new development framework. 

    • Anonymous

      Because Surface has been around a few years already with numerous installations in place. As the new SDK is merging with the Windows platform going forward, an investment in Surface dev skills is not wasted.

      The odd thing about surface is that it was done as a non-Windows product in the first place. It goes against the grain of Microsoft tradition. An audio guru who spent some years at Microsoft put it that big companies like that are full of guys who want to build their own empires. Being the guy behind a set of APIs largely unknown to non-developers is unsatisfying, so they want to build a box. It’s something they can point to in a store and say, “That was one of mine.” The longtime philosophy at Microsoft was against that. The idea was, build it into the next revision of Windows and let the ISVs run with it.

      (The Xbox came about only after an effort overlapping the Win3.x and Win95 eras to make games that ran off a CD in a way comparable to a console. The few shipping items to come of that were the Win95 versions of Earthworm Jim and a Pitfall game (The Mayan Adventure IIRC) both distributed by Activision. There was also a Bubsy game demoed but I don’t recall if that shipped. There were also some WinG games that were much harder to make work on a wide range of machines. WinG was the Neanderthal precursor to DirectX.)

      Some guys left after getting rich at Microsoft and started their empires. Like Rob Glaser, who was reported in several books to have been widely hated at Redmond by the time he left to start Real Networks. He later went on to testify before Congress against his former employer, making complaints that turned out to be his own employees incompetence rather than any intentional act by Microsoft.

      So Surface is an oddity against Microsoft history. They likely regret breaking with tradition as they would have been better always working as an extension of Windows regardless of what difficulties it would have presented at that time.

  • http://twitter.com/oolong2 oolong2

    Why develop any touch applications using Surface SDK when Windows 8 is just around the corner?

    if a specialized touch applciation needs to go out in the next few months then sure, but otherwise there’s no point. 

    The Microsoft BUILD event is coming up and with it a beta version of Windows 8 and with it an entirely new development framework. 

  • Anonymous

    Hardware costs have held back Surface from becoming mainstream. I remember they announced “lower” price for 2.0 version earlier this year: $7600 MSRP for 40″ Samsung LCD with AMD CPU/GPU using Win7 embedded.

  • http://www.about.me/AngeloGopaul Eingoluq

    As an architect student, I so want surface to go mainstream. I would so love the design on this thing, render drawings etc. The project did start out as an architectural drawing desk, so I hope Microsoft continues to push the creative possibilities of the platform.

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