Next week’s Surface 2 SDK release will hint at Windows 8′s future

By Tom Warren, on 8th Jul 11 10:05 am with 10 Comments

Microsoft Surface 2

Microsoft is set to release its Surface 2.0 SDK on July 12.

The software giant will unveil the SDK at the company’s Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles next week. Microsoft’s latest Surface SDK will now run on WPF 4.0, XNA 4.0 and Windows 7. Surface developers will now be able to 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.

Developers will be able to query the hardware capabilities of each device and design their applications accordingly. “We added a few APIs for you to query the capabilities of the hardware (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, etc.),” explained Microsoft Surface team member Luis Cabrera in a blog post on Thursday. Microsoft’s Surface 2.0 SDK has been in private beta “for a few months” with some external partners according to the company.

Cabrera briefly mentions that the company’s new visual style for Microsoft Surface is Metro design inspired. “It is consistent with other Microsoft Products such as Zune and Windows Phone,” says Cabrera. “The style is clean, simple yet elegant. Our goal was to create a visual style that would put Content first, a visual style that functional and was not distracting.” 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.

Microsoft is also expected to further detail Windows 8 at its partner conference next week. The Surface 2.0 SDK timing lends weight to rumors that the company may release an early developer build of Windows 8 or detail some additional features of Windows 8.

The Surface 2.0 SDK will be made available on July 12 at the company’s Surface Design and Development Center on MSDN.

Surface 2 UI

  • Ben Lowe, UK

    Interesting time for Windows application development.  But will we be able to use these touch centric controls in the Windows 8 tile applications?  I haven’t heard of any talk of being able to use WPF in these tile apps and Cabrera doesn’t mention Silverlight as being a target for the controls. Fingers crossed we get to find out next week what the plan is and hopefully it will involve the tying together of the touch based OS and the touch based controls.

    • oolong2

      This blog post gave me the best explaination for the whole Windows 8 development ClusterF#$%

      Surface would still be under the Development Division so of course they will use all the .Net frameworks they created for Surface development on top of Windows 7.

      However the Windows team is creating their own development story for Windows 8.  So there will be various .Net wrappers, but the core is more C++.

      This might have been something that Ray Ozzie could have reigned in had he remained Chief Software Architect at Microsoft…

      Windows and Office may bring in the most money, but clearly part of that success has always been the development tools and productivity that went along with it.  Whether it was Basic, Visual Basic, or .Net, productivity for entry level developers has always been their.

      However I definately could see how XAML might change things.  A XAML interface to C++ if done right could provide performance and productivity.   Although I’d prepare for the resergence of the BSOD…

    • Harvey

      Thanks for the article.  As a .Net developer, that article scares the hell out of me because it sounds right.  Damn!

    • Brandon

      “A XAML interface to C++ if done right could provide performance and productivity. Although without the abstraction that .Net provides I’d prepare for a return of the infamous BSOD…”

      What does .NET (or any “abstraction”) have to do with BSODs?  A bugcheck/BSOD is a hardware or driver problem.  They’re already virtually non-existent, and probably 99% of the software you run is native code.

      Whether an app is written in native or managed code has no bearing on the likelihood of a BSOD occuring while you run it.

    • oolong2

      You’re right…   However the point is that the .Net framework does provide abstraction in memory management, error handling, security, and hardware to protect developers from themselves.


    is it just me, or does the rightmost picture look a heck of a lot like morea ?

  • Anonymous

    Looks like WIndows8 is gonna be really cool! Wow.

  • Avatar X

    The thing is that Surface always pointed to the future of Windows. Just that now we know where the future starts materializing into.

  • Criação de Sites

    Let’s wait and see if Microsoft won’t screw up things again. Hope they do it right.

  • TC