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.