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Microsoft unveils Windows 10 software development kits

Microsoft has revealed new features in Windows 10 and unveiled a set of software development kits (SDKs) to help developers bring their code for the Web, .NET, Win32, Android and iOS to Windows 10.

At Microsoft's annual Build developer conference, the company also announced new Microsoft Azure data services for intelligent applications; Visual Studio and .NET tools and runtimes for Windows, Mac and Linux; and APIs that enable developers to build apps with Office 365.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, says, “Microsoft has bold ambitions for platforms that empower developers across Windows, Azure and Office.”

Microsoft has declared its ambition to have one billion active Windows 10 devices by FY18, and to achieve this goal has included new ways for developers to build code for Windows 10, including capabilities to scale applications across devices.

For instance, developers can create a single app that scales across all Windows 10 devices and automatically adapts to different screen sizes.

With the Universal Windows Platform, developers can tailor their apps to the unique capabilities of each device, integrate Cortana and Xbox Live into their apps, offer trusted commerce, create holograms, and publish their apps into the Windows Store.

The Windows Store will also offer a single unified experience for Windows 10 customers across devices.

Microsoft also announced new software development toolkits to make it easy to bring their code for the Web, .NET, Win32, iOS and Android to the Windows Store with minimal code modifications.

This will enable developers to start with an existing code base such as Android or iOS, integrate with the Universal Windows Platform capabilities, and then distribute their new application through the Windows Store.

The Visual Studio 2015 Release Candidate makes it easier for developers to build and deploy applications to these platforms. 

Visual Studio Code is a free code-focused editor optimised for web and cloud applications, .NET Core for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X, and is designed to help developers be more productive.

The new Office Graph API, expanded add-in capabilities for the iPad and Outlook, and unified APIs provides new ways for developers to reach 1.2 billion Office users, and the Office Graph API allows customers and developers to access, add to and build with the Office Graph, an intelligent store of Office 365 user, service and relationship data.

Unified APIs across OneNote, Outlook and OneDrive, combined with the Office Graph, will enable developers to help consumers and organisations take advantage of some of their valuable and useful data.

New features for Microsoft Edge, the new browser for Windows 10, were also unveiled, offering developers better discoverability of their apps and future extensibility with JavaScript and HTML.

Furthermore, the Azure SQL Database elastic database will allow ISVs and software-as-a-service developers to pool capacity across thousands of databases.

To help developers manage massive datasets, Microsoft introduced Azure SQL Data Warehouse, which is the industry’s first enterprise-class cloud data warehouse as a service. 

Microsoft also announced Azure Data Lake, an open and scalable data repository that supports petabyte-size files and provides high-speed integration with Azure HDInsight, Azure Machine Learning, Cloudera and Hortonworks to quickly derive insights from vast amounts of data.

USA Today, WeChat, Disney and Netflix are a few of the partners referenced in the keynote already building apps for the Windows Store.

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