Top 6 New Features and Updates in the Windows SDK

By: Radu Tyrsina
2 minute read

Windows 8 developers use the SDK as their main tool that helps them develop apps, and with the launch of the Windows 8.1 operating system, the SDK has also received some new features. Here are six most important of them

Man keep computer keyboardWe’ve recently shared with you the download links for Windows 8.1 SDK and now it is time to talk about some of the most important new features that the Windows Software Development Kit comes with. By using the updated SDK, you can create apps not only for Windows 8.1, but for all the Windows operating systems, such as Windows 7, Vista and many others.

Besides the new features, Microsoft has also updated and removed some of them. Here are the most important changes:

  • Command-line build environment – a complete command-line build environment is no longer present in the Windows SDK
  • .NET Framework tools and reference assemblies – The Windows SDK supports the .NET Framework 4.5.1 development tools and reference assemblies
  • Samples – all Windows samples to the Windows Dev Center have been modified

New features in the Windows 8.1 SDK

ARM Kit policy

A new ARM Kits policy (Microsoft-Windows-Kits-Secure-Boot-Policy .p7b) comes with the Windows SDK. To run the Windows SDK tools on an ARM device, make sure the ARM Kits policy is installed. For instructions, see ARM Kit policy information.

Device Metadata Authoring Wizard

Device manufacturers and service operators can use this tool to develop a metadata package for their devices and services. This metadata package provides info that appears to Windows users, including the photorealistic icon and name for the device or service.

Integrated DirectX SK

The DirectX SDK is now part of the Windows SDK. Many tools and components that originally shipped in the DirectX SDK now ship as part of the Windows SDK. These tools support building great DirectX apps for Windows using only a single SDK. If you need to use the DirectX SDK for access to legacy components, we’ve provided directions for using it with the new Windows SDK through Visual Studio 2012.

Direct3D shader compiler

The d3dcompiler_47.dll now ships with Windows 8.1. If you’re targeting Windows 8.1, you no longer need to ship the DirectX Redist.

Windows App Certification Kit 3.1

Now available with enhanced user experience; this version can be used to pre-certify Windows Store apps for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 before onboarding, as well as for Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Desktop App Certification Programs. The Windows ACK 3.1 has been updated to provide developers a seamless user experience – run tests in parallel to save overall time, selective test selection to name a few. This updated version is an in-place update for any earlier versions of Windows ACK.

As a Windows 8 developer, what do you think about these new changes? Are they worthy, do they help you to create better apps in the Windows Store? Let us know in the comments box from below.

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