Curious about developing applications for Microsoft Surface? I can assure you that you are not the only one. I have done some research on how to get started doing so.
The first thing you need to do is to get hold of the Microsoft Surface unit, this is yet only available for commercial purchase. If you are working in a company that are a Microsoft partner or using/developing within the Microsoft family it should not be too hard to acquire one. Have a look here for detailed information on how to by the Microsoft Surface. Actually you can develop and test Microsoft Surface applications on your PC using the Surface simulator, but guess what this simulator is only available from the Microsoft Surface SDK and to get hold of this SDK you need to purchase the Surface Developer unit. With good connections within MS it should not be impossible to get access to the SDK and simulator without purchasing the unit…
The Microsoft Surface unit is available in two versions:
- Commercial version that is delivered with Microsoft Surface Runtime software, Windows Vista Business OS and all software required to run touch-enabled applications.
- Developer version that is delivered with Windows Surface SDK 1.0, Windows Vista Business OS and all software required to run and test touch-enabled applications.
Developing applications for Microsoft Surface is not that hard, most of the work can be done using technology that you already are familiar with (standard C#.Net). Microsoft Surface is compatible with the following tools, programs and platforms:
- Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) technology
- Microsoft XNA development platform
- Microsoft Visual C# 2008 Express Edition
- Microsoft Visual Studio 2008
- Microsoft Expression Studio 2
- Microsoft Expression Blend 2
The new thing is the user input, you are now developing a system for multiple points of simultaneous interaction. Luckily Microsoft have provided a SDK (Microsoft Surface SDK 1.0) helping you achieving this. When purchasing the developer unit you get training courses, licenses to the SDK and membership to the community.
This doesn’t sound to hard does it?
Edit 3th May: I got two good links to posts for Microsoft Surface developers from the official MS Surface channel on Twitter (MSSurface). Both posts are from the Microsoft Surface blog at MSDN.