James Batchelor look at how Marmalade has worked with Microsoft to introduce Windows 10 support to its popular tools

Preparing for Windows 10

Windows 10 has finally arrived today, and already firms are working hard to ensure developers can make the most of it.

This effort is being driven in no small part by Microsoft, keen to improve on the shortcomings of previous operating systems and offer the games industry a fresh audience.

“Microsoft is working to help devs be successful across the platforms and devices they want to target by giving them choice in the tools and code they work with,” explains Corey Goff, Microsoft’s senior product marketing manager for its games developer platform. “We also recognise that most developers need to target multiple platforms to be profitable and successful.”

A key partner in this is Marmalade Technologies. Having worked with Microsoft since 2012, when Windows Phone 8 first enabled C++ apps, the company has been preparing for the launch of Windows 10, ensuring its tools run with the new OS and support Visual Studio 2015.

Marmalade has also spent months finding ways to help developers target both Windows 10 and the Windows store.

“We’ve continued our relationship on both a technical and marketing level, collaborating on technology development, product updates and developer evangelism – all designed to ensure Marmalade devs have maximum opportunity to tap into Windows,” says COO Donald Beatson.

Goff adds: “Gaming engines such as Marmalade are vital to the success of a vibrant ecosystem for game devs. Cross-platform tools are great for helping developers reach more platforms, and in turn, more gamers. Component tools from anything to audio and physics to networking or multiplayer services also help developers abstract pieces that games need so they can focus on what makes their game special.”

With Microsoft’s shift towards universal apps that work across all devices, including Xbox One, Beatson believes that Windows 10 is nothing short of a “game-changer”.

“It unifies Microsoft’s mobile, tablet and desktop platforms making it easier than ever before for developers to target the platform,” he says. 

“Terry Myerson at Microsoft has promised an install base of more than 1bn Windows 10 devices in two to three years, which is an audience that no developer can afford to ignore – and should bring Windows 10 front and centre in developers’ minds when they choose which channels to target.”

Marmalade has been working on Windows 10 developer previews since before Christmas, following Microsoft’s own build schedule and ensuring its tools were compatible. In fact, a public beta of the Marmalade SDK for Windows 10 went live on the same day as the OS’ release at Microsoft’s Build 2015 conference in April.

Says Beatson: “The Marmalade SDK’s cross-platform capabilities means that targeting Windows 10 will be straightforward – no need to change toolchain, no API changes, and very limited code change required at all. And we plan to continue to work with Microsoft on developer evangelism and offers later in the year to sell the benefits and potential of Windows 10, and encourage more developers to release compelling content to Windows.

“Because of the way Microsoft has built Windows 10, it will be run on a huge range of devices. We hope to establish how easy it makes it to target Xbox One as a new platform – watch this space. We’ll also be looking at delivering technology that helps developers optimise their experiences for Windows – with features like DirectX 12 support, monetisation aids like ad networks and analytics support, as well as tech to make it easier to integrate Azure cloud services – a key priority for Microsoft.”

Why Marmalade matters
Marmalade Technologies’ close working relationship with Microsoft ensures that developers will be able to use the company’s cross-platform developments tools hot on the heels of the Windows 10 launch.

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