Setting up the Windows 8.1 and Windows 10 development environment

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This tutorial explains the steps a developer needs to follow in order to be able to develop and test Windows 8.1 Universal and Windows 10 UWP applications.

Prerequisite: As you setup your Windows development environment, make sure to also read the Setting up the Mobile Foundation development environment tutorial.


  1. Register as a Windows developer

Learn more in the Windows developer support website


Application development for either Windows 8.1 Universal or Windows 10 UWP requires a PC workstation running either the Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 operating system, with Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 or 2015.

Windows 8.1 Universal

A Windows 8.1 Universal application Solution is made up from three projects:

  • Shared code for business logic
  • A project for Windows Desktop/tablet applications
  • A project for Windows Phone applications

Windows 8.1 Universal requires:

  • Windows OS 8.1 or higher
  • Visual Studio 2013 or 2015

Windows 10 UWP

A Windows 10 UWP (Universal Windows Platform) application Solution is made up from a single project containing:

  • Shared code for business logic
  • Adaptive UI (for both Desktop/tablet and Phone)

Windows 10 UWP requires:

  • Windows OS 8.1 or higher
  • Visual Studio 2015

What’s Next

Now that the Mobile Foundation and Windows development environment are set up, continue to Quick Start category to experience Mobile Foundation, or to All Tutorials to learn specific aspects of Mobile Foundation development.

Inclusive terminology note: The Mobile First Platform team is making changes to support the IBM® initiative to replace racially biased and other discriminatory language in our code and content with more inclusive language. While IBM values the use of inclusive language, terms that are outside of IBM's direct influence are sometimes required for the sake of maintaining user understanding. As other industry leaders join IBM in embracing the use of inclusive language, IBM will continue to update the documentation to reflect those changes.
Last modified on January 25, 2017