Microsoft is planning to make the software development kit (SDK) for the new version of the touch-centric Surface 2.0 system available for download on July 12.
The Surface 2.0, which is being manufactured and distributed via Samsung (and is officially known as the SUR40), is expected to be priced at around $7,600 when it debuts later this year. The Surface 2.0 is expected to be thinner, cheaper and more versatile (able to be used horizontally or vertically) than the Surface 1.0 tabletop computer.
At Mix ‘11 in April, Microsoft officials described the coming SDK as enabling developers to create “write once, touch anywhere” applications. They said the new SDK will allow programmers to create applications targeting both touch-enabled Windows 7 PCs and Surface 2.0 systems, which makes sense, given the underlying UI inside the Surface 2.0 is Windows 7.
According to a July 7 blog post on the Microsoft Surface Blog, the new Surface 2.0 will make use of the same Metro interface/design language that is part of the Windows Phone and Zune HD, among other Microsoft products.
The new SDK will be released during Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in Los Angeles next week, and Microsoft execs will be seeking new partners there to develop Surface 2.0 applications and to sell the Samsung-developed systems. Microsoft is creating a new Surface Premier Partner Program to highlight developers who are targeting the Surface 2.0 system. Microsoft also plans to make available a migration tool to help developers who built apps for the Surface 1.0 tabletop to move their programs to the new Surface systems.