What's New in the Windows SDK
The Windows Software Development Kit for Windows 8 (Windows SDK) introduces new and updated features for Windows 8 and removes some features that were in the earlier version. The Windows SDK enables developers to build Windows Store apps and desktop applications. For a list of new APIs, see Windows Developer Center.
Windows Store apps The Windows SDK provides all the headers, libraries, Windows Metadata files, and tools to build the new Windows Store apps introduced with Windows 8.
Integrated DirectX SDK The DirectX SDK is now officially a part of the Windows SDK, including headers, libraries, and tools for building DirectX-based applications and games.
Decreased size At roughly 300 MB, this version of the SDK is about half the size of the Windows SDK for Windows 7 and the .NET Framework 4. Therefore, the newer version installs faster and has a smaller system footprint.
The following items were either changed or removed from this version of the Windows SDK.
Command-line Build Environment The Windows SDK no longer ships with a complete command-line build environment. The Windows SDK now requires a compiler and build environment to be installed separately.
By removing the command-line build environment, the Windows SDK no longer ships the following components:
Windows SDK Platform Toolset
Visual C++ Compilers and C Runtime (CRT)
Windows SDK Configuration Tool
Microsoft Help Viewer The Microsoft Help Viewer no longer ships as part of the Windows SDK.
.NET Framework Tools and Reference Assemblies The Windows 8 SDK includes support for the .NET Framework 4.5 development tools and reference assemblies. Tools and reference assemblies for previous versions of the .NET Framework aren't included in the Windows SDK. You can continue to download and install the Microsoft Windows SDK for Windows 7 and .NET Framework 4 to acquire tools and reference assemblies for previous versions of the .NET Framework.
IntelliSense The XML documentation comments for the .NET Framework reference assemblies no longer ship as part of the Windows SDK.
Samples All Windows samples have been moved to the Windows Dev Center. The Windows Dev Center provides access to hundreds of demonstrative samples that you can filter by technology, programming language, and development platform. Samples are available for Windows Store apps and desktop apps.
Additional samples are available on the MSDN Code Gallery.
Tools Many obsolete or deprecated tools have been removed from the Windows SDK. The following tools have been removed.
Apatch.exe, Bind.exe, Checkv4.exe, Consume.exe, DeviceSimulatorForWindowsSideShow.msi, Err.exe, FDBrowser.exe, FXCopSetup.exe, Guidgen.exe, Make-Shell.exe, MDbg.exe, Mpatch.exe, MSIZap.exe, PTConform.exe, ReBase.exe, sddlgen.exe, setenv.cmd, SetReg.exe, SoapSuds.exe, Sporder.exe, TcpAnalyzer.exe, TSPDesigner.exe, UTL2IDL.exe, ValidateSD.exe, VirtualLightSensor.exe, WinDiff.exe, and WpfPerf.exe.