How to learn Windows 8 Apps Development


I know most of the developers are thinking that they already knows how to develop software for Windows platform and if you are one of them then you might have missed that I am talking about Windows 8 Apps not client software. The new Metro Style Apps for new Windows 8 Metro UI.

There is no doubt in saying that Windows 8 is going to the next amazing platform which will be loved by millions of people around the world to be more productive, creative, and to have fun. Being more consumers centric, Windows 8 is going to have huge customer base, even more than the earlier version of Windows.

Windows 8 represents the most significant platform opportunity available to developers, with a chance to reach millions of people with your amazing Metro style apps.

Apps are at the center of the Windows 8 experience. With Metro style apps users can focus on their content, rather than on the operating system, which make apps more powerful and useful in Windows 8.

Chances of being earning millions by selling your Windows 8 Apps are pretty high. But now you are wondering that how to do so? Where to start? How to learn? Is there any course or certifications out for learning Windows 8 apps development? Where to find guidance documentation and other resources?

Now don’t think that you have to learn a whole new programming language developed on an Alien planet by Aliens!

Jokes apart, With Windows 8, you can leverage your existing skills and code assets to create Metro style apps for your customers.

Web developers can use their HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript skills, as well as their experience with third-party JavaScript libraries.

Microsoft .NET Framework and Silverlight developers can use their XAML, C#, and Visual Basic skills.

Developers looking for maximum performance for their games and other graphics-intensive apps can use the power of Microsoft DirectX 11.

With Windows 8, you’re already ready to imagine, build, and sell the next great app to the entire world.


So, here is my list of tools, resources and documents required to start developing world class Windows 8 Metro Apps.


Visual Studio 11 Beta

Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8 is your tool to build Metro style apps. It includes the Windows 8 SDK, Blend for Visual Studio, and project templates. The tools include a fully featured code editor, a powerful debugger, a focused profiler, and rich language support that you can use to build apps that written in HTML5, JavaScript, and C++, C #or Visual Basic. Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8 also includes a device simulator that you can use to test Metro style apps on multiple form factors.

Windows 8 Consumer Preview

It is a pre-release version of Windows 8 that focuses on people and apps and gives you powerful new ways to use social technologies to connect with the people who are important to you. Windows 8 Consumer Preview is built on the rock-solid foundation of Windows 7 and has the security and reliability features you expect from Windows. It’s fast, and it’s made to work on a variety of form factors—especially the new generation of touch devices.

Windows SDK for Windows 8 Consumer Preview

The Windows Software Development Kit for Windows 8 Consumer Preview (Windows SDK) contains headers, libraries, and select tools that you can use during the creation of applications that run on Windows operating systems. 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.

You can use the Windows SDK, along with your chosen development environment, to write native or managed Windows Metro style apps, desktop applications that use the native (Win32/COM) programming model, or desktop applications that use the managed (.NET Framework) programming model.

Note: If you are downloading Visual Studio 11 Beta then you don’t have to download it separately. It’s already bundled with Visual Studio 11 Beta.

Mainly you need to download these first to start learning Windows 8 Apps Development. And once you’ll learn enough, move forward to these tools to deploy features provided by them.

Design Assets (48 MB): These .psd assets include templates, common controls, and common components such as contracts, notifications, and tiles.

Sample app pack (300 MB): This package contains over 200 samples from Microsoft to help jumpstart your project quickly. You can also browse individual samples, copy code inline, and leave comments in the samples gallery.

Live SDK: The Live SDK provides a set of controls and APIs that enable applications to integrate Single Sign On (SSO) with your Microsoft account and access information from SkyDrive, Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger.

Remote Tools for Visual Studio 11 Beta: These standalone tools allow you to easily install, test, and profile the performance of a Metro style app on a PC running Windows 8 Consumer Preview without Visual Studio 11 Beta installed.

Mulilingual App Toolkit (3.0 MB, English): This extension for Visual Studio 11 Beta helps you localize your Metro style app with translation support, translation file management, and editor tools. Learn more about the Multilingual App Toolkit.

Microsoft Advertising SDK for Windows 8: With the Windows Store, you can choose whichever ad platform you prefer, whether it’s from Microsoft or someone else.



Windows 8 app developer blog: The Windows 8 apps developer blog explores best practices for coding and designing Metro style apps. It is written by the team of developers who are building Windows 8.

Windows Store for developers blog: The Windows Store for developers’ blog is all about doing business in the Windows Store. Members of the engineering team who’ve built the Windows Store write blog posts along with Antoine Leblond, Vice President of Windows Web Services.

Building Windows 8 blog: Get an inside look at how, what, and why different features of Windows 8 are being built. This blog is written by Windows President Steven Sinofsky together with members of the Windows engineering team.

Developer Forums: Connect with the community to ask technical questions and discuss how to build Metro style apps.

API reference for Metro style apps

Visual Studio 11 Beta Resources

Also visit Windows App Dev Center for more resources.

Windows 8 Apps Development Courses

Pluralsight is offering 3 courses on Windows 8 Apps Development which I strongly recommend you to take if you are seriously want to be a Windows 8 App developer.

Introduction to Building Windows 8 Metro Applications: This beginner level course covers everything you need to know to get started building Metro apps. Topics covered include an overview of Windows 8 and Metro app features as well as key features that you need to know to build HTML/JavaScript or XAML/C# Metro apps.

Building Windows 8 Metro Apps with C# and XAML: Windows 8 introduces a new style of application, called ‘Metro’, along with a new API for building this kind of app called ‘WinRT’. This intermediate level course shows how to use WinRT, in conjunction with XAML, to build Metro applications for Windows 8.

Building Windows 8 Metro Apps with C++ and XAML: With Windows 8 a new application model called Metro was introduced, along with a new runtime called WinRT (Windows RunTime.) In this course you’ll learn the fundamentals of developing Metro apps in C++ using language extensions called C++/CX, XAML, and the WinRT libraries. Leverage the C++ skills you already have and develop Metro apps for Windows 8 with the same libraries as C# or Javascript programmers.

Various test exercise and assessments are available there to learn and improve your development skills. Enroll yourself today to take the benefit of courses available and kill the fear of being lost in middle of nowhere after wasting your precious time. Better to hold the hand of experts and not to waste time with least valuable things, instead learn about what is more important directly.

I will keep on updating this post as I come to know about more resources such as Books, Videos and Certification details.