Monthly Archives: December 2012

Windows 8 – Developing Windows Store Apps

By Tim Daniels
I recently upgraded by desktop to Windows 8. I also started learning about developing Windows 8 style apps. I downloaded a great introductory book called “Beginning Windows 8 Application Development” by István Novak, György Balássy, Zoltán Arvai and Dávid Fülöp.

I also downloaded the express versions of Visual Studio 2012. Yes, that’s right, I said versions (plural). There is an express edition for each different kind of application you can develop. Here is the breakdown;

  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Web
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Phone
  • Visual Studio Express 2012 Team Foundation Server Express 2012

If you buy the professional edition of Visual Studio 2012, all of these different types of apps can be developed from a single IDE.

My focus is on developing apps for the Windows Store. This is the type of application development covered in “Beginning Windows 8 Application Development”. For this purpose I’m using Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8. As you would expect, Visual Studio is already loaded up with an adequate set of templates to jump start development. The express edition even comes with a Windows 8 start screen simulator, so you can test things like screen orientation on your desktop.

Microsoft has done a great deal of work to extend Windows 8 style development to a very broad developer community. Windows 8 Style app development supports the following programming languages;

  • C++
  • C#
  • Visual Basic
  • JavaScript

User interfaces can be developed with the following languages;

  • HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript
  • XAML (Extensible Markup Language)

XAML based user interfaces can be designed and developed using another free development tool called Blend for Visual Studio 2012 (Windows Store apps). Blend is fully integrated with Visual Studio 2012. This makes it very easy for the programmer to seamlessly collaborate with the user interface designer.

At this time I have mostly focused on developing some very simple Windows 8 Style applications using JavaScript, HTML5 and CSS.  In support of rapid application development, Microsoft has developed a robust set of pre-written JavaScript functions specifically for development of Windows Store apps.

Here is a helpful link on learning to build Windows Store apps.