Windows 8 dev, Day 0. – The Basics

If you want to start developing apps for Windows 8, you surely need to know some basics. First of all it’s essential to install Windows 8 Release Preview, Visual Studio 2012 RC and also Blend 5 RC. You can’t develop Windows 8 Metro apps in Windows 7 or older, or in Visual Studio 2012 or older.

Optionally you can install one of my favorite tools: ReSharper EAP 7 for Visual Studio 2012. It’s still in beta quality, but it’s definitely better than nothing.

Once you have all this installed, you should probably start reading some stuff about actual Windows 8 Metro app development. I expect you already have some knowledge about creating classic .NET or Silverlight applications in C#, so I won’t cover these basic steps. First of all buy this excellent e-book and read it: Programming Windows 6th Edition, by Charles Petzold, it’s about 300 pages long, so nothing you can’t finish in one weekend 🙂 It contains thorough information about XAML and WinRT basics, how to work with layout, Framework Elements, Containers, interactive Controls, DataBinding, Events, etc. Together with some discount codes it costs less than $20. This book also contains lot of code samples you can try on your PC, you can alter them and watch what happens.

Together with studying this book you can also start browsing through MSDN pages related to WinRT programing. Give it at least day or two crawling through these archives, reading materials about Metro design principles, Windows 8 app design, application lifetime, contracts, capabilities, etc. Don’t forget also to download couple of actual Windows 8 applications from current Windows Store and use them to know, how they actually work and behave. Don’t underestimate this part of development, for creating successful and good liking apps it’s essential to know how these app should look like.

So much for theory, the next chapter will be devoted to actual problems and issues I’ve discovered during my Windows 8 app development/porting from WP7.