Windows 8 Metro App Creation Made Easy

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The Windows 8 Release Preview is out and people are going to start building applications for the new operating system in earnest. The new Metro interface provides a unique opportunity for app developers to create new experiences with the simple touch interface provided by Metro. To that end, Microsoft has some tips for aspiring Metro app developers on how to create and sell a Metro style app.

The first thing any Metro developer is going to want to do is access the Windows Dev Center. The Web site has all the information you need to build great applications for not just Metro, but Internet Explorer and Desktop as well.

The Windows Dev Center has a lot of options to sift through, but here are the most important ones: Dashboard, Docs, Downloads and Community Resources. The Dahsboard is where developers will sign in as a Windows developer once the app store opens soon. Docs is just as it sounds - platform documentation. Downloads contains all the tools you'll need to start developing apps for Windows 8. Community Resources is by far the most important as it connects with other people, who may be more experienced than you, developing applications for Windows 8.

The first step is to choose the language you're going to develop a Metro app in. You can either develop in in VB/C#/C++ and XAML or JavaScript and HTML. Either one is just as good as the other. I would personally go for JavaScript and HTML, but I'm an HTML5 fan. Whatever you decide to do, you're going to need an API reference for Metro which you can get here. You can also get Visual Studio and debugging info to make your app the very best.

The finale involves actually selling your app. There's going to be a lot of competition on the Windows 8 store for Metro apps and you have to stand out. The usual rules for any app store apply here as well. You just have to make yourself seem different and unique. You have to write a description that will make people want to buy your app. Pretty screens may seem nice, but a convincing argument in the description is even more important.

We don't know how successful Windows 8, and by extension Metro, are going to be at launch or the months afterward. If you've been building for Windows previously, it's probably a good idea to get started on Windows 8 development now. It might take off or it might not, it wouldn't hurt to try. For everybody else, what have you got to lose?

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