There are a lot of amazing new capabilities in Windows 8 such as a completely revamped Start screen with customizable Live Tiles, roaming profiles and preferences. Also included are a set of great new apps including: mail, calendar, people, SkyDrive, Bing Maps, video, photos, and more. With Windows 8 and Contracts, apps can communicate with one another making it easier than ever to access, search and share your apps content with the rest of the Internet.
If you want to experience Windows 8 for yourself and get to know the development tools you’ll need to create compelling apps for Windows 8, follow these simple steps.
1. Install the Windows 8 Consumer Preview
There are 2 installs you need to get you started and it doesn’t matter if your only machine is a Mac, you can still install the tools and develop Windows 8 applications.
First off, you need to install the Beta version of the operating system that’s referred to as the Consumer Preview. The Windows 8 Consumer Preview will run on any machine that can currently run Windows 7, you can install it as a new operating system or install into a seperate partition enabling dual boot. It’s a free download.
If you’re looking for help installing on a PC, check the ‘Downloading and Installing’ guidance in the Windows 8 Consumer Preview: Frequently asked questions.
Using a Mac? Install Windows 8 In Bootcamp
Here’s a video that explains how to install Windows 8 on a Mac using Bootcamp.
If you prefer text instructions, check out this post on Gigaom on How to install Windows 8 Preview using Boot Camp.
2. Download the dev tools for creating Windows 8 applications
Once you’ve got the CP up and running, you’ll want to download the developer tools and SDK, again a free download. You can only run these tools on the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, not on any other version of Windows.
Microsoft Visual Studio 11 Beta is a collection of tools that you can use to create, code, debug, localize, package, and deploy a Windows 8 app. In short, Visual Studio can help you do just about anything you need to do to develop a Windows 8 app.
When you install Visual Studio 11 Express Beta for Windows 8, you also get the Windows 8 SDK, Blend for Visual Studio, and project templates.
If you’re new to these tools, take a look at Develop Windows 8 apps using Visual Studio 11 Beta and Design Windows 8 apps using Blend for an overview of these development environments.
Related reading and support
- Windows Developer Centre – all news, updates, links and downloads
- Building Windows 8 – an inside look from the Windows engineering team
- http://channel9.msdn.com/ – video tutorials and product information from Microsoft
- Windows 8 Consumer Preview forum – need help? Try here.
- Windows 8 Developer Linked In Group – got an idea for an app? Join the Windows 8 developer group on Linked In to get your app into the Windows Store.