Why should i care about Windows 8 and Metro Style Applications?

Windows 8 brings a new style of development called “Metro Applications”. If you are a developer programming in .NET, there is something new you have to learn.

As a .NET developer, why should you care about Windows 8? Your knowledge will be applicable for building Desktop, Tablet and Windows Phone applications. Hence, you should definitely care about it.

Unlike traditional desktop apps, a Metro style app has single, chrome less window that fills the entire screen by default, so there are no distractions. A Metro style app can support different layouts and views to create a fluid and harmonious experience across a variety of form factors and display sizes.

Windows 8 Platform and Tools

Source: http://dougseven.com/2011/09/15/a-bad-picture-is-worth-a-thousand-long-discussions/

You will be able to develop Metro style applications using

  • XAML and .NET(C#/VB)
  • XAML and C++
  • HTML and JavaScript
  • DirectX and C++

I am really interested to learn, how to build metro applications using HTML5, CSS and Javascript. Windows 8 has a JavaScript processing engine called Chakra and has a native JS support in the form of WinJs. Metro style applications will interact with the new runtime called WinRT and using the APIs you will be able to interact with operating system. I guess it’s more in the line of what they have already done for Silverlight and Windows phone 7.5. Check for .winmd extension for WinRT API (Metadata).

Why am I talking about HTML/Javascript way of developing metro style applications and not the C#/VB way? I somehow started getting a feel that HTML5 will become the way of developing anything and everything and the ecosystem around HTML5 will become bigger and bigger.

We have only talked about new things. If you haven’t read anything about Windows 8 before, you must be wondering by now that what happened to my .NET framework. Metro style applications and standard desktop applications will run on top of .NET framework 4.5 runtime.

Happy Learning!!!

Useful Pointers which can help you get started
WinRT demystified
A few facts about Windows runtime
WinJS : Windows Library for Javascript
What’s a metro style app?
Design case study: Website to Metro style app
Deep dive into Windows RT


1 thought on “Why should i care about Windows 8 and Metro Style Applications?

  1. interesting points and i think they are valid. XAML is not XML and seems to need a tool to build XAML. I used to code in C++ and i do not hear people writing code in C++. C# only seem to support WP7 which is not largely present. Building something with HTML5 would allows us to support multiple targets with code base and you are adding windows and metro also to the list of targets

    Microsoft is also coming out of it old form and seems to embrace open source. They started to have Linux favors in azure. Hence they bet around HTML 5 to work cross platform(includes UNIX flavors now).

    In addition you see a lot of young developers with skills in HTML and JavaScript and Microsoft wants to bring them on to their platform and will push accordingly.

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