The Windows Store Opportunity–Why You Should Care

Here’s a post from Paul Laberge on Windows 8:

You’re an app developer because you build software. Maybe your software is targeted at the web. Maybe it’s targeted at Android, iOS, Blackberry or some other mobile platform. Maybe it’s server-based or cloud-based. It could be Mac OS X, Linux or (yes) even Windows. Regardless of where you build your software or where that software resides in its end state, you clearly are an app developer.

As you can tell, there are lots of options for you to deliver your vision and it’s very possible your app is targeting more than one platform. With the release of Windows 8 last week, another platform is available to you and as a result your options have grown. Windows 8 is not the Windows that you have used in the past. The slogan used at Microsoft is “Windows, Reimagined” and it truly is. If you have not seen Windows 8 in action, you can check out some videos here or you can even download a 90 day trial of the operating system here.

So why should you care about Windows 8 as an app developer? There are several reasons that may make sense and appeal to you:

  • Windows has a very large install base and that user base appears to be upgrading to Windows 8 in large numbers
  • Windows 8 has a built in app store called the Windows Store that will get your app noticed more effectively
  • You can build Windows Store apps with the skills you already know and use (you can build truly native Windows Store apps in HTML/JS/CSS, C++, C# and VB).

How you can get started

Your time is limited so we try to make it as easy as possible for you to get started building Windows Store apps. Below are the resources you’ll want to look at:

  • Windows Store app design site: Visit this site to get guidance on how to design your app’s experience and flow. This site will challenge you to define what your app is awesome at and make it a focus for your UI and app experience.
  • Windows Store app developer site: The one-stop shop for getting the SDK and free tools needed for building your Windows Store app. Also on this site are literally thousands of code samples that you can use in your apps or to learn from (in all supported platform languages).
  • The Windows Store portal: The main web portal for the Windows Store. This site has guidance for iOS developers, Android developers, web developers and others on how to port their apps to the Windows Store.
  • Woot Studio: Microsoft Canada’s blog focusing on app development and design. Get tips and tricks from Microsoft Canada’s developer division on how to build great app experiences.

You’re invited to Windows 8 Pure Imagination

You may have received an invitation via the #devTO Meetup group regarding Microsoft Canada’s premier Windows Store app development conference called Pure Imagination. It is being held in Toronto on November 24-25, 2012 and this conference will give you all the in-person guidance you need to get a head start on building your Windows Store app.

The conference is free and is packed with some of the best developers presenting how to build amazing Windows Store apps. It’s also pretty exclusive as we are being selective as to who gets to attend and as a member of #devTO, you’re in the “in-crowd”. Are you in? Great – you can register here!

There might be a few cool surprises there as well. So if you are thinking of passing on attending, give it a second thought; you might be happy you did.

Join the Developer Movement

If you think there is a good opportunity for you in building apps for the Windows Store, then that’s great! Even if you don’t, you may want to look at this extra incentive program we are running in Canada for building and publishing Windows Store apps (as well as Windows Phone apps and Windows Azure services). You can check out the Developer Movement site here for more info.

Have questions? No problem.

If you have questions, we’re here to answer them. My name is Paul Laberge, a GTA-based Technical Evangelist for Microsoft and focused on our app platform (Windows 8, Windows Phone and Windows Azure). If you want to talk to me, you can email me or find me on Twitter or LinkedIn – give me a shout and I’ll be happy to help!

#DevTO 19 – Connecting Things & CoffeeScript with Node.js

Looks like #devto’s just turned legal age… in months! Thanks to all who battled the Sandy aftermath to hang out with us!

Mailing list

Have you joined yet? Remember you get access to tickets a whole day before everybody else. This month we event sent out some discount codes to other Toronto events like Startup Weekend and Lean Startup Machine! It’s free and it’s the fastest way to get #DevTO tickets delivered to your inbox!
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If you missed last month’s speakers check them out here. We have Anita from Veriday and Faisal from Kobo this month talking about Connecting Things & CoffeeScript with Node.js.
Don’t miss it! The full details are below! More tickets will be opened at 8pm on October 1st.
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Anita Katakkar – Connecting Things

Anita Katakkar

Steve Jobs describes the creative process as “connecting things”. Similarly, the creative process when collaborating can be described as connecting things that come from different origins. Software developers collaborate each time they work with individuals from varied backgrounds or when they develop systems that need to communicate. Similarly, musicians are creating more unique collaborations than ever before as the granularity in labelling music genres increases. Often these collaborations mean traveling unchartered territory. During this session, Anita will discuss similarities in her experiences of collaborating in music and software design, discuss some basic principles of collaboration and demonstrate these principles in musical practice.

Anita Katakkar is classically trained in playing “tabla”, a drum that originates from India. With Indian/Scottish roots in multicultural Toronto, Anita Katakkar’s music practice represents a link between her heritage and community. She has performed, toured internationally and recorded with the Toronto Tabla Ensemble and Jeff Martin and has toured nationally with The Tea Party. In her latest fusion project “Rakkatak” (, Anita has teamed up with local Toronto musicians to create an atmospheric backdrop for her tabla compositions.

Faisal Abid – CoffeeScript with Node.js

Node.js is kick-ass, but when writing large scale apps Javascript does get messy. Learn why Dropbox said F-u to their Javascript and went to CoffeeScript, and how you can too! We will cover the basics of CoffeeScript and Node, then jump right into why CoffeeScript and Node.js are like Peanut Butter and Jelly!

Faisal is an author published by Manning (at age 17) and O’Reilly and has also appeared in leading publications with articles on ColdFusion and Flex. Faisal also teaches Android development at the Rich Media Institute, as well as give presentations at FITC, Riadventure and other conferences on Android, Node.js, CoffeeScript and various other topics. Previously Faisal served as the CTO for MatchFuel and its predecessor AndSpot. From server-side and database challenges to the the front end issues, Faisal loves solving problems and strives to create software that can make a difference. Currently, he is a Software Engineer at Kobo on the Android tablet team.


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