Start8 for Windows 8

Well it was bound to happen!

Stardock have created an application that inserts a Window’s start button into the Windows 8 task bar.  Engadget are reporting Stardock have sold ‘tens of thousands’ of copies of the app. So congratulations to Stardock :) The app is only $5 (a very sensible price!) so if you are missing the start button I suggest you go and grab a copy.

Before Stardock Start8

After Stardock Start8

For more information visit Stardock’s official Start8 page.

Windows 8 Developer Camp Slides

Here are the slides from the Windows 8 Developer Camp I recently attended

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Create WinRT Component DLL in C#

There are loads of tutorials on how to create a WinRT Component DLL in C++ but there aren’t many on how to do this with C#. In fact it is pretty simple:

Step 1: Add a C# Class library project to your solution

Step 2: Right click on the new project you have just added and go to properties.

Step 3: Change the output type from ‘Class Library’ to ‘WinMD File’.

Change from Class Library

Change to WinMD File

Step 4: Ensure your class inside the newly created Class Library is sealed. The Windows Runtime classes you create must be sealed.

Make sure you set your class to sealed

Windows 8: MVVM and SettingsPane issue?

Today I reported to Microsoft that there appears to be an issue with the SettingsPane in Metro apps built using the MVVM pattern. The app throws an ‘System.AccessViolationException’ throws when you call SettingsPane.Show();

I have emailed over the code to Matt Small (Microsoft) and hopefully I will hear back shortly.

Windows 8 Boot Camp – Day 2

On the second day of the Microsoft Windows 8 Boot Camp we continued on with the Contoso reference app that we started building on Day 1. This covered aspects like search and share contracts, notifications (tile AKA live tile, badge and toast) and getting the app ready for the Windows 8 app store.

Again the app store lab was the most informative and was the one most people seemed interesting in. Surely Microsoft need to look at the feedback and start addressing this. The other general feel I got was people who had the skill sets to develop apps that Microsoft are crying out for wanted access to tablets. Microsoft can you please send me one?! :-p

The event was held at the awesome Paramount tower in central London. It gives some great views over London’s skyline. These are a few pictures I took on my phone.


Windows 8 Account types

To use Windows 8 you must have an account to log in with. There are 3 types of accounts on Windows 8.

  1. Local Accounts – These are local accounts only accessible on the local device.
  2. Domain Accounts – These are accounts created and controlled by Active Directory.
  3. Microsoft Accounts – Previously known as Windows Live ID. These accounts sync your settings with any machine you log into.

For further details on Microsoft Accounts you will find this post interesting –

Windows 8 Snap View

Windows 8 Snap view is the process by which two apps can be displayed, or docked, side-by-side in Windows 8. These apps can consists of two Metro-style apps or one Metro style app and one legacy Windows app. The Snap View, takes up 320 pixels of the on-screen real estate, while the rightmost app takes up the rest.

When developing a Windows 8 Metro app you are required to cater for Snap view if you wish to submit your app to the Windows 8 app store.