Get a developer license (Windows Store apps)
[This topic is featured in Develop great apps for Windows 8.]
A developer license for Windows 8 lets you install, develop, test, and evaluate Windows Store apps before the Windows Store tests and certifies them. Developer licenses are free, and you can get as many as you need if you already have a Microsoft account. By default, developer licenses that you acquire by using a Microsoft account must be renewed every 30 days. You don’t need a Store account to get a developer license, but there might be advantages to having this kind of account. For example, you qualify for a 90-day developer license if you have a Windows Store account.
Before the Store accepts your Windows Store app, you must package it and get it certified according to certain rules. If the Windows Store hasn’t certified a Windows Store app, the app can’t run on Windows unless you have a developer license installed on the local machine or the app was sideloaded onto the machine by your enterprise. (This restriction doesn’t apply to desktop apps.) Sideloading is the process of installing apps that were not distributed through the Windows Store, usually for testing an app before it is ready for sale. For more info on sideloading, see What is sideloading? Does the Windows Store allow it?
The license is provided on a per-machine basis and for a fixed amount of time. After the developer license on your local machine expires, you won't be able to run uncertified apps but you can continue to run desktop apps or Windows Store apps that were sideloaded onto the machine.
When you run or debug a Windows Store app for the first time on a remote machine or on a device that’s directly connected to your development machine, you're prompted to download a separate developer license for that machine or device. Because you can't install a developer license on a machine remotely, you must use the machine or device itself to get the license. After you install a developer license on that remote machine or device, you can install, run, and debug packages that haven't been certified. The developer license on the remote machine doesn’t affect apps that the Windows Store has already certified or desktop apps.
When you run Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 on your local machine for the first time, you are prompted to obtain a developer license. Read the license terms, and then click I Agree. In the User Account Control (UAC) dialog box, click Yes to continue.
After you install a license on a local machine, you won’t be prompted again on that machine unless the license expires (or you remove it) and you try to run an uncertified Windows Store app or create a project. You can run uncertified Windows Store apps on your local machine by pressing the F5 key in Microsoft Visual Studio or Blend for Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 for Windows 8.
Note If you choose not to acquire or renew a developer license, you'll receive an error (DEP0100) when you attempt to build or deploy a Windows Store app in Visual Studio. For more info, see Troubleshooting packaging, publishing, and deployment errors (Windows Store apps).
You can renew your developer license any time you are using the Visual Studio IDE. If you're using Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8, click Store > Acquire Developer License. If you're using a non-Express version of Visual Studio 2012, click Project > Store > Acquire Developer License.
If you aren’t using Visual Studio 2012, you can get and manage developer licenses at a command prompt by running these commands in Windows PowerShell:
Show-WindowsDeveloperLicenseRegistration. This command opens a dialog box from which you can get a developer license and install it on the local machine. To run this command, you must have a valid Microsoft account. You also must run this command in a command prompt with elevated permissions.
Get-WindowsDeveloperLicense. This command returns an object that has two properties: ExpirationTime and IsValid. ExpirationTime is a System.DateTime structure that contains the date and time when the license expires. IsValid is a System.Boolean that indicates whether the license is valid. You can run this command from either a non-elevated command prompt or a command prompt with elevated permissions.
Unregister-WindowsDeveloperLicense. This command warns you that some Windows Store apps will stop working if you remove the developer license from the local machine. If you choose "Yes" (the default) to confirm that you want to remove the license, the license is removed from the local machine. You must run this command in a command prompt with elevated permissions.
The examples show the basic PowerShell syntax:
C:\PS> Show-WindowsDeveloperLicenseRegistration C:\PS> Get-WindowsDeveloperLicense C:\PS> Unregister-WindowsDeveloperLicense
Microsoft can detect fraudulent use of a developer license on a registered machine. If Microsoft detects fraudulent use or another violation of the software license terms, we might revoke your developer license. The monitoring process helps ensure the overall health of the app marketplace.
Microsoft doesn’t monitor the use of apps that the Windows Store has certified. Microsoft collects analytics for apps sold in the Store and provides those analytics to the developers who created those apps. For more info, see the software license terms for your edition of Windows.
To find out which edition of Windows is running on your computer
Click Windows Explorer > Computer > Properties.
The edition of Windows you are running is displayed under Windows edition near the top of the window.
To read the license terms
Click Windows Explorer > Computer.
Under Hard Disk Drives, choose the drive where Windows is installed. This is often the drive labeled (C:).
Choose the Windows folder, > System32 folder, > en-US folder, > Licenses folder, > _Default folder.
Choose the folder that corresponds to the edition of Windows that's installed on your machine, and then open the license.
The license will open in a new window.
If you have a developer license, you can run Windows Store apps that haven’t been tested and certified by the Windows Store, but you won't benefit from the protection that certification provides. A computer on which a developer license is installed might have a bigger risk of virus or malware infection than a computer that installs apps only through the Store. In other words, if you acquire and run Windows Store apps from sources other than the Windows Store, take the same precautions you normally do when acquiring desktop apps from the web.
If you installed the developer license on your local machine, your next step is to choose a programming language and start creating your first app. Here is more info about how to get going.
Build date: 3/14/2013