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It's easier than you think to create a Windows Store app.

A Windows Store app is a new type of app that is sold in the Windows Store and runs on Windows 8 devices. They install easily and uninstall cleanly. They run in a single window that fills the entire screen by default. They automatically work with a variety of input sources, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard. Instead of static icons, they use live tiles that can display notifications. You can write Windows Store apps in a variety of languages, such as C# and Visual Basic with XAML, C++ with XAML or DirectX, and JavaScript with HTML/CSS.

Follow this guide to get the tools you need, create your own apps, and release them on the Windows Store.

conceptual image of app in the Windows store and installed on the Windows 8 Start screen


Get set up:

  1. Download and install the free tools.
    Microsoft provides two free tools, designed to work together, that help you develop, test, and deploy Windows Store apps: Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows 8.1 and Blend for Visual Studio. (These tools require Windows 8.1.)
  2. Run Visual Studio to get a developer license.
    After you install the tools, run Visual Studio. To develop and test Windows Store apps, you need a developer license, which is free. When Visual Studio prompts you, follow the prompt to get your license.
    (You can also get your developer license without running Visual Studio. For more info, see Get a developer license.)

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