Meet Windows Store apps
A Windows Store app is a new type of application that runs on Windows 8 devices. Watch this video for a brief introduction to what makes Windows Store apps different from traditional desktop apps.
A new look
Apps support multiple views
Windows Store apps can support different layouts and views to create a great user experience across a variety of form factors and display sizes.
Apps use tiles instead of icons
When the user installs your app, it shows up as a tile on the Start screen. Touching or clicking the tile starts the app.
Your app can deliver content through its tile, even when it's not running. Using these live tiles, your app can provide useful, at-a-glance data to the user. Apps can configure the system to periodically ask for updates from a web service, regardless of whether the app is running.
A new way to interact
The app bar
Use the app bar to present commands and tools to users. The app bar is hidden by default and appears when users swipe a finger from the bottom edge of the screen. It covers the content of the app and a user can dismiss it with an edge swipe, or by interacting with the app.
The navigation bar
Use the navigation bar to present navigation options to users. It can contain a simple list of links, or it can contain several levels of links organized into categories. You can populate the navigation bar by hard coding entries, programmatically updating it, or by using data binding.
Like the app bar, the navigation bar is hidden by default. It appears when users swipe a finger from the top edge of the screen.
The charms are a consistent set of buttons that appear in every app: search, share, connect, settings, and start. Through these charm buttons, users can:
- Search for content located in your app or in another app, and they can search your app's content from another app.
- Share content from your app with people or services.
- Go directly to the Start screen.
- Connect to devices and send content, stream media, and print.
- Use settings to configure your app to their preferences.
Mouse, keyboard—and now touch
Windows Store apps work smoothly with a variety of input sources, including touch, pen, mouse, and keyboard input. You can use a single set of events that work for all these input sources. Windows Store apps get a set of default styles that ensure UI elements work well for touch scenarios.
A new way to connect
Apps can talk to each other
Windows Store apps can search across other apps and even share content with other apps by supporting the right app contracts. App contracts provide a way for apps to work together. They make it easy to access data stored or created by another app by eliminating the need to work with varying standards or app-specific APIs.
Apps can store data in the cloud
Give users access to all of their photos, files, and friends at any time and on any device, using their Microsoft account. You can use Windows Azure to quickly build, deploy and manage applications and services, and your users can store and share files and communicate with the people most important to them using OneDrive and Outlook.com.
A new way to reach more customers
The Windows Store makes your apps available to millions of customers around the world. You write your app once, set the price in your local currency, and the Windows Store can make it available in the worldwide marketplace in 100+ languages.
The Windows Store makes it easy to distribute, update, and get paid for the apps that you develop.
A new kind of app, but in a language you already know
Choose your language
Choose from a variety of tools
Microsoft provides two free tools, designed to work together, that help you develop, test, and deploy Windows Store apps: Microsoft Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8 and Blend for Visual Studio.