Windows 8 introduces several improvements to the way users can discover and use the devices that are connected to and contained in their PC. Windows 8 can detect nearby devices in the home, automatically making them available for use. Windows 8 can also automatically install a device app from the Windows Store, when users connect their device for the first time. This way, users don’t have to search for the companion software that goes with their device. In addition, Windows Store device apps that are companions to a device or PC have the ability to leverage the full range of functionality of that device or PC.
Windows 8 maintains full support of the Windows 7 device experience, including Devices and Printers and Device Stage. For more information about device experience for Windows 8, click the links below.
Note on languages: Some of the links on this page point to documentation that has been translated into multiple languages. Each of these links has an asterisk (*) next to it. The following languages are available for these documents:
Windows 8 makes it easy for device and system manufacturers to tailor their device experience by creating a Windows Store device app to accompany their connected device or PC. A Windows Store device app involves several components - the Windows Store device app itself, the device metadata, and the driver.
Windows Store Device Apps
To learn more about Windows Store device apps, see the following:
- Introducing Windows Store device apps [video, PPT]
- Building and delivering a great Windows Store app for your device[video, PPT]
This paper outlines the steps in creating, submitting, and updating the components of a Windows Store device app. The app, metadata, and driver components are submitted to different portals, and identifiers shared between the components link them to each other and to the device.
Device Metadata in Windows 8
Like in Windows 7, device manufacturers can use the device metadata system to deliver a device experience in Devices and Printers and Device Stage for a connected device or the PC. New to Windows 8, the device metadata system can also link the device or PC to Windows Store device apps. See the following for more info on creating and submitting device metadata in Windows 8:
To view the latest driver development documentation for Windows, see:
Windows Store device apps can be created for common types of devices, to extend built-in experiences in Windows 8 for printers, cameras, and mobile broadband. Windows Store device apps can also be used to create device experiences for other types of specialized devices.
Printer manufacturers can tailor the Windows 8 print experience for their printer with Windows Store device apps. The print settings app contract in the Windows Store device app enables you to leverage the unique capabilities of your printer. For more information, see:
Mobile network operators can tailor their mobile broadband account experience in Windows 8 by providing a mobile operator app. The app enables users to manage their mobile broadband service accounts directly within Windows. Users enjoy a streamlined, consistent connection flow while mobile network providers enjoy the ability to highlight their value-added services. For information about how to develop your mobile operator app and ensure that your mobile broadband hardware is ready for Windows 8, see:
Manufacturers of connected cameras and system makers with embedded cameras can extend the Windows 8 camera experience with Windows Store device apps. Implementing the camera settings app contract in the Windows Store device app for your camera enables Windows to make use of the unique capabilities of your camera. For more information, see:
Networked Entertainment Devices
Manufacturers of networked entertainment devices, such as TVs and stereo systems, can participate in the Play To experience in Windows 8, which enables Windows Store device apps to send streaming content to their devices. For more information, see:
Manufactures of almost any connected device can create tailored device experiences that leverage the unique capabilities of their device through a Windows Store device app. Similarly, system makers can leverage embedded functionality within Windows Store device apps. Devices that don’t have a built-in user experience in Windows 8 are known as specialized devices.