The Windows Software Development Kit for Windows 8 contains headers, libraries, and select tools that you can use during the creation of applications that run on Windows. It also includes the Windows App Certification Kit (ACK) to test your desktop app for the Windows 8 Certification Program and the Windows 7 Logo Program.
Use this version to develop desktop apps for Windows 8 and all versions of Windows, except Windows XP.
Visual Studio Professional 2012 provides the foundation for efficient, high-quality desktop app development for Windows. It provides a complete development environment, including compilers and a build environment. It also includes the Windows 8 SDK.
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop
Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop enables the creation of desktop apps in C#, Visual Basic, and C++, and supports Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), Windows Forms, and Win32.
Note: Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows Desktop cannot be used to build Windows Store apps. If you want to build Windows Store apps, you can also install Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8. Or, to develop apps for all Microsoft platforms and the web, use Visual Studio Professional 2012.