Windows device experience
Windows lets device manufacturers and mobile operators create engaging experiences to accompany their internal or peripheral device. This section describes the features in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 that support those experiences, including Windows Store device apps, Windows Store mobile broadband apps, Device Stage, Devices and Printers. It also describes device setup and installation, and provides a device metadata reference.
In Windows 8.1, device manufacturers and mobile operators can create apps that extend the experiences built in to Windows and perform privileged operations, such as device updates. When created by mobile operators, these apps are referred to as Windows Store mobile broadband apps. When created by all other device manufacturers, these apps are referred to as Windows Store device apps.
Introduced with Windows 7, the Device Stage and Devices and Printers desktop experiences make it easy for users to view and interact with devices that are connected to Windows.
Device manufacturers can develop Windows Store device apps that use device metadata to automatically install, start from AutoPlay (on more devices than other apps can), and perform device update operations, such as firmware updates. Camera and printer manufacturers can also use device apps to extend the camera and printer experiences built in to Windows 8.1. For more info, see Windows Store device apps.
Note that in Windows 8.1, device metadata is not required to access USB, Human Interface Device (HID), Bluetooth GATT, and Bluetooth RFCOMM devices. For more info about the Windows Runtime APIs that make this possible, see Windows 8.1: New APIs and features.
Mobile operators can develop Windows Store mobile broadband apps that integrate into the mobile broadband experience. In Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, users enjoy a streamlined, consistent connection flow while mobile network providers enjoy the ability to highlight their value-added services. With built-in mobile broadband capabilities, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 reduces the need to develop traditional connection management apps. To learn how to ensure that your mobile broadband hardware is ready for Windows 8 and Windows 8.1, and to learn how to design, develop, and submit your mobile broadband app, see Windows Store mobile broadband apps.
Device setup may be initiated automatically or manually in a variety of ways, which all result in the device being ready to use. To learn about the different ways a device can be set up and installed, see Device setup user experience.
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. Windows 8 maintains full support of the Windows 7 device experience. For more info, see Windows 7 device experience.
A device metadata package is a collection of XML files that describe a physical device and enable the device experiences described in this section. To learn more about what device metadata is, and for a reference of the device metadata schema, see Device metadata.