It’s there: Windows Store Apps with XAML and C#– the ultimate handbook

Wow, it’s done. The ultimate handbook about Windows Store Apps with XAML and C# is printed and available. You can order your copy of the German-written 1146-pages-book on amazon: Windows Store Apps – das umfassende Handbuch Find more information about the book on amazon, on my homepage and on the publisher’s website on

Training on Windows Store Apps

In Germany, Switzerland and Austria I’ll give a three-day-training on Windows Store Apps. If you or your company have interest on this professional training, directly contact me via It is possible to train you in the Trivadis-Trainings centers or onsite at your office. So far so good, let’s look at the past and the future

The past

Puh, this was year was really instensive. Here the straight plan I had so far:
  • January: Buy new home
  • February: My second daughter Sara was born.
  • March: Finish the manuscript for the book
  • April:Renovate and improve new home (thanks to Makita Zwinkerndes Smiley)
  • May: Move
  • … in all months: Working as a consultant and trainer @Trivadis.

The future

So the future contains much more spare time, it’s necessary, because I say “Time is money is not true, time is unpayable”. I want to spend as much as I can with my kids, my wife, family and friends (See also this awesome post from Tim on that topic). So the future plan looks like this:
  • June: Finish a WPF-project as a consultant and enjoy the free weekends
  • July: Parental leave Smiley
  • August: Parental leave Smiley
  • September: Back to work, speaking at basta ( and at Trivadis-internal TechEvent
Keep on rockin’ Thomas

The naming issue: Metro Style-Apps, Windows 8 Style-Apps, Modern UI-Style Apps or Windows Store-Apps?

This post is part of a series about creating Windows Store-apps with XAML and C#. Find the Content of the series here: Windows Store-apps with XAML and C# blog-series Through the past weeks there've been many names around for the apps running in the new tile-based User Interface of Windows 8. This blog-post tries to clarify about the different names and what the apps are called now. In the beginning of the Windows 8 Preview era those apps running in the new tile-bases UI have been called Metro Style-Apps, and the whole new tile-based UI was called the Metro UI. Some days before Windows 8 went RTM, there was an issue with that name, because a German company reselling technical stuff like computers etc. already got the name Metro AG. Metro AG owns "Saturn" and "Media Markt", two of the biggest hardware-resellers in Germany. And the management of the Metro AG was not happy with the usage of their name for Microsoft new tile-based UI. But the Metro AG never gave an official statement on that topic. Microsoft knows that the Metro AG is important for them, and they just said: "Metro was just a Codename". Dot. If you've started with Windows Phone 7, you probably know that the tile-based UI was introduced there and was called Metro. So this "Metro was just a Codename" statement is not the whole truth, but that's all Microsoft said. Seems like no-one want's to produce big waves. In fact, shortly before the RTM Version of Windows 8 Microsoft had to avoid any long-running legal fights, so I think that's one of the biggest reasons for the simple silent "Metro was just a Codename"-statement. After the name Metro was dropped, Microsoft said, that developers shouldn't use the name Metro anymore. Even Apps for the Windows Store will fail certification if they contain the name Metro. I'm not sure what will happen when Metro AG places an App in the Windows Store. :-) OK, so the name Metro was dropped. The problem for developers, writers and all people talking about the new apps was that Microsoft didn't provide a new name. Temporarily they called the apps Windows 8 Style-Apps or just Windows 8-apps. That was a bad idea, because when there'll be a Windows 9 the apps for the tile-based UI will be called Windows 8-apps?! Not so good. This was recognized soon and there has been another name around for the tile-based UI: Modern UI. The new tile-based UI was just called the Modern UI, and the apps that run in that UI were called Modern UI-Style apps. But Microsoft also never officially confirmed that. Due to this naming-issue some developers called their apps just WinRT-apps, because the apps make use of the new object-oriented Windwos API called WinRT (Windows Runtime). When the RTM version of Visual Studio 2012 came out in the mid of august 2012, the first thing I did was to look how Microsoft has named the apps for the Modern UI in the "New Project"-Dialog of Visual Studio 2012. I was really curious about that. And what a suprise, there was another name: Windows Store-apps. And that's the name how we developers should call the apps today. On the developer-portal ( microsoft had still the name Metro. Since last week there's also the new name Windows Store-apps. Even in the forums they are now talking no more about Metro Style-apps, but about Windows Store-apps ( That's a statement from Microsoft that they will keep this name for the future. Yes. So, let's wrap it up:
  • Modern UI the tile-based surface in Windows 8 and in Windows Phone 7/8.
  • Windows Store-apps apps that run in the Modern UI on a Windows 8 PC/Tablet are sold over the Windows Store and so they are called Windows Store-apps.
It's just as easy. :)

Windows Store-apps with XAML and C# – blog series

Since yesterday evening Winodws 8 RTM is out for developers. This blogpost is the start of a blog-series about developing Windows Store-apps with XAML and C#. The series consists of some informational and some “how-to” posts: More topics will come. If you’ve topics not listed above you want to read about, write a comment on this post. The first post about XAML will be written till saturday evening Thomas

Windows 8: The (not) missing startmenu

Before we start with a series of blogposts about developing Windows 8 Metro-Apps with XAML and C#, we  take a look at Windows 8 and its missing startmenu Bin gleich zurück. Windows 8 which will be in RTM-state in the first week of august. I’ve read many articles about the missing Startmenu in Windows 8. I’ve heard many people saying “Microsoft tried for years to bring a desktop-os to mobile devices, now they go the other way around trying to bring a mobile-os to the desktop”. Most of them have never tried Windows 8. Maybe none of them. And all of them said that the missing startmenu is a big loss. I’ve used the Release Preview version of Windows 8 since it came out, so for far more than 1 month. And I don’t miss the startmenu. I really don’t miss it. Let’s figure out why. In Windows 7, I used the startmenu like this: I’ve pinned my favourite applications to the taskbar and the most favourite ones also to the startmenu. But I found out, that I was always using the link on the taskbar, never the one over the startmenu. For non-favourite applications, like e.g. mspaint, I used the search-box in the startmenu. The searchbox is the most used feature of the startmenu from my point of view. I think 70% of my personal startmenu-usage. Additional 10% for manually browsing programs and the rest of 10% to open the control panel and 10% to shutdown. With that in mind I switch to Windows 8, and now I don’t have the startmenu anymore. Instead of I have the Metro-Screen. The Metro-Surface in Windows 8 The Metro-Surface is not only a startmenu-replacement, it’s much more. In fact its a dashboard with your favourite applications, showing up current information via live tiles. And in fact I can use it the same way as my Windows 7 startmenu by just start typing: image When opening the mspaint-Application my computer jumps to the desktop. I can fastly switch between my “dashboard” and the classic Windows-Desktop. In Metro, I can order my applications in groups, e.g. social networking for facebook, twitter & Co., developer tools for Visual Studio, Expression Blend (I don’t have a “Designer”-group Zwinkerndes Smiley), Reflector etc., and so on. So I’m really fine with the Metro-Surface instead of the startmenu. Ok, I have to say, I really love the Metro-Surface, it looks so fresh and excited and gives me all the information I need in a single place. And for that it uses not only a part of the screen, but the whole screen. If you search the web, there are already many tools around that allow you to create the registry-setting so that the classical startmenu appears again. You can even boot windows 8 directly to the classical desktop instead of booting to the metro-startscreen. What about you. How do/did you use the Windows 7 startmenu and do you think you’ll miss it? Thomas

Windows 8 goes RTM in August and is general available in October

Today Microsoft provided first details about the availability of Windows 8. Windows Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Financial Officer Tami Reller confirmed that Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM). Enterprise customers will already have access to Windows 8 in August. With the RTM developer’s are able to earn money with their apps. In the current Release Preview all apps are free so that the preview-users can try everything. Windows 8 will be available for all people in October. That means also that devices with Windows 8 are already available in October! Smiley Woohoo!!! Read more on this topic on the official Windows team blog: Article on

What’s coming next? XAML, WinRT, HTML5,…

It has been really quiet for a long long time on this blog. I've had many amazing projects in the past half year. All about Windows Presentation Foundation. In my sparetime I focused on the HTML5-part, because I'm very interested in the development of mobile apps. I've also looked at the HTML5-part in WinRT. I've published an article about developing Metro-Apps with HTML5/JavaScript in a special edition JavaScript-magazine (German). You can order it here: Later this year I had talks at conferences in Germany (BASTA!) and in Switzerland (Trivadis TechEvent) about Windows Phone, WinRT, Silverlight, HTML5. What's coming next:
  • series of blog-posts about Modern UI-Style Apps with XAML and C# (will start in about two weeks)
  • some WinRT-articles for the German Windows Developer magazine
  • some talks at BASTA! and TechEvent in September. And maybe on other conferences
  • Upgrading WPF-book to .NET 4.5
  • Writing a new book about developing Windows 8 Modern UI-Style Apps with XAML and C#. Will be available next year.
So stay tuned! Thomas

Build applications for Windows 8

Yesterday morning Microsoft launched Windows 8 at the BUILD-conference in Anaheim. Windows 8 has a completely new tile- and touch-based UI with the Metro-Style we already know from Windows Phone 7. For us as Developers the big question was how to develop applications for Windows 8. Microsoft already said something about HTML5 and JavaScript in another preview-video that appeared on youtube before. Yesterday they mentioned more about that topic. First of all: All applications built for Windows 7 will still run on Windows 8. Ok, know let’s look at the platform and the tools we’re using today with Windows. plattformToolsToday Today we’ve classical Applications running on the Desktop built with .NET, Silverlight or just a Win32-App. There are also Web-Applications built with HTML and Javascript running in Internet Explorer or another browser. The problem Microsoft mentioned here is that these three things don’t work together very well. Therefore Microsoft reimagined the Windows-8-platform. You can use any language you wan’t to build the metro-style applications like the picture below shows. plattformToolsWin8 As you can see in the picture above, Microsoft has also reimagined the Windows APIs. They know are calling the Windows APIs the Windows Runtime APIs, or short, the WinRT APIs. WinRT provides over 1800 objects for us developers to use. These 1800 objects are in four blocks:
  • Application Model
  • Communication & Data
  • Graphics & Media
  • Devices & Printing
It’s important to mention that all these blocks are natively built into Windows. It’s not a layer on top of windows, it is windows. The APIs are reflected in C/C++, C# and VB and also in Javascript. So you can use any language you want. Use C/C++/C# or VB and built your view in XAML, or use JavaScript and build your view in HTML/CSS There’s Version 11 of Visual Studio that let’s you create the same Metro-style applications in the different languages. visualStudio2011NewProject Expression Blend 5 will beside XAML also support HTML. So there’s a great tooling for all view-languages. Applications can be published in an App Store called the Windows Store. Same principle as Apple has with their App Store in Mac OS X Lion. Visual Studio 2011 therefore contains a new store-menu where you can upload a package directly from visual studio. Go and grab a Windows 8 Preview with all the tools installed to get started developing Windows 8 apps here: Ok, the big question after knowing all of that is what happens to .NET, Silverlight, WPF in Windows 8? XAML stays, but Silverlight and WPF are just on the side, aren’t they? Let's download the preview and discuss.

Windows 7: RTM in English will be available soon

Over the last days, there have been many rumors surrounding RTM of Windows 7. The 13th July was expected to be the official date when Microsoft will present the RTM at the partner conference (WPC), but it wasn't. On that date Microsoft said that they were close to RTM, but hadn't finished yet. The second half of July was then expected to be the timespan when Microsoft will announce RTM of Windows 7. Yesterday Microsoft came up with the promised information to the dates of Windows 7. The information was posted on the windows team blog. For developers windows 7 RTM will be available in English on 7th August. Find the blog-Entry with more dates for Partners, Consumers etc. here: I'm looking forward to switch to RTM and kicking my (really well running) RC away. Cheers Thomas