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I'm looking to get into Windows 8 app development, and from what I understand I should be mastering XAML and C#.

Now, there aren't any good tutorials on the internet about Windows 8 yet, but there are a lot of tutorials about WPF, which uses XAML.

So what's the best starting point: learning WPF? Or is there something else I should be looking at?

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migrated from Dec 11 '11 at 5:25

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Are you looking to build desktop-style apps or Metro-style apps? –  BoltClock Dec 11 '11 at 5:30
metro apps ofcourse –  Shane Adrian Muaz Dec 12 '11 at 16:20

4 Answers 4

up vote 6 down vote accepted

The Metro App Dev Center looks like a good place to start, with links to the developer preview, BUILD conference videos, and tutorials/articles.

Honestly, I cannot vouch for the quality of the tutorials, as I have installed the Win 8 preview and watched some of the BUILD videos, but just don't have time to go farther than that with my current work schedule.

BUILD conference videos that I recommend watching:

  1. 8 Traits of Great Metro Style Apps - highly recommended, great presentation and really helps to understand the design philosophy behind "Metro".
  2. Tools for Building Metro Style Apps
  3. Platform for Metro Style Apps

Good luck!

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pretty useful ones there , thanks –  Shane Adrian Muaz Dec 11 '11 at 5:11
@ShaneAdrianMuaz, still, please do watch the conference videos as xaml isn't the only ui option - html/javascript are also shown. –  Jeff Ogata Dec 11 '11 at 5:16
Be mindful that Silverlight is closer to Metro and WinRT than WPF is; WPF will mostly be on the desktop. The basic principles of MVVM and XAML still apply; just in subtly different ways. –  BoltClock Dec 11 '11 at 5:17

Learning WPF is a good start. Microsoft is pushing it as "Windows Forms of the Future". It has a pretty steep curve to start, but if you came from the WinForms world you will learn to love it.

My recommendation is that you start with WPF, then jump into implementing the MVVM pattern. If you plan to learn Silverlight at some point, get WPF down first and then go that route since Silverlight is very much the lighter (and not nearly as capable) implementation of the framework.

No doubt about it, the most difficult thing for beginners to grasp in WPF is binding. And with the MVVM pattern it's all about that. Get comfortable with these concepts and you will be in good shape.

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thanks a lot for that ! totally agreed ! Also why can't I build web forms with windows 8 developer preview ? it only allows me to build metro style apps :/ –  Shane Adrian Muaz Dec 11 '11 at 5:52
I can honestly say this isn't a decent answer. WPF is not "the way" in win8. It is a "way" but not "The Way". Depending on the app domain WPF is non applicable. The tablet environment has different restrictions and requirements. What does the platform target? If it doesn't fit WinRT you could miss some audience. There is a platform divergence to some sense and everyone should be aware. –  Rig Dec 11 '11 at 7:06
The point of the Win8 developer preview is to allow developers to work on that which is new in Win8 i.e. metro apps. If you want to work on apps uing the existing frameworks (WPF etc) you can do that in Win7 - and a download of Visual Studio 11 is just a bing away so you have the opportunity to use all the new toys, not just the metro stuff. –  Murph Dec 11 '11 at 9:38
Rig, I agree with you. My statement about it being "the way" is taken from Microsoft conferences and presentations. I personally believe there are many ways to solve a problem. WPF offers a good ground for XAML development since there are dependencies upon it. Windows 8 if anything seems to be forecasting the beginning of the end of forms development as it is heavily geared towards tablets. This bothers me a little bit, but we all saw this coming. –  Xcalibur37 Dec 11 '11 at 14:20
@ShaneAdrianMuaz there are two "Developer Preview" builds of Visual Studio 11. The one that comes with Windows 8 does only Metro. The other, which you can install on Windows 7, does everything else. No overlap. –  Kate Gregory Dec 12 '11 at 23:15

There is no "the way" - there are many ways. But having said that, Microsoft is deficient in not giving developers guidance about what they will support going forward.

For example WPF is not a replacement for WinForms. I like WPF and use it for most of my new development but there things that WinForms can do that WPF cannot, for example MDI WPF has no native support for MDI but there are some applications where MDI is exactly the right interface.

\On the other hand it's unclear whether WinForms will be suported going forward - if you're starting a major program that you'll need to support and update for many years it's not clear that Winforms will still be supprted in, say, Visual Studio 2016 or Visual Studio 2018.

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There are lots of tutorials on C# XAML on the internet, the one place where I am learning to build an app for my windows mobile phone is the Microsoft Virtual academy. They have great resources on Windows app development for beginners. Their courses are taught by experts from Microsoft who make the training lively and fun.

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