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Why Would you Want to Write Applications for Windows 8 Now?

, 12 Sep 2012 CPOL
Windows 8 opens up new opportunities for developers – whether an early adopter building consumer apps or an enterprise looking to improve the customer experience. This article explains in detail why you would want to start building for Windows 8 now and how the Telerik Windows 8 can help.

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"Why build for Windows 8 now?" "Why not wait until a future date when the platform is more stable?" These questions are valid from a consumer and an enterprise point-of-view and here you will find the explanation, why we, at Telerik, believe that you should start writing applications for Windows 8 today.

You can check out the Telerik Windows 8 UI controls here and download a free trial.

4 Solid Reasons to Start Building Today

Reason #1: You are building for the next generation of the most popular operating system in the world (being Microsoft Windows)

Let me begin with this quote from ZDNet, "If there are 600 million copies of Windows 7 in use, and this represents 40 percent of the market, then simple arithmetic says the installed base is now 1.5 billion machines. The vast majority of them -- 92.53 percent or 1.4 billion -- run Microsoft Windows."

While we do not know how many copies of Windows 8 will be sold, we do know that Windows 7 is the best-selling operating system in history, and Windows 8 is its successor. Windows 8 also allows you to have the best of two worlds. You can choose between the classic "Desktop" mode or the new "Metro" mode. You can still run the same applications on Windows 8 that you can run on Windows 7. You still have your preferred method of input, whether it be mouse/keyboard or touch-screen devices. In other words, nothing was removed, but features were added.

Microsoft is investing heavily in the operating system and while it may take some time to catch on, you can get a head start by working with it today.

Reason #2: There is no denying that the age of the slate / tablet PC is here right now.

We’ve been hearing it since 2010, your next PC will be some sort of slate or tablet device.

Times have changed, we used to be stuck to our office desk because we were using a Desktop computer and if we wanted to "work from home" that meant either physically bringing the box to your home (hopefully, you wouldn’t do this), adding files to a USB thumb drive or connecting via VPN.

Then came the laptop, finally we could take our work with us anywhere we wanted. The main issues that came with laptops were that they were originally heavy and could not match the specs of a powerful desktop PC. You could pretty much forget replacing a part if it failed. As time went by, laptops became smaller and lightweight but not everyone wants to drag a laptop around to watch a movie or do some basic internet surfing.

This is where we started seeing devices such as the iPad take off. The iPad was a phenomenal success and we expect the same for the recently announced Microsoft Surface slates. Windows 8 was built touch-first, meaning they are expecting users to be using the Operating System with such devices.

Reason #3: You can write your application in a language that you already know.

More than likely if you are reading this then you have probably done some .NET development at some point in your career. Windows 8 presents developers with the opportunity to build Metro-style applications using the language of their choice: HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3, or XAML with C# , Visual Basic or Visual C++.

So what language do you choose?

I think Jesse Liberty, a Telerik HTML evangelist, put it best here when he says, "Microsoft’s guidelines are to go with what you know – if you are already a XAML programmer, by all means invest in XAML for Windows 8. If you already are a JavaScript programmer, then follow Javascript to Windows 8. The folks who I know who are doing both say they are more productive with XAML, but of course HTML5 and JavaScript are very hot technologies right now."

The Telerik Windows 8 UI controls is the number one toolset for building native Windows 8 touch-centric apps for the enterprise and consumer market with either XAML or HTML. The suite offers the industry’s best support and rich capabilities on top of WinRT, such as powerful data visualization controls – Chart, Gauge and BulletGraph, engineered specifically for enterprise development as well as components such as Date and Time Pickers.

It is the toolset for building apps that rule the Windows store, helping developers easily achieve polished and delightful user experience and rich data browsing.

Jack of Tools is one of the apps on the Windows store already using the Telerik UI controls for Windows 8. "I knew I could count on Telerik for quality gauges, charts, and controls that I'd come to rely on for the Windows Phone apps. On Windows 8, I was worried I'd have to produce quite a few quality tools in the initial release in order to be on track to eventually be on par with the Windows Phone version. With the Telerik tools for Windows 8, I was up and running in no time," says Jonathan Isabelle from digitalmason.net, the creator of Jack of Tools.

Another customer using the Telerik suite for his app on the store says "I chose Telerik controls because they were the first vendor to offer solid and valid components for Windows 8. The application using the Telerik controls has been certified immediately unlike other more complex implementations." Check out his app here.

To help you get started more easily with your Windows 8 development, Telerik offers a wealth of resources. The free demo apps, Telerik Examples for HTML and Telerik Examples for XAML, give you first-hand experience with the suite and walk you through the controls and their rich functionality. Source code in available.

Reason #4: You can sell your application easily in the Windows Store or deploy it to your enterprise.

"First to Market" – is a very popular phrase meaning that you have the advantage of being the first person in an ever expanding marketplace. The Windows Store makes your application available to millions of customers with minimal effort on your part. You package your application and upload it in a similar manner as you did with Windows Phone 7. You set the price and what markets you want your application distributed to, and Microsoft does the rest.

Microsoft also has deployment strategies for Enterprise customers who wish to deploy their application internally but not make it available to everyone else in the Windows Store. These types of applications free enterprises with worries of security breaches, as the application can only be downloaded by selected individuals.

We hope that you have a clearer understanding of why building for Windows 8 at this stage is very important.

You can download the Telerik Windows 8 UI controls here.

Michael Crump
Evangelist at Telerik
Follow me on Twitter @mbcrump

License

This article, along with any associated source code and files, is licensed under The Code Project Open License (CPOL)

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Telerik
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Telerik empowers over one million developers to create compelling experiences across web, mobile and desktop applications. Our end-to-end, adaptive platform uniquely combines industry-leading UI tools with cloud services to simplify the entire software development lifecycle. Telerik platform-based and standalone product modules seamlessly integrate together, and with other popular developer solutions.
 
Telerik recognizes that developers are not just at the forefront of delivering great value for their customers, but are a critical element of the engine that drives the world forward. Developers are at the heart of the application and UI experiences that give businesses, governments, educational institutions and non-profits the edge they need to be successful. From planning to building, testing to delivery, Telerik is about developing experiences that change the world for the better.
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Comments and Discussions

 
BugLanguage PinmemberGeekForChrist29-Sep-12 11:55 
Reason #3: You can write your application in a language that you already know.
I disagree with this statement. Sure, I know VB.NET, but who knows XAML? I started my first "Metro" project yesterday and was almost ready to trash it after a couple of hours in pain. WTF | :WTF:
 
I'm not against "Metro" but I don't agree that it's a language I know.
GeneralRe: Language PinmemberRanjan.D8-Oct-12 3:11 
QuestionYou forgot one little thing PinmemberCristian Amarie21-Sep-12 21:07 

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