Windows 8 vs Android–a developers perspective

I was pointed in the direction of this article by a colleague “Shocker: Windows 8 is an Android killer”.

It is a smörgåsbord of great quotes. Windows 8 is going to be awesome 🙂

“working with Windows 8 is simple and enjoyable”

“In those seven weeks, we’ve managed to create a solid first version, that works across all resolutions, laptops, desktops and tablets, whether they use a touch screen, pen or mouse. Development was easy”

“The fact that you can develop native applications for Windows using HTML and JavaScript is huge: in our case, it meant that every single engineer in our company already knew how to develop for Windows.”

“I have paused all our Android development in favour of Windows 8”

“Working with Android is complicated and painful”

Related Links:

A case study in moving a Windows Phone app to a Windows 8 Metro app

Two great posts by the Telerik team documenting what it took to move a Windows Phone app to a Windows 8 Metro style app. I would recommend you download a high resolution pdf (7MB) of the posts.


Designing a Windows 8 Metro style app starting from an existing Windows Phone app – Design Case Study Part 1

Which covered:

How to design a Windows 8 Metro style app starting from an existing Windows Phone app – Part 2

Which covered:

Or better still… download the high resolution pdf (7MB)

Windows 8 Tablets… what I’ve spotted so far

We all would love to see the list of Windows 8 tablet machines…but for the moment the OEMs are largely keeping their powder dry.

However I have pulled together what I have spotted so far … which is certainly enough to keep me excited 🙂 Be warned … some are simply rumours!

In date order:

September 2011: Samsung Windows 8 Developer Preview

The “Build tablet” reviewed on techradar.

January: Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga “multi-position notebook” aka notebook/tablet

This sweet looking machine was unveiled in January 2012. I’m currently using a Lenovo W520 and rate Lenovo machines highly.

This one comes in at 3.1 pounds with 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD. Read more on tom’s guide and on Wikipedia


February: Windows 8 Consumer Preview event

Included the Samsung preview slate from Build, Lenovo U300 (not a tablet) and devices from Texas Instruments and Qualcomm

Watch the video where we showed off some of the hardware.

Read coverage of the event.

April 16th: Intel Cove Point Ultrabook-Tablet Hybrid

12.5-inch screen, two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port


Photos Intel

They also showed this interesting take on Windows 8.

From this:


To this when you close the lid. Yes… that is Windows 8 peaking out underneath:


Read more on Wired.

Go 1:10 into the video

April 27th: HP Tablet Rumour

Rumour reported on zdnet/neowin of a HP 10.1 inch tablet with  8 to 10 hours of battery and slightly thinner than an iPad.

Read more on zdnet.

May 15th: Windows 8 Ultrabook Intel reference design

Nothing new from April above but you can read more on engadget.

May 24th: Dell Tablet Rumour

Rumour reported on neowin of a 10.1inch tablet, 2GB RAM and  running Intel Clover Trail Atom Dual Core with up to 12 hours of battery life.

Read more on neowin.

Installing Windows 8 Metro Applications without needing to download from the store

As a consumer you would use the Windows 8 Store to get an application onto Windows 8 Consumer Preview.


The store is a great way to discover, try, buy (optional) and update applications.

But… if you are an Enterprise looking to get Metro applications onto your employees Windows 8 desktops then you will likely want to do it more directly.

Which is where “sideloading” fits in.

Technet has detailed documentation on Windows 8 Sideloading to add and remove line-of-business (LOB) Metro style apps

In brief:

  • App must be cryptographically signed
  • App can only be installed on a computer that trusts the signing certificate
  • Group Policy must have the Allow all trusted applications to install setting.
  • Computer must be domain joined to run the app (not needed for install)

At which point installing an app is as simple as

add-appxpackage C:\app1.appx

UK company looking to publish a Windows 8 application into the upcoming UK Windows Store?

Then check out the details over on the MSDN blog before doing step 1 – apply to join our shiny new UK Windows 8 for Application Developer LinkedIn Group which opens up the possibility of being invited to an Application Excellence Lab at Microsoft in Reading.

I would also encourage everyone to come along to one of our events or camps ( camp details will be announced soon on the MSDN blog).

And you will be able to find me at the following events:

  • Manchester, Friday, 27th April 2012 – Register (Note: Registration Full / Waiting List Only)
  • Edinburgh, Tuesday, 1st May 2012 – Register

These are exciting times to be a developer!

Gaurav Mantri of Cerebrata Cloud Storage Studio fame is in London on April 3rd

Cerebrata (now owned UK company Red-Gate) make awesome tools for Windows Azure – thanks largely to the work of Gaurav Mantri.

And it just so happens that the UK Windows Azure User Group has Gaurav speaking on April 3rd in London. Definitely a session worth attending if you are in London that day.

Gaurav Mantri, CEO of Cerebrata Software (recently acquired by Redgate) will be speaking to the UK Windows Azure Group about Cerebrata tools, how they are used and how they were built using underlying REST APIs provided by the Windows Azure Fabric. Gauriv is here for a short duration from India so this is a rare opportunity to catch him speaking. If you’re already building a project in Windows Azure then you almost certainly use Cloud Storage Studio, Diagnostics Manager and CmdLets. If you don’t you will be soon! Redgate will be at the meeting to offer some free product licenses to a few attendees. Please register for this meeting @

My favourite Windows 8 Shortcut keys

In other words… the ones I know about and keep using …and need to jot down somewhere (here!) lest I forget 🙂

Charms and App Bar
Windows-C Open the Charms bar.
Windows-I Open the Settings charm.
Windows-K Open the Connect charm.
Windows-H Open the Share charm.
Windows-Q Open the Search pane.
Windows-W Open the Settings Search app.
Windows-F Open the File Search app.
Windows-Z Open the App Bar.
Multiple Monitors/orientation
Windows-PgUp Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the left.
Windows-PgDown Move the Start Screen or a Metro-style application to the monitor on the right.
Windows-O Lock device orientation.
Moving Windows/Apps
Windows-Shift-. Move the gutter to the left (snap an application).
Windows-. Move the gutter to the right (snap an application).
Windows-Tab Cycle through apps.
Windows-Shift-Tab Cycle through apps in reverse order.
Windows-Ctrl-Tab Cycle through apps and snap them as they cycle.
Windows-, Temporarily peek at the desktop.
Windows-V Cycle through toasts.
Windows-Shift-V Cycle through toasts in reverse order.
Windows-Space Switch input language and keyboard layout. (This is to remind myself how to fix this when I accidentally change it 🙂

Q&A: Can I use Visual Studio 11 to do Windows Azure development?

This one seems to keep popping up…

The following is true as of 12th March 2012

Short Answer: No. You will need Visual Studio 2010 or 2008.

Long Answer:  You will need to setup a development environment for Windows Azure using Visual Studio 2010 before installing Visual Studio 11. You can find details here.

FREE events covering Windows 8 for Application Developers start 30th March

My group is laying on a a three city (London, Manchester and Edinburgh) tour which focuses on the Windows 8 opportunities for developers. These are one day events providing accelerated learning on Windows 8 application development.

More details on the  UK Tech.Days home page.

  • London, Friday, 30th March 2012 – Register
  • Manchester, Friday, 27th April 2012 – Register
  • Edinburgh, Tuesday, 1st May 2012 – Register