Windows 8.1 small changes huge difference

I borrowed the title from this Gizmodo article that was written before the windows 8.1 lunch and was talking about the changes for the normal user. But in this post I’m going to be targeting developers and I'll make a series of posts featuring each category of changes by its own. I'll be mainly focusing on XAML and c# and maybe I could talk a little bit about HTML and JS. But before we start I’d to say that Windows 8.1 for developers is introducing amazing changes with huge difference.

What's new in Windows 8.1

The below points are the main categories of the changes

As you can see there has been a lot of changes for developers, some of them are small some are huge, but in the end all of them makes a huge difference even the small tweaks, my favorite topics are the XAML controls, security and the visual studio enhancements.

App packaging

App packaging is now more advanced and gives you more options for packaging your apps with better localization and handling of assets with different resolutions which means better disk space & bandwidth utilization.

Asynchronous programming

Windows 8.1 is now using windows library for JavaScript 2.0 which introduces the object/namespace Scheduler, which supports fast and fluid apps and provides a more unified developer experience.

Controls (HTML with JavaScript)

Amazing changes were done in this prespective, new important controls were added like AppBarCommand and Reapeter with some updates to the old controls set like the Listview and dispose API.

Controls (XAML with C# or C++)

Huge additions and a lot of updates were done to the C# and XAML set of controls starting from adding AppBar, DatePicker and Flyout until updating of the FlipView, Headers and Placeholders.


Build apps that can easily connect with a wide ranges of devices either wired or wireless like PoS, HID, USB devices, Blutooth, 3D printers and scanning devices.

DirectX programming

Windows 8.1 introduces DirectX 11.2, which brings a host of new features to improve performance in your games and graphics apps.


A lot of changes were done in this area easing the process of files access and enhancing the process of making your app data more discoverable by introducing new APIs and updating some of the old ones like the File Picker and Microsoft SkyDrive.


Windows 8.1 made it easier for you to build apps the consume and produce media data by enhancing and updating the current media APIs like the video and Audio processing and updating the XAML MediaElement.


A set of Cool Features were introduced to Networking like Geofence support and Wi-Fi Direct, with improvments to old controls like the Background Transfer and Connected Standby.


A set of astonishing changes were introduced in the security category giving you the ability to secure your apps with latest authentication techniques like Fingerprint authentication, Smart cards, Trust management and certificates.


In order to enhance the developers experience a new set of tools were introduced for windows 8.1 (visual studio 2013) with enhancements in XAML design tools, Diagnostics, C++ development and HTML and JavaScript editors.


UX/UI is a great deal for Windows 8.1, so some changes where introduced to enhance the user experience in that area and better improve the usability of the apps like resizable windows, Tile Sizes, Search, Alarm and Speech synthesis.

Windows Store

The Windows had a lot of improvements in windows 8.1 with new tools for managing app offers and a number of enhancements to make it easier to sell and maintain your app.

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