How can a Canadian get a Windows 8 app to the store?

Windows 8 Start ScreenIf you want a token to put your app in the Windows 8 store, you need to attend an app excellence lab.

The Windows 8 store is a significant opportunity, getting in early will improve the chance of your app getting noticed. In Canada, your first chance to get a token to put your app in the store is by completing an app excellence lab.

In this post I’ll explain

  • What is an app excellence lab?
  • How do I register for a lab?
  • Where can I learn more about building Windows 8 apps?
  • When are the app excellence labs?
  • What if I don’t live in a city with an app excellence lab?
  • Does my app have to be 100% complete to attend a lab?

What is an app excellence lab?

The lab is an up to 4-hour engagement with a trained Microsoft Services Engineer. This engineer will run your app through a series of tests based on a quality checklist to ensure your app is (or will be) in top-notch shape when you submit. It’s a great chance for you to ask questions and get tips from an expert.

When you schedule your slot, you receive a detailed survey with questions about your app, useful advice, links to guidelines, etc.  The survey is not the only criteria we use at the labs, but if you follow the guidance in the survey, you will likely have a high-level, great app.

If your app meets the criteria, you will  receive a token to register your developer account. Once verified, you will be able to submit your app to the Windows store. If your app does not meet the criteria, nothing is lost. You still finish the day with a better app and you will be able to submit it when registration opens for all developers.

How do I register for a lab?

Attend a Windows 8 Developer Camp, Windows 8 Design Clinic or Windows 8 Hackathon (upcoming cities and dates at the bottom of this blog post)


Review the app-building content from the Windows Developer Centre to learn the fundamentals of building a great Metro-style Windows 8 App.

Create a Windows 8 Metro-style app (or game) TODAY.  Get the app up and running so you can demonstrate the functionality.

Read through all of the great UX Guidelines online in the design section of the Windows Developer Centre.

Contact and include the following information:

  • Your Name
  • Your Address information
  • A brief application description (no binary, optional screenshot, but only send if the screenshot is not confidential)
  • Wait for Thomas Lewis to respond letting you know where and when the closest lab will be, at which point we’ll schedule a time slot that is mutually beneficial.

Where can I learn more about building Windows 8 apps?




if you can’t attend one of the Windows 8 events, you can still learn about how to build Windows 8 apps online at the Windows developer center and bring your app to the labs.

When are the app excellence labs?

Toronto May 22-25; May 28- June 1

Montreal June 4 – 8

Vancouver June 11-15; June 18-22

What if I don’t live in a city where there’s an app excellence lab?

Excellent question, well if you live nearby, your best bet is to drive to the nearest city where there is a lab, Ottawa to Montreal isn’t that far. But, if you live in Halifax or Edmonton that could be a challenge, let alone Yellowknife or St John’s. But don't worry, you won't miss out. You can do the labs remotely using Lync or Skype! Just email us at as described above so we can schedule you for a session during one of the labs in Montreal, Toronto, or Vancouver. Register now before we run out of slots!


Does my app have to be 100% complete to attend a lab?

Another good question. If your app is 100% complete then there is much higher chance that you will get a store token when you leave the lab. But there is still value in attending the labs with an app that is not completely finished. Up to 4 hours with a Microsoft engineer is sure going to help you figure out what little thing you need to add to finish up your application with the confidence that when you are finished it will be store ready. So, no your app doesn’t have to be 100% complete, but the closer to finished you have your app, the more you will get out of the app excellence lab.

So what are you waiting for? Get coding Canada! I can’t wait to see what you build!

Comments (1)
  1. Atley says:

    Susan,  thanks for this article.  I'm doing my Excellence Lab on June 7th!  Very excited to be one of the first Canadians with an app in the Windows 8 Marketplace!

Comments are closed.

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