Mark your calendars: Programming Windows, Sixth Edition is coming

Special Offer to Celebrate Programming Windows, Sixth Edition

Reimagined for full-screen and touch-optimized apps, Windows 8 provides a platform for reaching new users in new ways. In response, programming legend Charles Petzold is rewriting his classic Programming Windows—one of the most popular programming books of all time—to show developers how to use existing skills and tools to build Windows 8 apps. (See the book’s “Description” tab.)

To celebrate, Microsoft Press will release three versions of the eBook for Programming Windows, Sixth Edition, including two pre-release editions that provide crucial access to early content. Based on when you purchase (see table below), you will receive the most recently published version of the eBook—plus any subsequent versions—at special promotional pricing. Act between May 17-31, 2012, and your cost is just $10!

The first “Consumer Preview eBook,” based on Windows 8 Consumer Preview, will be approximately 300 pages. The second “Release Preview eBook,” based on Windows 8 Release Preview, will update those pages and provide an additional 200–300 pages. The final eBook will be fully updated for the final Windows 8 software. This offer is only available through, our distributor’s website.

Pricing and Publication Schedule

Programming Windows, Sixth Edition eBook Version


Time Period

Consumer Preview eBook


May 17–31, 2012

Consumer Preview eBook (same content as above, no updates)


June 1, 2012 until the release of the Release Preview eBook

Release Preview eBook


Approximately Summer 2012 (two weeks only, date to be announced)

UPDATE: August 14-27, 2012 (two weeks only)

Release Preview eBook (same content as above, no updates)


After the two-week $30 period and until release of the Final eBook, currently scheduled to be November 14, 2012

UPDATE: August 28, 2012 until release of the Final eBook, currently scheduled to be November 14, 2012  January 15, 2013.

Final eBook


November 15, 2012 January 15, 2013 through life of edition

Purchase example 1: If you purchase the Consumer Preview eBook for Programming Windows, Sixth Edition on May 17, you will receive it, the Release Preview eBook when released, and the final eBook when released, all for $10.

Purchase example 2: If you purchase the Release Preview eBook for Programming Windows, Sixth Edition after the two-week $30 promotion has ended, you will receive it and the final eBook for $40.

NOTE: This offer to purchase the Consumer Preview eBook version of Programming Windows, Sixth Edition and/or the Release Preview eBook version of Programming Windows, Sixth Edition (the “Pre-Release eBooks”) is only available through, our distributor’s website, from May 17, 2012 until November 14, 2012, as outlined in the table above. Go to beginning May 17, 2012. Dates not specified in the table above will be updated as publication schedules are confirmed. This offer is limited to one purchase per email address. The promotional pricing for the Pre-Release eBooks applies to the English language editions only. Microsoft reserves the right to not publish Programming Windows, Sixth Edition or any versions thereof (including the Pre-Release eBooks). This offer is not combinable with any other offers and may be changed at any time without notice.

Book Details

Programming Windows, Sixth Edition will focus on creating Windows 8 apps accessing the Windows Runtime with XAML and C#.  The book will also provide C# and C++/CX code samples as online companion content. The Sixth Edition is planned as about 20 chapters organized in three parts:

  • Part I, “Elementals,” begins with the interrelationship between code and XAML, basic event handling, dynamic layout, controls, the application bar, control customization, and collections. You should emerge from Part I ready to create sophisticated page-oriented collection-based user interfaces using the powerful ListView and GridView controls.
  • Part II, “Infrastructure,” examines the level underneath the UI. In these chapters, you’ll go deeper into Windows 8 with a complete exploration of the multitouch interface, asynchronous operations for working with files and web services, networking, security, and globalization. You’ll see particular emphasis on data sharing, and interfacing with the search panes and contract panes of Windows 8.
  • Part III, “Specialties,” explores topics you might not need for every program but are essential to a well-rounded education in Windows 8. It includes working with the sensors (GPS and orientation), vector graphics, bitmap graphics, media, text, printing, and obtaining input from the stylus and handwriting recognizer.

Author Bio

Charles Petzold has been writing about Windows programming for 25 years. A Windows Pioneer Award winner in 1994, Petzold is the author of the classic Programming Windows, the widely acclaimed Code: The Hidden Language of Computer Hardware and Software, Programming Windows Phone 7, and more than a dozen other books.

Comments (29)
  1. Luigi Bruno says:

    "Programming Windows 95" was my first programming book, the first one written by Petzold that I've read. Will there be a printed book too?

  2. Hi, Luigi! I worked on that book back in the day. Yes, once we get to the end of the plan, when we're to the final content, we'll also publish a print book. The Beta and RC releases will be ebook-only.

  3. Just to be clear, the plan described in this post is about ebooks only. Buy the Beta ebook, and you'll get all three versions of the ebook we release, for example. If you want a print book once it's released in the fall, that will be a separate order.

  4. jEN says:

    Sounds great! I'm not familiar with O'Reilly's ebooks though – will DRM-free formats be available?

  5. jEN, yes, the ebooks we sell via O'Reilly are DRM-free. You can find hundreds and hundreds of our ebooks at

  6. Question, Will this be available outside the US? I'm in Australia and I'm keen for this. Would you be able to pay via PayPal or something?

  7. Hi, Andrew Tech Help. Yes, because we're selling this evolving ebook online via, you'll be able to order it from Australia. An order via creates an account for you there, and when the subsequent versions of the ebook are released (i.e., the RC ebook and the Final ebook), we'll automatically put them into your account and notify you. But order early, because the price goes up steadily, as described above in this post.

  8. xizhabox says:

    Very nice! Really looking forward to it!

  9. Nevermind! Got my dates mixed up!

  10. katzforums says:

    sounds great..nice!!

  11. Paul says:

    That's one convoluted pricing model ๐Ÿ˜‰

  12. Chris Z says:

    Charles Petzold is a genius when it comes to effectively teaching programming. He balances the "How" and the "Why" when learning a framework.  Having some understanding of how it works under the hood helps you abstract that knowledge in developing your own projects. A truly unique and gifted author of programming books. I've marked my calendar!

  13. moda says:

    This is what I wanted!

  14. John says:

    The tiered release reminded me of kickstarter projects ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Looking forward to it regardless.

  15. ManasDash says:

    wow…looking forward

  16. luskan says:

    17 May is my birthday ๐Ÿ™‚ thank you for a very nice gift

  17. Joey says:

    Does MS Press accept paypal?

  18. Joey,, our distributorโ€™s website, accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

  19. Joey says:

    I guess that would be a problem for me ๐Ÿ™

  20. Alex Bee says:

    I'm in for release preview one!

  21. Deepu says:

    I wish the ebook was free, like the Windows Phone book from Charles.

  22. Carmine Punella says:

    terrific offer! Great!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. rolphus says:

    Bought immediately. $10 is an utterly trivial amount for a book this important.

  24. Fayyaz says:

    great idea to get early feedback and also encourage early adoption!

  25. Jody says:

    There seems to be a problem at Even though the book info mentions the discount the only ebook purchase option is now "Ebook: $50.00".

    What happened to the discount?!

  26. PeteMz says:

    Did anybody actually manage to get the discount?  Currently on O'Reilly the description mentioned the offer just as this web site does but the price is clearly 5 times over what it should be.  

  27. michael says:

    same problem for me. Ebook price is 50$, but in the description the offer is explained in detail.

  28. Erwin says:

    same problem for me. How do I get the promotional offer of $10?

  29. Everybody, O'Reilly had a programmatic glitch over night and the price switched to $50 when it should have stayed at $10. It's fixed now. If you purchased the book at $50, O'Reilly will get in touch and get you a refund. Thanks.

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