Free ebook: Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (First Preview)

Hello! To help celebrate the Windows 8 Release Preview and the Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate, we’re happy to release a preview edition of Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, by Kraig Brockschmidt (who, some of you might remember, many years ago worked with us on a couple editions of Inside OLE).


The links for the First Preview follow:

Download a PDF of the ebook here (4.34 MB).

Download the ebook’s sample code here (27.5 MB).

(We’ll release EPUB and MOBI versions of the final ebook.)

This first preview contains the first four chapters of what we think will be an 18-chapter final ebook:

Chapter 1   The Life Story of a Metro Style App: Platform Characteristics of Windows 8

Chapter 2   Quickstart

Chapter 3   App Anatomy and Page Navigation

Chapter 4   Controls, Control Styling, and Basic Data Binding

Chapter 5   Collections and Collection Controls

Chapter 6   Layout

Chapter 7   Metro Style Commanding UI

Chapter 8   State, Settings, Files, and Documents

Chapter 9   Input and Sensors

Chapter 10   Media

Chapter 11   Purposeful Animations

Chapter 12   Contracts

Chapter 13   Tiles, Notifications, the Lock Screen, and Background Tasks

Chapter 14   Networking

Chapter 15   Devices and Printing

Chapter 16   Extensions

Chapter 17   Apps for Everyone: Localization, Accessibility, and the Windows Store

Chapter 18   Services

In the summer we’ll release a Second Preview version, which will contain 8–12 chapters. And then, in the fall, we’ll release the final version. (Watch this blog and follow us on Twitter to learn about these releases.)

Here’s more information about the ebook, from Kraig’s Introduction:

Who This Book Is For

This book is about writing Metro style apps for Windows 8 using HTML5, CSS3, and JavaScript. Our primary focus will be on applying these web technologies within the Windows 8 platform, where there are unique considerations, and not on exploring the details of those web technologies themselves. For the most part, then, I'm assuming that you're already at least somewhat conversant with these standards. We will cover some of the more salient areas like the CSS grid, which is central to app layout, but otherwise I trust that you're capable of finding appropriate references for everything else.

I'm also assuming that your interest in Windows 8 has at least two basic motivations. One, you probably want to come up to speed as quickly as you can, perhaps to carve out a foothold in the Windows Store sooner rather than later. Toward that end, I've front-loaded the early chapters with the most important aspects of app development along with "Quickstart" sections to give you immediate experience with the tools, the API, and core platform features. On the other hand, you probably also want to make the best app you can, one that performs really well and that takes advantage of the full extent of the platform. Toward this end, I've also endeavored to make this book comprehensive, helping you at least be aware of what's possible and where optimizations can be made.

Many insights have come from working directly with real-world developers on their real-world apps. As part of the Windows Ecosystem team, myself and my teammates have been on the front lines bringing those first apps to the Windows Store. This has involved writing bits of code for those apps and investigating bugs, along with conducting design, code, and performance reviews with members of the core Windows engineering teams. As such, one of my goals with this book is to make that deep understanding available to many more developers, including you!

What You'll Need

To work through this book, you should download and install the Windows 8 Release Preview along with the Windows SDK and tools. These, along with a number of other resources, are listed on I also recommend you visit and download the entire set of JavaScript samples; we'll be using many of them throughout this book.


In many ways, this isn't my book—that is, it's not an account of my own experiences and opinions about Metro style apps on Windows 8. I'm serving more as a storyteller, where the story itself has been written by the thousands of people in the Windows team whose passion and dedication have been a constant source of inspiration. Writing a book like this wouldn't be possible without all the work that's gone into customer research, writing specs, implementing, testing, and documenting all the details, managing daily builds and public releases, and writing perhaps the best set of samples I've ever seen for a platform. We'll be drawing on many of those samples, in fact, and even the words in some sections come directly from conversations I've had with the people who designed and developed a particular feature. I'm grateful for their time, and I’m delighted to give them a voice through which they can share their passion for excellence with you.

A number of individuals deserve special mention for their long-standing support of this project. First to Chris Sells, with whom I co-authored the earliest versions of this book; to Mahesh Prakriya, Ian LeGrow, Anantha Kancherla, Keith Boyd and their respective teams, with whom I've worked closely; and to Keith Rowe, Dennis Flanagan, and Ulf Schoo, under whom I've had the pleasure of serving. Thanks also to Devon Musgrave at Microsoft Press, and to all those who have reviewed chapters and provided answers to my endless streams of questions: Chris Tavares, Jesse McGatha, Josh Williams, Feras Moussa, Jake Sabulsky, Henry Tappen, David Tepper, Mathias Jourdain, Ben Betz, Ben Srour, Adam Barrus, Ryan Demopoulos, Sam Spencer, Bill Ticehurst, Tarek Anya, Scott Graham, Scott Dickens, Jerome Holman, Kenichiro Tanaka, Sean Hume, Patrick Dengler, David Washington, Scott Hoogerwerf, Harry Pierson, Jason Olson, Justin Cooperman, Rohit Pagariya, Nathan Kuchta, Kevin Woley, Markus Mielke, Paul Gusmorino, as well as those I've forgotten and those still to come as additional chapters are added to this first preview. My direct teammates, Kyle Marsh, Todd Landstad, Shai Hinitz, and Lora Heiny have also been invaluable in sharing what they've learned in working with real-world partners.

Finally, special hugs to my wife Kristi and our young son Liam, who have lovingly been there the whole time and who don't mind my traipsing through the house to my office either late at night or early in the morning.


Comments (35)
  1. angel says:

    gracias por el libro ya lo revise y esta muy bueno. Ahora si, sin pretextos para no programar en windows 8

  2. Marco Buri says:


    Now how much of this book will help me in building great cross plateform apps for Windows Phone 7?

    I am looking creating simple mobile apps and using PhoneGap or Kendui to make them available for other devices.

    Thanks and can't wait to look at this in more depth

  3. Simon says:

    Muchos gracias! Free is always nice, thank you! 🙂

  4. Norman Headlam says:

    Thanks Kraig.  Will you also be doing a C#/XAML or C++/XAML version as well?


  5. Wekesa Simon says:

    Nice version Mr. Kraig

  6. Tauheedul Ali says:

    Very useful eBook, Thank You! will there be a version for VB.NET?

  7. Richard Sepulveda says:

    Muy util para el desarrollo de las aplicaciones para uso del usuario

  8. Tom Urquhart says:

    This is GREAT!!! Very seldom do you find a publication like this as a freebie!! THANX!!!!!

  9. Edmundo Ganaban says:

    Congratulations! Thank you for the Information.

  10. F. Salazar says:


    Looking forward for the next chapters.

  11. Gabriel Bocalandro says:

    Very good ebook. Thanks. Please sendme the final version of this book. Congrats!!

  12. Reny Oktora says:

    Arigatoo gozaimasu, Banzai for Windows!!!!!

  13. Sanjeev K Kumar says:

    Very good ebook. Thanks. Please sendme the final version of this book. Congrats!!

  14. Hafizullah says:

    Thanks. Hope to have the final version. Looks great.

  15. Clape says:

    Thanks. It's good. Please send me the final version, Congrats!!!

  16. haydar says:

    I cant read e book because I only some speaking english

  17. weliton says:

    Por maneiro,isso mesmo pensando no futuro.

  18. NGLara says:

    Thank you for this wonderful e-book. It's really worth reading it.

  19. Great, I will continue to focus on it.

    thank you very much!

  20. Sam Xu says:

    Happy to know that we could use HTML + CSS + JavaScript to write Windows 8 apps! Great stuff, please keep it up!

  21. Thanks. Great to have it.

  22. Muchas gracias por presentar este adelanto del libro. Estaré atento al libro completo, espero puedan enviármelo. †

  23. Sudhir Jain says:

    Please send me the next version. Or notify me at

  24. John Callaway says:

    Excellent writing style! Cudos to yourself (or your editor). I am finding the book an excellent and informative read. Keep up the good work, I am looking forward to the next installment almost as much as when I was reading the Harry Potter series.

  25. Jesús says:

    Gracias por eBook Free, ahora sí a sacarle más provecho a nuestro Windows 8 y a estar siempre bien preparado. =)

  26. nasim mayar says:

    it was really nice, and i hope that it may help me

  27. Hernan Navarro Gomez says:

    gracias por insistir enviandome informacion leere todo este material por el poco tiempo que tengo seguro que disfrutare de esta

    informacion gracias nuevamente

  28. Maneesh says:

    Thanks! Good ebook still going thru.

  29. Twain says:

    I look forwards to having this and It's great materials Kraig! Thank you so much.

  30. Luis says:

    Where can I find the accompanying videos? Thanks

  31. Hi, Luis. The videos are in the ZIP with the sample code. See the download link in the blog post.

  32. mantosz says:

    Awesome! Can't wait for the final version and thanks for making it free 🙂

  33. kuldeep singh says:

    hi …

    is it possible to develop a windows8 phone application in c#


  34. shamsudin yahsin says:

    Hal ini ter masuk kepada untuk orang lain,

  35. Om Prakash says:

    very nice book..looking forward for another one.

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