Creating modern style apps with the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld SDK

Posted By Colin Murphy
Product Manager

With the recent announcement of the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld SDK, developers can now create modern style apps (videos below) as part of an overall app portfolio, targeting touch scenarios for the latest industry handheld devices. Windows Embedded 8 Handheld is Microsoft’s next-generation platform for handheld devices. Built on Windows Phone 8, Windows Embedded 8 Handheld shares the same core with the Windows 8 operating system so that users can enjoy a consistent, interactive and connected experience across PCs, tablets, and industry handheld devices. The Windows Embedded 8 Handheld SDK is integrated into Microsoft’s industry leading development tools, Visual Studio 2012 and 2013, and is a free SDK to help developers get started with their next-generation mobile line of business apps.

Here are the links to the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld SDK and documentation:

Once you’ve downloaded the SDK, it’s really straightforward to install, and get up and running developing your first app! The SDK includes the Microsoft Point Of Service API, which is the programming interface that gives Windows Embedded Handheld application developers a simple and consistent interface for communicating with Point of service (POS) peripheral devices such as barcode scanners. Included with the SDK are emulators which provide a virtualized environment that you can use to debug and test Windows Embedded 8 Handheld apps without a physical device. In the screenshot below, you can see the additional Windows Embedded 8 Handheld emulators used to provide the rapid app dev and prototyping environment for the next generation of Industry Handheld devices.
To help you get started, we asked Andy Wigley, a Microsoft Technical Evangelist, to walk you through the simple steps of installing the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld SDK on Visual Studio 2013, and then creating your first barcode scanner application using the Windows Embedded 8 Handheld SDK.


Creating your first barcode scanner app. In this video, Andy uses the WE8H emulator to simulate a barcode scanner


Windows Embedded 8 Handheld devices can be locked down to permit only intended business functions. Employee Apps is a feature that allows enterprise IT to create an Allow List of approved applications, and deploy them to a custom start screen. The user is only able to access these applications and a configurable subset of control panel items. You can also restrict the ability for users to be able to add or remove applications. Buttons can also be disabled to prevent such things as access to the camera or Bing search engine.

These features are in addition to the rich set of enterprise features in Windows Phone 8:

  • Productivity application – Office, Outlook Mobile, Lync and Skype
  • Security – Bitlocker Device Encryption, Secure Boot and Information Rights Management
  • Enterprise Application Distribution

Read more about Windows Embedded 8 Handheld here.

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