Introducing a new Windows Dev Center experience


Since launching the Windows Dev Center in October, 2011, we’ve worked closely with developers and designers around the world to understand how we can provide the best guidance, inspiration, and samples for app builders. With millions of visitors and your feedback, we’ve been evaluating what’s been working well and what experiences can be improved.

Windows Developer Center

What’s new

The Windows team is focused on growing a vibrant and thriving app ecosystem. This is manifested in three ways: great apps, great economics, and great reach opportunity. The new Dev Center connects app builders, designers and businesses with the resources they need to succeed in developing great apps and building a business with Windows.

To support those goals, the Dev Center evolved in these areas:

  1. The navigation model has changed so you can find the content relevant to where you are in the app development lifecycle
  2. The site design highlights top tasks, scenarios, and new content

In addition to the content, samples, and downloads that developers want; we’ve made it easier to access resources for designers and businesses.

Depending on what you’re building, you can navigate to one of four areas: Windows Store apps, Internet Explorer, Windows desktop, and Hardware. Each of these presents a new experience that addresses the points mentioned above. In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the specific changes made for Windows Store apps.

The right content for your role

The most informative website isn’t useful if you can’t find what you’re looking for. With hundreds of thousands of topics in the Dev Center, organization and discoverability of content is critical. For Windows Store app development, that means a tighter focus based on role and scenario – from putting everything you need to get started in one place, to better support for designers and businesses. Here are some of the highlights.

Developers

We’ve streamlined the content you need to build great Windows Store apps. When you go to the Windows Store apps home page, you’ll see:

  • “Key tasks and content” prominently called out to help you jump into the content you need. Local events in your region are highlighted, as well as new resources just added to the site.
  • Downloads to help you dive right into coding, all the resources you need to get started, and our detailed guidance on getting your app into the Windows Store.
  • Important code samples are highlighted, and how-to guidance is more easily navigated with an eye toward the development lifecycle.
  • One Dev Minute” videos throughout the site, which give you a quick look at how to add features to your app.

Designers

We’ve overhauled the Design section of the site to make it both easier to use and more comprehensive. You can find useful downloads and reusable design assets more easily, and design inspiration and case studies give you the tools you need to make a unique experience on Windows. Everything you need to build a beautiful app that stands out from the crowd is right at your fingertips, with a page design that’s touch-friendly and easy-to-use.

Businesses

The business opportunity of the Windows Store is significant, with a better economic model than competitive platforms and flexibility that enables you to build the business you want. The new Market section of the site provides great tips for marketing your apps, evaluating telemetry data, and passing app certification. We’ve learned a lot about how to make certification easier and have improved the content to help you breeze through the process.

Of course, many of you fill multiple roles, and we think the new site organization supports that as well. From hobbyists to creative agencies to the largest enterprise software developers, the new site organization will help you achieve your creative and business vision with Windows.

There’s more to come, and we want your input

With BUILD 2013 a little more than a month away, there’s plenty to talk about. We’re working hard to produce new content to expand on what will be shared at this year’s event. In addition to keeping up with this blog, other ways to stay connected include following @windevs on Twitter and subscribing to the Windows Store newsletter.

As we roll out more content to help you design, develop, and market your Windows Store apps, we want to keep improving your Dev Center experience! To make it easier for you to tell us what you think, we’ve provided two new feedback options at the bottom of every page. Please provide feedback– we’re listening and are always working to address your concerns.

 

Keith Boyd, Content Publishing Manager, Windows Developer Content

Comments (13)

  1. Alex says:

    Why isn't there a simple URL for accessing the dev center, like dev.microsoft.com or windev.com. The current URL sucks.

  2. John says:

    So I'll be "that guy" – for a while (perhaps just under 2 years or so?) the dev community has been asking (loudly) for clarification on the desktop dev story…with Silverlight relegated to maintenance mode, was the official go-forward LOB desktop dev story WPF?  Would there be a desktop XAML/C# layer to complement the "Windows Store" apps?

    Is there something to be read in the fact that under desktop development in this new portal, .NET doesn't seem to be acknowledged, but rather C++ with Direct2D/DirectX seem to be the acknowledged desktop development platform?  The fact that "Learn to Program" is a C++ tutorial with content that focuses on Window Messages and COM?

    Considering the fact that there can be no argument that productivity in desktop application development (especially line of business apps) was moved ahead exponentially for well over a decade by the abstractions that .NET put over the Win32 API – and admittedly there's always a need to bust through the abstraction and get to the plumbing for complex scenarios (plus game dev) – I'm confused by this positioning that beginner desktop application publishing should be taught with CreateWindowEx and WindowProc functions (not even MFC!  The simple "Hello World" app in the tutorial is 80 lines long and doesn't even put text in the window!)

    Is the state-of-the-art, best-practice, go-forward desktop line of business app development guidance to open up 10 year-old Prosise and Petzold books?

  3. Martin says:

    I still can't find any official Windows Store apps web page – why is there none, similar to http://www.windowsphone.com/…/store ?

  4. Roxanne says:

    @ Alex. There is a simple URL: Dev.Windows.Com

  5. steve says:

    Are there any plans to allow apps into the Windows8 store for beta testing. Exposing an app to a wider audience before release will result in better quality. Currently I can only make apps available to people with a dev licence but that's not a representative audience.

  6. Graham says:

    Now can we have this overhaul done for dev.windowsphone.com please?

  7. Amr Sadek says:

    @Alex you can access the Windows dev center via the URL http://dev.windows.com and for Windows Phone you can use http://dev.windowsphone.com

  8. Any plans for Windows Phone development Hub?

  9. Alex says:

    Roxanne, Amr, thanks for sharing that link. Ideally, the actual content would be stored under that link (rather than under msdn), but I'm happy to see there is a quick way to get to the right place.

  10. pavan says:

    Wow great information. This information useful for all the techies.. I'm happy to see there is a quick way to get to the right place..! Thanks for this post..!

  11. its an amazing update :) looking forward for more updates on the app submission process

  12. Sukru says:

    @John I agree with your statement. However desktop seems to be being phased out for the new style "Windows Store" applications.

  13. hAl says:

    According to your own Modern.IE site, this new site has insufficient responsive design and the site is not prepared for Windows 8 missing touch/pointer events and also missing a tile.

    http://www.modern.ie/…/report