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In the middle of September 2011 Microsoft released Windows 8 Developer Preview and Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview. We were (as usual) very quick to begin testing. We deployed the products on Hyper-V and since then we have been testing the new development features on Windows 8 and also a lot of our own product testing on the new platform.

On February 27, 2012, Microsoft released a Consumer Preview of Windows 8 and Visual Studio 11 Beta. A lot had happened since September and this time we also started developing Windows 8 Metro Style Apps. These apps are very different from the traditional WinForms Applications. They demand more considerations to form factors and capabilities.

My first Metro Style App

My first Metro Style App for Windows 8 is not nearly complete but nevertheless I’d like to share some details about it.

Since last summer we have developed Mobile Apps for iOS, Android and of course Windows Phone 7.5 for our customer Rikspolisstyrelsen (Swedish Police Board). The apps focus on giving the user insights about wildlife accidents in the users’ proximity.

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So with this background I thought I’d develop a Windows 8 App that utilize the same data. The App named Viltolycka contains a large map that is centered on the user’s location, using the Geolocator class. The user can pan the map and when he/she taps on it, a signal is sent, with the tapped location, to our servers that responds with Wildlife Accident data containing the accident location and what kind of wildlife that was hit by the car. All accidents are then rendered as Pushpins on the map.

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As you can see, I haven’t focused on design that much yet. But my fine colleague Kim will most likely be involved in that part.

Closing comments

Developing for Windows 8 is a lovely task. It’s much more straightforward than iOS development, which is kind of a pain sometimes.

We will keep working on this Metro Style App and maybe a few more and we will surely have some cool stuff to show off at the launch of Windows 8 (if not much sooner).

Yesterday Microsoft released Visual Studio 11 beta. Eager to install it on my production machine, I finally came to my senses and installed it on a virtual machine instead. My first impression was the sexy installer.

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Much cleaner UI

The user interface is much cleaner and I love the new icons.

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I haven’t begun testing .Net Framework 4.5 yet, but I’ve read a lot about it and I will start testing it with our products soon.

I’m really excited by the new version of Visual Studio and I look forward to installing it on my production machine.