Get your apps ready for the Windows 8.1 launch!

Get your apps ready for the Windows 8.1 launch!

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Today we announced that Windows 8.1 has hit the RTM milestone. That means our hardware partners are now preparing their devices for the holiday buying season, beginning with the general availability of Windows 8.1 starting at 12:00 A.M. on October 18 in New Zealand (4:00 A.M. October 17 in Redmond). We expect many new devices, varying in size, price and form factors. Current Windows 8 customers will be able to update to Windows 8.1 from the Windows Store for free and enjoy all the new features and benefits.

Getting your apps ready today

You can begin publishing apps built for Windows 8.1 starting on the day of General Availability. You can already get started building apps today with Visual Studio 2013 Preview and Windows 8.1 Preview. The Windows Dev Center is your main reference for building apps, and it’s also where you’ll find essential downloads to get started with your project.

  • If you’re building a Windows Store app today, or you already have an app in the Store, and want to update your app to Windows 8.1, here’s what you need to know. You can use Visual Studio 2013 to retarget your app package for Windows 8.1, and you may also want to take advantage of some of the new features available in Windows 8.1 like flexible window layout views, new controls, and improved in-app search.
  • If you already have an iOS app and you’re thinking about building for Windows 8.1, we recommend you visit our resources for iOS developers.
  • If you’re just starting to learn about Windows Store apps, we have a great overview on the Windows Dev Center and more specific information in our Getting Started area.

As we approach the general availability of Windows 8.1 and of Visual Studio 2013, we’ll provide guidance on this blog and in the Windows Dev Center on how to make sure your app is ready for publishing to the Windows Store in 8.1.

The Windows opportunity

Windows 8.1 builds on the bold re-imagining of Windows that began with Windows 8. With 8.1, we’re launching an improved Windows Store that offers you better discoverability, merchandising, and monetization options. We’ll continue to support the building of a healthy app ecosystem around Windows with the Windows 8.1 launch and through global marketing campaigns that highlight the Windows experience across devices and apps while driving costumers to the Windows Store.

Now is the time to get your apps ready for the holiday season. Don’t wait until October 18 to begin working on your app, you don’t want to miss the opportunity!

30 Comments
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  • Mike_Mu
    0 Posts

    Adding More To List

    No-one got access to the WP8 SDK until months (!) after devices shipped

    WP8 blue? WP8 blues is a better description

    Aquiring Nokia is another surface debacle waiting to happen

    The Xbox one Cannot be used as a extenders

    for mce Nice tradeoff for the hdmi in How mush did the Cable co Dish and Direct tv  pay you off ??

    Kill Media center off nice how much did your Company get for that  

    Now no one get 8.1 because you change the kms and mak so you need new ones don't want them to leak out

    Deliver 2 phone platforms at the same time - Kin killed days after launch

    Only sell zune in US - Failure, zune killed

    Only sell Surface in MS Store - 900M failure.

    Only sell Surface in chosen markets - 900M failure.

    Limit the availability of XBox Live to chosen markets - millions of players are not allowed to pay for Live.

    Get rid of colors in Visual Studio - a last minute reversal

    Do not allow game reselling in XBox - another flop, followed by a semi flop back

    Kill silverlight - the most productive platform killed and making way for javascript hell

  • Can you give us some information about the zcortanaapp? Is this the Microsoftian Personal/Virtual Assistant we've been looking for?  Is this the next step towards artificial intelligence in computing?

  • Adding More To List

    The Xbox one Cannot be used as a extenders

    for mce Nice tradeoff for the hdmi in How mush did the Cable co Dish and Direct tv  pay you off ??

    Kill Media center off nice how much did your Company get for that  

    Now no one get 8.1 because you change the kms and mak so you need new ones don't want them to leak out

    Deliver 2 phone platforms at the same time - Kin killed days after launch

    Only sell zune in US - Failure, zune killed

    Only sell Surface in MS Store - 900M failure.

    Only sell Surface in chosen markets - 900M failure.

    Limit the availability of XBox Live to chosen markets - millions of players are not allowed to pay for Live.

    Get rid of colors in Visual Studio - a last minute reversal

    Do not allow game reselling in XBox - another flop, followed by a semi flop back

    Kill silverlight - the most productive platform killed and making way for javascript hell

  • MS fails once again.

    At first I started making plain desktop apps for Windows. Then, this whole metro stuff came and I needed to remake everything for that. The first time I sucked it up and continued. When I started going deeper into the metro thing, I started realizing that A LOT of basic functions and classes where removed. (FYI: Docs still show most of them) Also, it turns out that simply tracking the users position and making calculations based on it isn't so easy (I'm not even talking about showing a notification based on those calculations). Now this is added over everything.

    Now, I am going to make a very good decision and say "Good Buy MS C#" and "Hello Android Java!" Also, there is one plus to the Google Play store. It might not matter to big companies who can throw around thousands, but the Dev membership is just $25 opposed to MS's $100.

  • So if everybody says that the lack of quality apps is the reason why win8 is not appealing to customers, you decide that you do not need any more quality apps. How on earth can a developer deliver a quality app and not be able to test in on production grade code from MS? Or is it ok for you that the apps will take advantage of new features only after a few months after Win81 GA? Do you want the developers to put their effort and money to test on a prerelease code? A version that is not able to connect to networks reliably, a version that doesn't load start screen occasionally. Do you think developers trust the quality of the preview?

    No, they do not. All the posts here tell you that we need a production quality version to test against. We are not MS sponsors. We cannot afford to fix bugs caused by some prerelease code delivered by MS. And also let's be honest. You need the developers now, more than ever.

    What needs to happen so that MS does not deliver any more weird decision like this one. See a history of similar weird decisions:

    Deliver 2 phone platforms at the same time - Kin killed days after launch

    Only sell zune in US - Failure, zune killed

    Only sell Surface in MS Store - 900M failure.

    Only sell Surface in chosen markets - 900M failure.

    Limit the availability of XBox Live to chosen markets - millions of players are not allowed to pay for Live.

    Get rid of colors in Visual Studio - a last minute reversal

    Do not allow game reselling in XBox - another flop, followed by a semi flop back

    Kill silverlight - the most productive platform killed and making way for javascript hell

    ...

  • zyzzyxx
    0 Posts

    this is like going back in time. Great job MS. May be now you can not hire Steve Balmer? or convince Bill Gates to not leave!

  • SisyFos
    0 Posts

    Just another useless version of Windows. Even worse than Vista.

  • This is insanity.  What possible justification could you have for not releasing the RTM code to developers ahead of schedule?  You are intentionally creating a situation where users will be running our software on a general release platform that hasn't been tested on that platform.  This makes us look bad and you are setting the stage for a release-day disaster!  Who is in charge of this?  Why has Microsoft consistently screwed over its developers for the past three years?  You want to know why you don't have apps in the app store without paying developers to make them?  THIS TYPE OF NONSENSE IS WHY!!!

  • I'll start this by saying that I'm a .NET developer who over the past has defended Microsoft on a lot of stuff and loves the .NET platform as a technology, but let me see if I got this right:

    Microsoft is saying that the RTM is ready for manufacturers, but isn't ready for developers, and won't be until the day it's released to the public. But if developers really need a stable Windows 8.1 build, they should use the latest Release Candidate/Preview. I hope whoever came up with this change in the process at Microsoft isn't the one that's responsible for TFS Process Templates, because not a single part of what you're saying makes any sense from an SDLC perspective.  If the argument is one of effort and publishing this to TechNet or MSDN is anything more than flipping a few switches, then you guys need to spend some development time streamlining the publishing process for your internal service sites.  If the argument is one of developers not being ready for the RTM because it's not ready, then how is it going to the manufacturers?

    Oh well, surely this means you'll be reducing prices significantly on my MSDN subscription since a large part of the value proposition of a $1500 / year subscription just flew out the window.  My decision whether to renew it or not this year is definitely going to take this into account.

  • Nathan
    63 Posts

    Where's the treat for Win32 app developers? No reference to Win32 SDK for 8.1 !  :-(

    DestroyWindow((HWND) WinRT); // if WinRT gets too much excited!

    Other guys who are bytchin about RTM bits... check out what I have found www.neowin.net/.../english-windows-81-rtm-frankenbuild-out-in-the-wild so yeah any day you will get it from *alternate* channels.

  • You guys really should release the bits to your developers (MSDN). Why not? Do you have good reasons? If so then just state them and don't call the bits RTM. RTM used to mean the bits are gold and ready for release. You are really frustrating and confusing us developers.

  • Judgy
    0 Posts

    Is it possible to release a new app based on Windows 8 after October 17?

    Or will you accept only Window 8.1 apps after October 17?

  • Guys, do the right thing, and release the finals bits for your developers. Your quickly getting buried here...

  • I agree with the sentiments expressed by others here: Developers and IT professionals absolutely should have access to the final software that is being rolled out in october. Plenty of examples have been given of what they need to test.

    At least it's not as bad as with WP8 when only a select few were given access to at least test on a preview build, because at least the preview is available for everyone.

  • segobi
    0 Posts

    MS going down the drain - and now Ballmer leaves... :( Release 8.1 RTM to Technet & MSDN !

  • Squuiid
    0 Posts

    Seriously, what is WRONG with Microsoft these days? They are making so many short sighted decisions in every area of their business. Technet subs withdrawal, Surface product forecasting, Windows 8 UI, Xbone, the list goes on. Lets hope the upcoming reshuffle and new leadership introduce a new way of doing things. They also desperately need a new PR agency. Their marketing of Surface, among others, has just been awful.

  • So developers are supposed to spend their time developing in the 8.1 Preview, and then do it all over again when the final release hits the streets? If the final 8.1 version is ready enough for hardware vendors, it is damn sure ready enough for app developers. What is the point of paying big money for MSDN when anyone off the street will get it the same day?

    Who's brilliant idea was this, and can we please get a second ticket on whatever one-way plane Ballmer is taking on the way out and put this person on it next to him?

  • Microsoft's decision to withold Windows 8.1 RTM to developers and volume licence customers is a significant mistake.   It further discourages developers and enterprises to adopt it's new operating system by introducing unnecessary delays and roadblocks to readiness activities.  It really defies logic.  

  • Going off of the title alone, if you want me to get my apps ready for Windows 8.1, it kinda helps having the final code so that they are.

  • danielgr
    73 Posts

    +1 to all the well deserved rants.

    We can only hope MS will stop this joke, makes a quick XBOX180 style turnaround.

    Something tells me though it won't happen, so now have a couple of months to start seriously looking at alternatives, hopefully find some where at least I get some honest feedback instead of this marketing department crap.

  • My app crashes on Windows 8.1 Preview on startup (have installed all Windows Updates, etc.), but it works fine on Windows 8. Should I now invest in fixing the crash, or should I just wait and assume it's just a glitch in 8.1 Preview. The whole point of MSDN is to help DEVELOPERS to get access to new (and old) versions of software to ensure their application works today and tomorrow, for you and for me. I don't see this happening now. Help us to help you make Windows 8.1 fly.

  • Flexman
    0 Posts

    Not acceptable. We're hitting performance issues with changes made to the listviewbase in preview. Do we code to this laggy implementation or wait for performance testing under RTM and hope everything is fixed.

    How is it MS can develop their apps to work on RTM code yet ISV's who are supporting your platform don't get the same benefit?

  • Zartan
    22 Posts

    6 weeks for GA. I think people are exaggerating how much has changed between the 8.1 preview and RTM. 99.99% can probably build their apps without issue. I don't believe they've changed that much between current preview build and RTM.

  • So you want me to update my official production code done with VS 2012 Ultimate & Windows 8 GA with VS 2013 PREVIEW and Windows 8.1 PREVIEW? When Windows 8.1 RTM is sitting right there? Does RTM mean you've finalized your code and it's ready for release sans OEM drivers? Why, out of the clear blue, have you decided to not release early to MSDN? Bug fixes & continual code updates aren't a good enough reason due to the fact that there's an excellent tool at delivering those bits named "Windows Update". I'm not saying release it today, I'm saying Win8.1 RTM should be released to MSDN & TechNet AT LEAST by September 15th at the latest.

  • And don't get me started about the iOS apps. We are Windows developers. And iOS apps are Apple think. So please, we need resources for Windows...

  • I agree.  The advise to use a pre-release OS and pre-release development environment to update production software is disturbing to say the least.

  • In an world inhabited by pink unicorns and pixie dust, the advice in this post would be sufficient.  However we live in the real world last time I looked out the window.  In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before GA.  The fact that Microsoft no longer seems to understand this truly frightens me.

  • So when do we get advance access to windows 8.1 on MSDN?  Also, how do we update with VS2012?

  • Wow, guidance about Windows Store Apps. Dear Windows Apps Team: do you realize developers build more than Windows Store Apps? Do you realize developers still build desktop apps in C++? And you still do not provide SDK for them for the latest version?

    And why should we invest time to develop and fix apps for Preview version of Windows when our customer will use the RTM version? Will you pay us for the time spent 2 months developing for irrelevant build?

  • And what about security apps? Crypto providers? Anti-virus software? Shell extensions? Filesystem filters? All these require very tight integration and cannot be tested with Preview to guarantee a compatibility with the final version.