Author: The Technologist Desk

Posted On Oct 10, 2013   |   3 Mins Read

Computing giant Microsoft has recently announced that Windows 8.1 is expected to be released soon.

Windows 8 has changed the whole perspective of desktop application development by facilitating the development of content focused, UI rich and real time capable applications. It will be quite interesting to see what Windows 8.1 has instore for us.

While we all are eager to hear the analysts’ views and predictions on this front, we can take a pause and look at the success stories with Windows 8 and Surface tablets that each one of us might want to share.

When we speak of Windows 8 application development, there are so many powerful features we can take advantage of. Just to list a few,

  • Multiple Window States – Applications support full-screen, immersive state and a resized view which can share screen space with other running applications
  • Collaboration – Allows to share and search content across applications. The collaborative experience is enhanced as the user goes on adding more applications to the PC
  • Live Tiles – Vital information about the application features can be made available to the user on home screen even when the application is not actually running

Windows 8 also comes with a built-in animations library which allows the developer to add fluid and smooth transitions and effects in the application, thus improving the overall user experience. Flexible layout controls bundled with Windows 8 make the life of a developer very easy. As an organization, you can leverage your current skill-set to develop great Windows 8 applications. There is no need of new training as the development mainly depends on either web technologies like HTML5, CSS or JavaScript or .Net framework, C#, XAML.

Our experience here is based on some of the recent works that we have done in Windows 8, the interactive touch-centric user interface. We used the Visual Studio 2012 with .Net framework 4.5 and Windows 8 SDK for developing these projects having a XAML based user interface and business logic written in C#.

For one of our ISV partners, we built a desktop calendar application with really interactive and user friendly interface and a host of challenging features like synchronization of events with Google calendar, updating the desktop calendar view with local holidays of different countries. Google’s REST APIs were used efficiently for achieving these features. Click here to read more about this application. For another prestigious client we developed a Windows 8 application exposing Quick Response Code (QR Code) and Bar Code tools. The application read the QR Code or Bar Code using a web cam and intuitively took appropriate action depending on the data. The application also had capability to create a QR Code or Bar Code for a given data. Having worked in number of mobile application projects, we knew that the key success factor in this project will be the right choice of library for doing the encoding and decoding of the codes and a library code base that supports WinRT. We explored various similar libraries and narrowed down on zXing library as the best choice.

This was followed by a very interesting social media project. This was a news feed reader which fetched the feeds around the globe as per the users preference and displayed the content in a customized, interactive and user-friendly user interface. The user could then take various actions like marking the content as favorite, downloading the content and sharing it over social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Evernote.

There are many more experiences that we can go on sharing. Instead, we would now like to hear from you, how your experience has been on working with Windows 8 and Windows RT. Do let us know.