We know many folks are looking forward to RTM. Developers currently working on apps in the Store are especially excited. We have hundreds of apps in the Windows Store now and many more on the way. There’s a broad set of developers around the world that we have been working closely with since the first Developer Preview. The WinRT platform is evolving rapidly during development based on feedback, and we have the dual task of keeping the Store up and running so we can supply apps to the millions of Preview users, while also getting ready for the next build. It means that if we change or add APIs or improve the tools, the apps will change and require an updated OS to test and verify the app. That’s why we have been providing updated builds to developers who have or are committed to having apps in the Store through strong partnerships.
This post explains the work we’ve been doing since September to keep developers updated with APIs and tools so that apps can stay up to date. We’re doing this even after the Release Preview, just to make sure new apps are ready to go once we get to broad availability. This post was authored by Dennis Flanagan, who leads our ecosystem outreach team. --Steven
As we approach the release of Windows 8, the catalog of Metro style apps continues to grow. To date, people have experienced apps that Microsoft has included with the downloaded build, and those that are offered in the Store in both the Consumer Preview and Release Preview timeframe. Many of those apps are great examples of immersive, touch-first Metro style experiences. However, like the Windows releases they run on, these apps are preview versions of the apps to come. The final versions of all Metro style apps will be available when Windows 8 becomes generally available.
Last year, we began working closely with the developer community by releasing early versions of the Windows 8 platform and tools. We decided to engage developers earlier in the engineering process so we could help them build skills in Metro style app development and give them the opportunity to influence the platform through feedback. Since September of 2011 we have released 8 developer preview versions. Some of these versions have been available to a limited developer audience. Some have been distributed broadly. All of these releases had similar goals: