02 - Introduction of Windows 8

In today’s scenario, different types of devices are used to accomplish day to day activities. Different types of devices are used like Smartphone, tablets, desktops and laptops. All these devices are of different processing power and with different storage capability. Because of these variations different types of applications are required for each device. Developing different versions of an app for different platform devices is a time consuming task and it limits the productivity of an app developer.

To overcome all these problems Microsoft has introduced a new technology of Window store applications development. These apps can execute on various devices and support interaction in various ways. This new technology is possible after the launching of Windows 8 operating system by Microsoft.

Introduction to Windows 8 operating system

Earlier different operating systems were introduced for different devices like PCs, tablets and smartphones because all these devices are of different architecture, screen size, screen resolution and interaction mechanisms. All these devices are essential part of today’s life and are very popular.

Because of all these facts, Microsoft has released Windows 8 operating system that can be used on various types of devices successfully. This operating system can be used on touch screen devices as well as on PCs and laptops and support mouse and keyboard devices for interaction.

Microsoft has released following versions of Windows 8 operating system:

  • Windows 8: Standard edition for home users run on x86 and x86-64 processors.
  • Windows 8 pro: Professional edition for developers and business users. Run on x86 and x86-64 processors.
  • Windows Runtime (RT): specially designed for devices that run on Advance Reduced Instruction Set Computing (RISC) machine architecture. This edition supports executing applications that are certified by Microsoft and are placed in windows store.

Features of Windows 8 OS

  • Fast and fluid user experience
  • Immersive and full screen interface
  • Support for different interaction mechanisms
  • Sharing among apps
  • Similar experience for a variety of devices

Windows 8 support wide range of devices based on three scaling factors. Scaling factors provided by windows 8 are:

  1. 100 percent

Available for screen resolution around 1280 x 800 with 116 DPI (Dot per inch)

  1. 140 percent

Available for HD tablets with 1920 x 1080 resolution on 11.6 inch screen with 190DPI

  1. 180 percent

Available for quad-XGA tablets with 2560 x 1440 resolution on 11.6 inch screen with 253 DPI.

  • Support for multiple views

Windows 8 support following different views:

  1. Full screen view
  2. Snapped view
  3. Fill view

Windows 8 OS Interface

In Windows 8 OS, a new interface is introduced by Microsoft, some of the new elements of this OS are:

Start screen


On start screen Start button is not present. It contains all the apps in tiled format. We can launch an app by clicking on its tile.

Charms bar

          charms bar.PNG

In Windows 8, all common tasks like searching, sharing, and configuration are provided on charms bar. By default it is hidden, we can access it by using Windows logo + C keys together, by moving mouse pointer to the bottom right or upper right corner of the screen or in touch screen devices we can access it by swiping inwards from the right edge of the screen.

Shortcut Keys for accessing various options of charms bar:





Windows logo+Q


Windows logo+H


Windows logo


Windows logo+K


Windows logo+I

App bar

By default it is also hidden and appeared when we press Windows logo + Z keys together. On touch screen device it can be access by swipe from the top or bottom edge of the screen. It can also be appeared when a user right clicks on the screen.

Windows 8 Platform

Windows 8 supports windows store application development, which is totally new kind of applications. From the developers point of view Windows 8 platform architecture can be shown using following diagram:


There are following parts of windows 8 application architecture:


It contains all the services provided by the Operating system like Scheduling, Security, Cryptography, Threading and File management.

System Services

It contains APIs (Application programming interfaces) provided by WinRT.With the help of these APIs, applications can be developed that can communicate with other apps and devices.

Model Controllers

It contains the language in which a developer can develop Windows store apps.

  • C, C++, VB.NET and C#


It contains the markup languages those are specifically used for designing the windows store app like HTML5, CSS and XAML.

WinRT is the key part of Windows store apps architecture. It enables to develop Windows store apps in very quickly and efficient manner. It also supports apps for multi touch devices and pointing devices.

WinRT is a bundle of various APIs those are logically categorized on the basis of their purposes.


                                     Building blocks of WinRT


Asynchronous Programming in WinRT

Asynchronous programming is very essential, it supports multiple thread execution so that more than one task can be executed at a time and optimum use of processor can be achieved. In Windows store app WinRT provides this feature with the help of APIs. The method regarding this uses keyword Async, which indicates that these are asynchronous. Await operator is used to call this asynchronous method.

It can be shown using following code snippet:

private async void bttn_submit_click(object sender, RoutedEventArgs e)

    Windows.UI.Popups.MessegeDialog msg=new Windows.UI.Popups.MessageDialog(“Welcome World!!!!!”);
    Await msg.ShowAsync();

await is the operator that is used to call ShowAsync() method. async is the keyword that is used with the definition of bttn_submit_click () method.

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