With the advent of Microsoft’s latest OS, a lot of people are asking how to get setup for developing Windows 8 applications. Here is a short post about getting a development environment for Windows 8 up and running.
Where to find Windows 8?
A full copy of Windows 8 can be purchased at http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16832416552. Be careful to only purchase the Windows 8 Pro version and not the Windows 8 version. Only Windows 8 Pro supports developing.
This is the preferred option. Windows 8 is great OS. This option also guarantees the developer the best environment for developing for Windows 8. Anyone machine running Windows XP SP3, Vista, or Windows 7 can be upgraded. The upgrade cost is currently $40 (until Jan. 31st 2013) at http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/buy?ocid=GA8_O_WOL_DIS_ShopHP_FPP_Light for digital media. Developers can/need to create physical media from the digital media by using the Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool in order to create a bootable USB or DVD available at http://www.microsoftstore.com/store/msstore/html/pbPage.Help_Win7_usbdvd_dwnTool. The tool allows users to create a bootable DVD or USB. Typically the USB has been found to be the easiest. Physical upgrade media is also available at the same site for $70 (until Jan 31st 2013).
Evaluation Copy of Windows 8
The evaluation copy can be installed natively, in a virtual machine, or on a bootable VHD. The evaluation copy cannot be upgraded and is only good for 90 days. After 90 days Windows would need to be installed via a clean install. The evaluation copy can be found here http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/evalcenter/jj554510.aspx?wt.mc_id=MEC_132_1_4. The suggested route with the evaluation copy is to create a virtual machine or a bootable VHD. To learn how to create a bootable VHD read this article http://blogs.interknowlogy.com/2011/09/01/windows7bootablevhd/. To learn about creating a virtual machine read this article http://www.techspot.com/guides/503-windows-8-virtual-machine/. Please be aware that the virtual machine and bootable VHD methods only available in Windows 7 (Home Premium or higher).
Tools and Resources
Once Windows 8 is installed visit http://dev.windows.com and http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/apps/br229516.aspx to download Visual Studio 2012 and other tools and resources for developing for Windows 8.