Yesterday Microsoft held the first of 8 Windows 8 developer camps around the country. First up was Melbourne which I had the chance to attend and join around 160 other developers. The idea of the developer camps is to engage with developers who are currently or considering building apps that will eventually be sold through the Windows 8 Store.
The Agenda included sessions on many of the important changes coming to Windows 8.
- Technical Introduction to Windows 8, Metro Design (UX)
- Building Metro-style Apps with Visual Studio: in HTML5/JS & C#/XAML
- Listviews and Databinding; Orientation, Snapping and Semantic Zoom
- Integrating with Devices: GPS, Orientation, Media Capture
- Contracts: Searching and Sharing; Tiles & Notifications
- The Store & Final Q&A
With coffee and WiFi provided, attendees were well catered for, minus power outlets. Entering the room was quickly followed by a scope of the room for 3-pin connectors, those lucky couple at the back that grabbed the only two in the room were met with jealous evil eyes. I suspect the choice of venue, University of Melbourne was made with good reason. The room design with its cubed walls and roof was unique and interesting, meaning we were sitting in a room that was made by someone who thought differently. This perfect correlation for a developer approaching Metro app development.
The second takeaway was the lack of power outlets, making all of us laptop-wielding developers conscious of power consumptions and inspire us to save CPU cycles wherever possible in their development. Perhaps I’m giving them too much credit and they simply picked the room because it “looked cool”.
One of the strong messages from Microsoft is the potential market for your applications built for Windows 8 is half a billion (aka 500 million). This is the number of Windows 7 devices that have been sold since its launch 3 years ago. With the requirements of Windows 8 matching Windows 7 its true the potential market is that same number. The reality is that it some Win 7 machines will never be upgraded, but then we need to add in the number of Windows 8 machines that will be sold over the next few years.
While the exact number isn’t important, the size of the market compared to other Marketplaces vying for your development time and budget, Windows is the largest. By comparison Android has around 247 Million devices, while iOS is around 150 Million.
The message was clear to Australian developers, although registration isn’t yet available, you will be able to put apps in the Australian store at some point. These apps can also be deployed in international stores assuming the app doesn’t conflict with legislation in a country.
For those that missed out and want to hit another developer camp, I strongly recommend it. If you’ve spent the past few weeks combing through samples and examples, like I have, keep in mind that some of the content you will already know. With that said, there were a few gems that I learnt that will save me time. As with a lot of conferences, its just as much about the people and networking as it is about the content. For more information, head to http://www.lalaninja.com.au/2012/03/19/windows-8-developer-camps-australia/
Budding Windows 8 developers should head to http://dev.windows.com for more information.