How to get your free student Windows 8 store account


    The Windows 8 store is open for individuals to publish and students can get a Windows store account for free through the DreamSpark program, here’s how you do it.

    Microsoft announced this week, that the Windows 8 Store is open to individuals and that they will be providing free accounts to students through the DreamSpark program, the same awesome deal we got for the Windows Phone marketplace. That means the only thing standing between you and an app in the store is some time at your keyboard geeking out!

    How do you get your free marketplace account, go here and follow the instructions, the rest of this blog provides more detailed instructions on how to create your marketplace account.

    You must

    1. Verify you are a student
    2. Get your registration code
    3. Register at the Windows Store
    4. Get Coding!


    1. Verify you are a student

    Already got a DreamSpark account?

    Then jump to step 2 and Get your registration code!

    Don’t have a DreamSpark account?

    You need a DreamSpark account in order to get a registration code. It’s the registration code that allows you to create your store account for free. Only students or educators can create DreamSpark accounts. If you are a student or educator and do not have one yet, create a DreamSpark account.


    2. Get your registration code

    Go to DreamSpark and Sign in with your DreamSpark account, now from the top menu select Students | app development

    Select Windows 8 Learn more

    Scroll to the bottom of the page and select Get Your Registration code

    You will be brought back to the top of the screen. In the box with the title Get Registration Code. Select Get Code Now.



    After you select Get Code now a code will be displayed in the box. Write that code down. That’s the code that will allow you to create your Windows Store account for free. Now you can creating your Windows Store account!


    3. Register at the Windows Store

    Go to the Windows Store

    • If you already have a Windows Phone store account you can link the accounts and keep the same publisher display name for both accounts or you can start over and create a new Publisher account for your Windows 8 Store account.
    • You will be asked to confirm or enter information about your store account including your Publisher display name. This is the name that will appear in the store as the publisher for all your apps.
    • You will have to accept the application developer agreement.
    • Enter your registration code in the registration code box so you don’t have to pay the $49 account fee.image


    • You will now be asked to enter your credit card information.
    • Yes, even if you get a free Store account you are required to enter credit card information. Pre-paid credit cards won’t work. That’s because this is another way of confirming your identity. You enter credit card information and a small amount is charged to your credit card and then reversed. You will need to look at your credit card statement to find the transaction in order to be able to verify your Store account.

    • After you enter your credit card information you will see a confirmation screen you can use to double check your information before you create your account by clicking the Purchase button. DONT FORGET TO READ THE SMALL PRINT THAT EXPLAINS THE FINAL VERIFICATION OF YOUR CREDIT CARD!


      Now that your account is created, you need that credit card statement! It may take a day or two for your online bill to show the transaction. If you are in a hurry, you can try calling your credit card company to get the information sooner. If you do not have online billing, you will have to call the credit card company or wait until you get your credit card bill in the mail.

      Once you have the credit card bill with the transaction information return to the Windows Dev Center, Sign In, select Dashboard from the menu, and select Verify your payment method.

      At the bottom of the screen you are asked to enter the 3 digit code that appears in the transaction description OR the transaction amount that was charged (and will be refunded to the credit card!)

      Verify payment

      Once you have entered that information, Congratulations! You are ready to submit your first app to the Windows store! Whenever you are ready return to the dashboard and choose Submit an app to get started! 

      4. Get Coding!

      Go reserve the name of your app (before someone else nabs it! Better to be Timer than Timer74) and get coding! Here’s a few resources to help

    • Go DevMENTAL

      Some useful keyboard shortcuts for Windows 8


      Many of us don’t have touchscreen devices (yet) so here’s a few good keyboard shortcuts.

      Even though I do have a touchscreen laptop, I still use keyboard shortcuts. Just like CTRL+C and CTRL+V come to you without thinking, a few of these shortcuts are sure to make their way into your collection after you install Windows 8 and start coding apps. If you haven’t downloaded Windows 8 RTM yet. Check out our blog post with instructions on how students can download Windows 8 for free!

      Moving between Metro and Desktop

      <Windows> Brings up the Metro start screen. You can start typing to search for an app, just like the Win7 start menu.
      <Windows> + <B> Go to the Desktop from the Metro Start Screen
      <Windows> + <D> Brings you to Windows desktop from the Metro Screen


      <Windows> + < . > snap right
      <Windows> + <Shift> + < . > snap left

      Switching between applications

      <Windows> + <Tab> Opens the Metro application switcher menu, switches between applications.
      <Windows> + <J> Switches focus between snapped Metro applications.
      <ALT> + <F4> Close an application
      <Windows> + <R> To bring up the run window from the desktop, so you can type in an application name to run

      Semantic Zoom

      <CTRL> + <+> Zoom in
      <CTRL> + <-> Zoom out

      or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out

      Displaying App & Charms Bar

      <Windows> + <C> Brings up the Charms menu, where you can search, share, and change settings.
      <Windows> + <Z> Opens the App Bar for the current Metro application.

      All the other shortcuts I could find!

      <Windows> + E – Launch Windows Explorer with Computer view displayed.

      <Windows> + F – Brings up the Metro File search screen.

      <Windows> + H – Opens the Metro Share panel.

      <Windows> + I – Opens the Settings panel, where you can change settings for the current app, change volume, wireless networks, shut down, or adjust the brightness.

      <Windows> + K – Opens the Devices panel (for connecting to a projector or some other device)

      <Windows> + L – Lock PC and return to Lock screen.

      <Windows> + M – Minimize all Windows on the desktop

      <Windows> + O – Locks device orientation.

      <Windows> + P – Choose between available displays.

      <Windows> + Q – Brings up the Metro App Search screen.

      <Windows> + R – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and display the Run box.

      <Windows> + U – Switch to the (classic) Windows desktop and launch the Ease of Access Center.

      <Windows> + V – Cycles through toasts.

      <Windows> + W – Brings up the Metro Settings search screen.

      <Windows> + X – Launch Start Menu.

      <Windows> + Y – Temporarily peek at the desktop.

      <Windows> + Page Up / Down – Moves tiles to the left / right.

      <Windows> + , (comma) – Aero Peek at the desktop.

    • Go DevMENTAL

      How to get your free student Windows Phone store account


      Windows Phone appsStudent can publish their apps to the Windows Phone store at no charge through the DreamSpark program. Here’s how.

      There are perks to being a student, in this case it’s not having to pay to register and publish in the Windows Phone or Windows 8 stores. In this blog post you’ll see how to get your complimentary Windows Phone store account. If you haven’t created your free Windows 8 store account yet, there is a blog on how to do that here.

      The basic instructions on how to create your Windows phone account can be found on the DreamSpark site here, the rest of this blog provides more detailed instructions on how to create your Windows Phone Store account. The steps for registering in the Windows Phone store are similar to those required to create an account in the Windows 8 store. If you plan to publish Windows 8 and Windows phone apps you need to create accounts in both stores. You can tie the same publisher name to both stores or you can choose to use different publisher names in each.

      To create a Windows Phone Store account for a student, you must

      1. Verify you are a student
      2. Map a Microsoft account to your DreamSpark account
      3. Register at the Windows Store
      4. Get Coding!

      1. Verify you are a student

      Already got a DreamSpark account?

      Then you can go ahead to step two and map a Microsoft account to your DreamSpark account.

      Don’t have a DreamSpark account?

      You can create a DreamSpark account and verify your student status through one of the following 3 methods.

      • With your school domain, i.e. look up your school in the appropriate drop-down box and then provide your school email address
      • With an access code provided by a Microsoft representative or obtained by mailing DreamSpark Student support and providing proof of your student status (ID and school transcript or reenrollment form)
      • With your International Student Identity Card (ISIC) number if you have one

      2. Map a Microsoft account to your DreamSpark account

      DreamSpark does not require you to have a Microsoft account, but the Windows Phone store does.

      If you don’t have a Microsoft account? You can go ahead and create a Microsoft Account now.

      • If your DreamSpark account is not tied to a Microsoft account, you will need to map your account.
      • If you DreamSpark account is already tied to a Microsoft account, you can continue to step three.

      3. Register at the Windows Phone Store

      Go to the Windows Phone Store to register, enter the Microsoft account that is tied to your DreamSpark account. Select Account type individual or student.

      Creating Windows Phone Store Account

      You will be asked to enter your name, email address, phone number and so on.

      You will also be asked to specify a Publisher Name.  This is the name that will appear in the Windows Phone store.

      Windows Phone Store publisher name

      When you get to the Payment screen, choose the option “I’m a student” since you have already tied the account you used to for the store account to your DreamSpark account, your account will be verified as a student account and you will not be charged.

      Windows Phone Store Payment options

      4. Get Coding!

      The store is waiting for your app! There are lots of great resources out there to help you get started.

      Don’t forget to check out some of the tips and tricks shared by other Canadian students who built Windows Phone apps, if you publish an app and want to share your tips & tricks, let us know!

    • Go DevMENTAL

      Windows Azure Mobile services help students build professional apps


      IC613644Ever wanted to develop a Windows 8 or Windows Phone app which reads and writes data from a database? It just got a lot easier.

      You want to build an app, a really good app. Depending on the type of app you want to build, you may need your app to access a database.

      Normally, when you want to create an app to read and update data, you create a WCF “Windows Communication Foundation” web service. This web service usually connects to a SQL server database hosted on your server or on SQL Azure. In your web service you create methods to read records, delete records, add records and update records in the database.

      There are lots of apps built with this model. But chances are  your school never taught you how to build a web service, so there is a learning curve. If your priority is to add this functionality as quickly as possible with the confidence that you have a good architecture, check out Windows Azure Mobile Services. Windows Azure Mobile services provides an API that you can use to call methods to add, update, or delete records and you don’t have to publish your own web service. How do you get it? Sign up for Windows Azure, create a new Mobile service and then add a reference to the Windows Azure Mobile service API and start using it!

      How to get started

      For more details on how to get started with Windows Azure Mobile Services, check out this video.

    • Go DevMENTAL

      Could a Windows 8 app take you to Russia?


      ImagineCupRussiaThis year’s Imagine Cup finals are in Russia, and there are lots of ways a Windows 8 app could get you to the finals.

      You are going to see a lot of Windows 8 events and resources over the next few months as we approach the release of Windows 8 RTM. What’s really cool for students is the fact that if you build a Windows 8 app, not only can you publish it to the store which presents a huge opportunity in itself, you can also double down and enter that app in the Imagine Cup. You can enter any Imagine Cup category and potentially be flown to Russia for the World Wide Finals next July.

      How can a Windows 8 app qualify for Imagine Cup?

      • Build a game and enter it in the Games Competition
      • Build an app you think has great business potential and enter it in the Innovation Competition
      • Build an app you think can help others and enter it in the World Citizenship Competition
      • Complete a quiz on Windows 8, and build a cool Windows 8 app and enter the Windows 8 App Challenge

      Not sure how to build a Windows 8 app?

      There are lots of great resources to get you started at dev.windows.com

      In particular I recommend the Getting Started with Windows Store apps which has getting started guides for all flavours of Windows Store apps.

      How do you enter Imagine Cup?

      Your first step is just to register at www.imaginecup.com. You can enter the challenge as an individual, and you can enter the Games, Innovation, and WorldCitizenship competitions in teams of 1-4 students and you are also allowed a mentor for your team. Dream it. Build it. Live it!

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