Susan IbachTechnical Evangelist
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.
Then jump to step 2 and Get your registration code!
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.
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!
Go to the Windows Store
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.
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!)
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!
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
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!
or hold down <CTRL> and use Mouse Wheel to zoom in and out
<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.
Want your app on multiple platforms without rewriting all the code? Here’s a summary of some of the tools, libraries and SDKs out there to support building multi-platform apps.
Every mobile developer struggles with the decision of which platforms to support, and most end up building for more than one platform. I am frequently asked what tools are out there to make it easier to build for multiple platforms. Well, there are lots of options out there for you, everything from professional paid tools to open source libraries. I decided to sit down and put together a list for you. Information is all based on what I could find on their websites at the time this blog was posted. For the most up-to-date information I recommend you visit the product sites themselves. Each product title is linked back to their website. There are some gaming and graphic specific tools listed as well.
Don't forget good design of your app also makes it easier to implement on multiple platforms. Using a Model View ViewModel architecture makes it easier to re-use your code. Check out this MVVM Light Toolkit or Okra (formerly Cocoon) to help you get started with the MVVM model pattern in XAML. This is great when combined with portable class libraries which allows you to share code between Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 apps.
Apache Cordova (formerly known as PhoneGap)
Embarcadero RAD Studio XE3
Yo Yo Games GameMaker
Construct2 by Scirra
I’m sure there are some I missed, feel free to add comments to point out any good tools and tips for cross platform development that you have discovered. Don’t forget in Canada when you publish your app you could earn rewards through Developer Movement!
Registering your Windows Phone 7
Writing applications for the Windows Phone is really easy, and the provided emulator allows you to test it relatively well. However, there will come a time when you will want to run your application on an actual phone. Microsoft allows students to register their phones and publish apps on the Marketplace for free, but the process is a bit more complicated than for other people. So, I’ve created this guide to help you get started and to find out what to expect from this whole process.
Registering your Windows Phone 7
First thing is to actually create an account on the App Hub. When you sign in for the first time, you should be presented to the following page:
Fill it up, and make sure you select Student. Otherwise, you will have to pay an annual fee of 99$. Also, make sure the e-mail you are using has been validated though DreamSpark. That’s how Microsoft can verify if you’re a student! If you haven’t registered for DreamSpark, you can do so here. The rest of the signup is pretty straightforward, so I’ll skip it in order to keep things short.
Once that is all done, you will notice that you still have a validation problem and cannot publish apps or register your phone. Indeed, GeoTrust needs to validate your information on behalf of Microsoft before you can do anything. However, since you are running a Student account, they will not contact you before you publish your first application. Therefore, you need to publish an app in order to get things rolling. If you simply want to run your app on your phone and aren’t ready to put it on the Marketplace, you can simply publish a dummy app. The application can be very simple (i.e.: the default layout when you create a new project in Visual Studio). The point is simply to get GeoTrust to call you. Chances are you won’t even pass validation. (I know I didn’t J) Otherwise, be sure to follow the guidelines, or your application will be rejected.
Here is a walkthrough for publishing your app on the Marketplace.
Shortly after you publish your app, you should receive your first e-mail from GeoTrust:
*** NOTE: This email was automatically generated from an unmonitored mailbox. ***
The person identified below requested a Microsoft Windows Phone Marketplace developer account on behalf of Shahrad Rezaei. GeoTrust, a Microsoft partner, needs more details to complete Marketplace registration.
Name: Shahrad Rezaei
Phone: (555) 555-1234
Successful Marketplace registration generates a code signing certificate that will identify Shahrad Rezaei as the responsible publisher.
Shahrad Rezaei identified you as someone who can authorize this request on behalf of Shahrad Rezaei. If you do not have this capability, then please notify Shahrad Rezaei, then access the URL below and click "I Do Not Approve".
***Note that canceling this account will require the requesting individual to create a new Marketplace account using a different Windows Live ID and pay an additional registration fee.***
Please follow the URL below to approve or not approve this request:
If you have any questions, please consult the requestor, Shahrad Rezaei, or contact GeoTrust Customer Support at:
GeoTrust Customer Support
Hours of Operation: Mon - Fri 05:00 - 17:00 (PST)
Phone: 1-866-436-8787 or 1-678-366-8399 option 2
Live Chat: http://www.geotrust.com/support
Two days later, I got another e-mail:
Jan 05, 2011
Order number: *******
Dear Shahrad Rezaei,
GeoTrust, is a verification and authentication agency employed by Microsoft to confirm the accuracy of the information you provided to Microsoft during your enrollment for Windows Marketplace for Mobile for Mobile Publisher ID. Microsoft requires this independent verification in order to issue you a publisher ID.
In order for GeoTrust to confirm your information in terms of Microsoft's requirements, GeoTrust must receive a copy of your valid government issued photo identification (for example: a passport or driver's license), attached to the Identification Confirmation Letter below.
Please print the Identification Confirmation below and follow the instructions provided to complete the Identification Confirmation.
Fax or e-mail the following documents to the contact information listed below.
It is important that you send GeoTrust the above documents via fax or e-mail within three (3) business days. This will accelerate the identity verification process which will enable you to submit and publish applications to the GeoTrust and start earning revenue.
On behalf of your Microsoft Windows Marketplace for Mobile application, your prompt attention to this matter is greatly appreciated!
Live Chat: https://www.geotrust.com/support/chat/order-processing.html
-----------------PLEASE PRINT BELOW-----------------------
IDENTIFICATION CONFIRMATION INSTRUCTIONS
1. All fields in the letter must be filled in completely.
2. This letter must be signed with a handwritten signature by Shahrad Rezaei.
3. This letter must include a photocopy of a government issued identification for Shahrad Rezaei.
4. Digital signatures or stamped signatures are not acceptable.
5. Fax or e-mail the letter back to GeoTrust by Fax: 650-237-8871, or Email: email@example.com
Order number: *******
I understand that GeoTrust, Inc. received a request to verify certain information for my application to Microsoft for Shahrad Rezaei (Individual).
I am the contact listed in the request. This letter serves to confirm my identity as submitted for inclusion in my Publisher ID.
******* Place Photocopy ID here *******
I confirm and warrant that this is an unaltered, exact copy of my Driver's License or Passport.
Print Name: Shahrad Rezaei
ID # _____________________________
Exp. Date: _____________
State of Issuance: __________________
--------------- END LETTER CONTENT ------------
In a nutshell, this message is saying that in order to complete the registration process, I need to send back a scan of either your driver’s licence or your passport, and fill out the rest of the form. Notice that you can crop the picture as long as the information on it is visible (this picture might actually be too small). Another thing you can notice is that you actually need to sign the document by hand, which means that you will need to print it, sign it, re-scan it and send it back. If you don’t have a scanner, you can also fax it to (650) 237-8871.
In a few days, your App Hub dashboard should say that your identity has been verified. But, you cannot deploy your applications to your phone quite yet. You still need to complete the last step: registering your phone.
The application to do so is available as part of the Windows Phone Developer tools. It should bein your Start Menu under “All Programs” → “Windows Phone Developer Tools” → “Windows Phone Developer Registration”. Once the wizard appears, simply enter the Windows Live ID and password you used to sign up for the App Hub, and you’re done. Make sure that your phone is connected to the Zune Client, that the phone is not on the lock screen (the page that appears when you leave your phone idle) and that you are connected to the Internet.
Once that’s done, you can deploy your apps to your phone from within Visual Studio. Make sure that when compiling, you are deploying to the device, and not the emulator. Again, the phone must be connected through the Zune client and must not be locked. Congratulations!
If you’ve experienced any problems, you can get some help by posting on the App Hub forums under the “Registering with App Hub” section. If you’re having some problems with GeoTrust, you can go in a live chat session with them here.
Happy programming! J
How can students in Canada get their hands on Windows 8 RTM and Visual Studio 2012 so they can start building cool apps?
On August 1st the Windows team announced they had completed the release to manufacturing (RTM) of Windows 8. The blog announced that developers could download the final version on August 15th with an MSDN subscription. But what about students on Dreamspark? Well students at schools who have subscriptions to Dreamspark premium are in luck, as of August 25th they can start downloading Windows 8 as well!
If you haven’t explored the joys of Dreamspark yet, let me get you started so you can download Windows 8 and more!
If you have Dreamspark premium your school will have some sort of portal where you can login, for example, these are the portals for Concordia and Carleton University.
Tip: I found these by doing a Bing search for “Dreamspark”, “MSDN” and the university names. MSDN AA or MSDN Academic Alliance is the former name of Dreamspark Premium
Somewhere on your school portal you will find a link to login or to go to the Software Library. You will be prompted for a username and password. This will be your university email and password. Do not include the domain name in the email (e.g. for SusanIbach@Carleton.ca my username would be SusanIbach.
After you log in you’ll be redirected to the Dreamspark webstore. Where you will see a list of all the cool software you can download.
If you want to develop Windows 8 apps, you will want Microsoft Windows 8 and Microsoft Visual Studio 2012, but go ahead and explore some of the other choices, this is a fun place to explore and try all sorts of great tools like Expression Studio for doing User Interface design, Visio to do your flowcharts and UML diagrams, or SQL Server so you can become a database guru!
To get up and running with Windows 8, just select Windows 8 and you’ll be brought to a screen where you can choose whether you want the 32-bit or 64-bit versions, you can also choose whether you want the French or English edition.
Select Add to Cart for the version of the software you prefer, and then you go to the checkout
When you choose Check Out you are brought to the End User license Agreement. Do take time to read the restrictions, you will notice that under the No Commercial Use it does specifically say “You may however submit software programs that you create using the Student Subscription software to Microsoft app stores, including for revenue.” So yes you can use the software you download from Dreamspark to create apps and publish them on the Windows marketplace and you are compliant with the license agreement.
You will be asked to complete order information including your name and email address, and the option of subscribing to stay up to date on the latest Microsoft events and promotions (not a bad idea, sometimes we have some pretty awesome promotions!)
Finally you will get a window where you can choose to Start the Download of the software and you will get a product key to activate the software. You will be downloading an .ISO file, so you will need to burn it onto a CD, or find software that opens the .iso.
Tip: Once you have installed Windows 8 on your laptop, you’ll be able to open .iso and .vhd files directly! One more reason to download and install Windows 8 !
If your school does not have Dreamspark Premium and you are part of a technical program like Computer Science, Computer Engineering, or Information Technology, as examples, you should talk to your professor and see about getting your school subscribed to Dreamspark Premium, they can find the information on how to apply here.
If you have Dreamspark Standard, you can download Visual Studio, but you won’t be able to download the software for OS like Windows 8. So your best bet is to download Visual Studio and then download the Windows 8 90 day evaluation.
Just about any school can apply for Dreamspark Standard, so ask your teachers to look into applying here. But I realize not every school in Canada has Dreamspark (yet). So, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org and provide us with evidence that you are a student in Canada, and we can provide you with a code to access Dreamspark standard. This will get you lots of great software (like Visual Studio!) to help you get coding, but you won’t be able to download the OS software like Windows 8. That is reserved for Dreamspark Premium members. You can still download a 90 day trial of Windows 8 here.