(Ok, I changed the title because the other one s**ked.)

Here’s the thing, the few tutorials out there assume that you know that the way to start with Windows 8.1 C++ Windows apps is to use one of the templates and then remove all of the extra stuff (if you want to build the minimal app for testing and learning). 

But you might assume that you could start from a console app template and then change the options, or change the command line, etc.  I can’t figure out how to do that.  The first two images show the difference between the DirectX App and a Console app, there is no Target Platform Version in the console app, which makes sense, I guess, since the console app doesn’t really target a platform.

So why not just add references?  Some of my mentors suggested that I just add references.  Ok, but if you look at the bottom 2 images you will see that there is no way to set the references in the console app, but there is in the Windows 8.1 app.  And no button to allow a change. 

The following is the problem you would face in pictures.  And if you are like me, I want to know everything about the foundations of programming Windows, but this one seems to be unexplained:

In the DirectX App in VS 2013 your Configuration Properties, General category has a
Target Platform Version
If you use the console app template there is no Target Platform Version image
If I attempt to add the references to the console app to allow me to implement the 8.1 platform.
Note that there is no path to addition of References in the VS 2013 Console app
Back to the VS 2013 DirectX App Template Common Properties you can see that there is references automatically added for Windows and Extensions. 

These are added by the template.