Greetings. We’d like to give you a sense of timing about the next release—the Release Preview version—of Charles Petzold’s Programming Windows, Sixth Edition eBook.

As we’ve announced and described previously (and it’s a good idea to review that page again for details about this offer), Microsoft Press is releasing three versions of the eBook for Programming Windows, Sixth Edition, including two pre-release editions that provide you crucial access to early content. Based on when you purchase (see the table below), you will receive the most recently published version of the eBook—plus any subsequent versions—at special promotional pricing.

The “Consumer Preview” eBook, based on Windows 8 Consumer Preview, was released on May 17, 2012, and it included 7 chapters (294 pages).

The “Release Preview” eBook, based on Windows 8 Release Preview, will update those 7 chapters and will include an additional 4–6 chapters.

This offer is available only through the book’s page at (our distributor’s website).

Pricing and Publication Schedule

Programming Windows, Sixth Edition eBook Version


Time Period

Consumer Preview eBook


May 17–31, 2012

Consumer Preview eBook (same content as above, no updates)


June 1, 2012 until the release of the Release Preview eBook

Release Preview eBook


Approximately Summer 2012 (two weeks only, date to be announced)

Release Preview eBook (same content as above, no updates)


After the two-week $30 period and until release of the Final eBook, currently scheduled to be November 14, 2012

Final eBook


November 15, 2012 through life of edition

As you can see, when we release the Release Preview eBook, the price for the eBook will be $30 (if you have not already taken advantage of this offer by purchasing the Consumer Preview eBook). The price will remain $30 for two weeks only, at which point it will increase to $40 until we release the final eBook.

We are currently estimating that we will release the Release Preview eBook at some point during the first half of August. We will announce the release on this blog and also share the specific dates for the two-week $30 period.

All of you who have already taken advantage of this offer (or who do so before we release the Release Preview eBook), you'll be notified by O'Reilly that the Release Preview eBook has been added to the Your Products tab of your account. Easy.

By the way, the chapters in the Consumer Preview eBook are these:

Chapter 1 Markup and Code

Chapter 2 XAML Syntax

Chapter 3 Basic Event Handling

Chapter 4 Presentation with Panels

Chapter 5 Control Interaction

Chapter 6 WinRT and MVVM

Chapter 7 Building an Application

The Release Preview eBook will include those chapters (updated) plus the following, as described by Charles on his blog:

    Chapter 8. "Animation": An extensive exploration of the Windows.UI.Xaml.Media.Animation namespace, including an interactive program that lets you explore the easing functions.
      Chapter 9. "Transforms": Both affine and non-affine transforms are covered, and sample programs include an analog clock and a demo flip-panel using projection transforms.

    Unfortunately, I was not able to get Chapter 10 ("The Two Templates"), Chapter 11 ("Collections"), and Chapter 12 ("Pages and Navigation") ready in time for the Release Preview. Instead, I concentrated on some later chapters that I thought might be more valuable to early Windows 8 programmers:

      Chapter 13. "Touch, Etc.": An exploration of the Pointer and Manipulation events, including a finger-painting program, a piano keyboard (without sound, unfortunately), techniques for scaling and rotation with correct calculation of the transform center, and single-finger rotation.
        Chapter 14. "Bitmaps": Although unfinished, this chapter focuses on WriteableBitmap for making custom brushes (including a circular-gradient and radial-gradient) and manipulating existing bitmaps. Also covered is using BitmapDecoder and BitmapEncoder to load and save bitmap files.
          Chapter 15. "Printing": Hooking into the Devices charm for printing single-page and multi-page documents including dealing with pagination issues.
            Chapter 16. "Going Native": Although unfinished, this chapter covers the use of P/Invoke to access Win32 functions in a Metro style application, and the technique of accessing DirectX through a Windows Runtime Component coded in C++. Sample programs include a multi-timezone ClockRack, enumerating fonts and obtaining font metrics, and drawing on SurfaceImageSource using DirectX, which I used for a Windows 8 version of SpinPaint.

          Total page count for the Release Preview eBook is about 570.

          And the final eBook, which we expect to release in the fall, will include another 4–6 (or 8, knowing Charles!) chapters.

          Thanks, everybody. We hope you’re enjoying the book.