Windows 8 is the next significant milestone for the Windows Platform. This presents one of the biggest opportunities for developers all over the world in a very long time. There’s plenty of excitement around Windows 8, particularly around the Metro Style design language. With the recent announcement of Windows 8 release preview coming in June, there is no better time to start developing Windows 8 Applications now and get in on the ground floor for this new platform.

What are App Excellence Labs?
App Excellence Labs are designed for developers to have their Windows 8 Application assessed and reviewed by a trained Windows 8 Field Engineer. Developers will be taking part in these labs in many locations all across the world and we will be holding labs in Auckland during the week of 28 May and 4 June at the Microsoft Offices. If you are in an NZ location outside Auckland, remote dial-in will be an option. Slots are extremely limited, so we will need to review your application before securing a place at the labs.

What happens at the Lab?
At the lab, you’ll receive a detailed survey with questions about your app, useful advice, links to guidelines, etc.  The survey is not the sole criteria we use at the labs, but if you follow the preparation given in the survey, you will likely have a high-level, great app.

The lab is an up to 4-hour engagement with a trained Windows 8 Field Engineer. This engineer will run your app through a series of tests based on a quality checklist to ensure your app is (or will be) in top-notch shape when you submit. You will also get a chance discuss ways to make your app even better and you will get answers to any questions you might have.

If your app meets the criteria, you will receive a token to register your developer account and (once you have been verified and all that) you will be able to submit your app to the Windows store.  If your app does not meet the criteria, nothing is lost. You will still end up with a much better app and you will be able to submit it when registration opens for all developers.

Next Steps

  1. Review the great app-building content from the Developer Center to learn the fundamentals of building a great Metro-style Windows 8 App
  2. Continue developing your Windows 8 application today! It should be near completion for the labs. Need some guidance? Email msdnnz@microsoft.com.
  3. Contact msdnnz@microsoft.com with
    1. Your Name
    2. Your Address information
    3. A brief application description (no binary, optional screenshot, but only send if the screenshot is not confidential)

So what are you waiting for? Get developing your Windows 8 Application today!