Hello, and welcome to the Windows 8 app developer blog! I’m Aleš Holeček, Distinguished Engineer on the Windows Development team. With the release today of the Windows 8 Consumer Preview, we are launching this blog dedicated to those of you who are designing and developing great apps for Windows 8. As you’ve heard us say many times, Windows 8 is a reimagining of Windows, where apps take center stage. To make this possible, we’ve also reimagined what it means to build apps for Windows.

Throughout this blog, we will share what we’ve learned and engage in a conversation with you as you enter the new world of Windows Metro style app development. It is our goal to complement our Dev Center and community forums, and where it makes sense, we’ll point you to content and samples in the Dev Center that can help you get going. We’ll talk about the experiences we’ve had building the platform and building apps, pitfalls to avoid, tips and tricks, why we made certain choices in the platform, and anything else we can pass along to help you create amazing apps.

The first step for all of you is to head over to the Dev Center and download the Consumer Preview and Visual Studio 11 Express Beta tools.

For those of you joining us for the first time, welcome to the world of Metro style apps, where your apps are the focus of the whole experience. From the beginning, we designed our new platform and tools for you, the developer, so you can build native Windows apps using what you know. Whether that’s web technologies like HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript or C#, VB, and C++ with XAML, or hardware-accelerated DX, we’ve got you covered.

After you get the Consumer Preview installed, you’ll see we’ve been busy since the Developer Preview released at //build/. We’ve added new features and improved existing ones: Tiles and tile notifications are more powerful and easier to implement; you need less code now for AppBars and navigation in Metro style HTML/JS apps; and for you DirectX developers, we have DirectX support in XAML. We’ll share more details in future posts.

Developers, testers, and program managers from the Windows development team will be posting to this blog regularly from now through to the release of Windows 8. As with Building Windows 8 and the Windows Store for developers blogs, this is a dialog. Commenting is encouraged, and we are looking forward to a lively conversation. Of course, the common sense rules apply, so please keep your comments focused on the blog topic, and be courteous to your fellow developers here. For questions unrelated to blog posts, please make use of our forums.

We’re looking forward to your apps and your participation in the conversation!