Metro Style Apps are an integral part of software development for the Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 operating systems. Content is the core of these applications, which can then be modified as needed to support different layouts, screen sizes and devices. They are designed to work with a mouse and keyboard, touchscreen or stylus.
Other than the app window itself, the primary interface for metro style apps is an app bar, which appears over the edge of the app's window and disappears with a single gesture, like a swipe of a finger over the corner of the app window. Icons in the app bar, called "charms" by Microsoft include functions like searching, sharing, settings, going to the device's home screen, etc. Apps are arranged on the device home screen in tiles rather than icons.
Microsoft first used "Metro" as the code name for content-based applications for the Windows Phone 7 operating system. The aim was to create user interfaces that were clean, felt light and open with lots of white space. The same Metro style was integrated into apps on the XBOX 360 game console.
Developing with Metro
Software developers who want to create Metro style apps will need a copy of Microsoft Windows 8, which is available for download from Microsoft. Previous versions of Windows do not support Metro Style Apps. You can then download developer tools and the software developer kit (SDK).
Downloads for developers include:
- Developer guides
- Sample .psd files, including templates, controls, notifications and app tiles
- 200 sample apps, including source codes
- Live SDK including controls and Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) to use Single Sign On (SSO) with your Microsoft account, SkyDrive, Hotmail and Windows Live Messenger
- Remote Tools for Visual Studio to run and test Metro style apps on computers without Visual Studio 2012 RC
- Multilingual App Toolkit for Visual Studio
- Windows 8 Ads in Apps SDK for monetizing Metro style apps.
Software developers wanting certification in Metro style apps can begin taking exams for Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD) certification beginning in the summer of 2012. The previous version of MCSD, created in 2005 and based on Windows .NET was phased out in the beginning of 2012.
Three exams are required to become an MCSD: Windows Metro Style Apps Using HTML5:
Three exams are required to become an MCSD: Windows Metro Style Apps Using C#:
- Exam 483: Programming in C#
- Exam 484: Essentials of Developing Windows Metro Style Apps Using C#
- Exam 485: Advanced Metro Style App Development Using C#
Developers with a current Microsoft Certified Program Developer (MCPD) certification need only take two exams to upgrade to an MCSD. Microsoft certification exams are conducted at Prometric Testing Centers. You can register for an exam in your area at the Prometric website. Exams are time-limited and monitored. Prometric has over 10,000 testing locations in over 160 countries.
Exam details and recommend courses will be made available at Microsoft's MCSD website.