Building a Windows 8.1 app – Step 1.5: Locate your toolbox

Sweet! We’ve got our idea. What’s next?

We have to ask ourselves a few questions: Am I running windows 8 or 8.1? Do I have Visual Studio 2013 Preview? Do I have a back-end system already set up? Do I have design templates?

Most likely your answer to at least one of these questions in NO, which actually a good thing. Microsoft just released this awesome new tool: Windows 8 App Builder.

Windows 8 App Builder is simply “how to build Windows Store app in 30 days.” It has all the tools we need for our first app. Downloads for Windows 8, Visual Studio, an Azure 90 day free trial. Super useful!

                Each day has content and guidance for the next step of the app, though some take longer than a day, and some take less. It’s great for guidance, and it’s what I’ll be using along the way.


The other awesome thing about Windows 8 App Builder is that there are ways to win prizes, and who doesn’t like prizes? Prizes range from XBOX live subscriptions, to Windows Pro Upgrades, XBOX games and Surface Pros.


  1. Go HERE
    1. Download and Install Windows 8.1 or Windows 8
    2. Download and Install Visual Studio (2012 or 2013 Preview)
    3. Download and Install the Windows 8 SDK
  2. Sign up for the Windows Azure trial
  3. Download the design assets (templates, controls & components)
    1. Note: If you don’t have Photoshop, that’s fine! You can open the PSD files using Paint.NET and a PSD plugin.


P.S. The Belgians found a really cool Easter egg in the Tesla Model S. There’s a photo of the firmware team standing around VIN #1 …. and I’m in the Picture!! (Look for the yellow)  This means that I’m in EVERY Model S out there, SWEET!