Windows 8 Consumer Preview is out!

Starting today, you can now download the Windows 8 Consumer Preview.  If you are prompted for a product key, use NF32V-Q9P3W-7DR7Y-JGWRW-JFCK8.  I installed Windows 8 CP on a slate (without having a physical keyboard attached!), and the installation experience was seamless. 

I’ve also included a mega-list of resources for developers below.  Time to get started writing those Windows 8 apps!


Developer downloads




Windows 8 Consumer Preview Download

Windows 8 Consumer Preview download (web installer or ISOs), videos, and FAQs.

Developer downloads for Metro style apps

Visual Studio 11 Express and the Windows 8 SDK + all the extra tools and SDKs for Metro style app development.

Design assets for Metro style apps

100+ Photoshop files with common controls, shell components, tiles, icons, animation clips, color wheel references, and more.

Metro style app developer content




Windows Dev Center home

Links to Metro style app, Desktop app, Hardware, and IE development.

Metro style app development home /windows/apps

Links to key resources for designing, developing, and selling Metro style apps.

Product guide for developers apps/hh852650

Windows 8 Consumer Preview Product Guide for Developers.

Official documentation

Comprehensive docs, articles, quickstarts, roadmaps, tutorials, checklists, developer agreements, and whitepapers covering all aspects of app design, development, and selling:

  • Getting started
  • Planning apps
  • Designing UX for apps
  • Developing apps
  • Packaging apps
  • Debugging and testing apps
  • Selling apps
  • API reference
  • Concepts and architecture
  • Language reference
  • End-to-end apps

Design resources

Design principles, UX design patterns, detailed UX guidelines, downloadable design assets, assessing usability.

Selling apps in the Windows Store windows/apps/br230836

Windows Store markets, developer agreements, and checklists to prepare.

Developer downloads for Metro style apps

Visual Studio Express and the Windows 8 SDK + extra tools and SDKs for Metro style app development.

Metro style app samples windowsapps/

Over 200 official samples from Microsoft are available in multiple programming languages. You can copy code inline, upload new code, rate, and leave comments.

Developer forums

Developer forums for Metro style apps covering designing, developing, and selling apps.

Blogs for developers

Blog Name



Building Windows 8 blog (B8)

An inside look at how, what, and why different features of Windows 8 are being built. This blog is written by Windows President Steven Sinofsky together with members of the Windows engineering team.

Windows Store blog for developers

All about doing business in the Windows Store. Members of the engineering team who’ve built the Windows Store write posts along with Antoine Leblond, Vice President of Windows Web Services.

Windows 8 app developer blog (D8)

Explores best practices for coding and designing Metro style apps.  It is written by the team of developers who are building Windows 8.

IE blog

Windows Internet Explorer Engineering Team Blog.

Inside Windows Live blog windows_live/b/windowslive/

The engineering being Hotmail, Messenger, SkyDrive, and Windows Live.

Visual Studio Blog

The official source of product insight from the Visual Studio Engineering Team.

The Windows Blog

Consumer and general interest topics.

Social channels for developers




Facebook (developer)

Facebook page

Twitter (Building Windows 8)


Twitter (Windows Dev Center)


YouTube WindowsVideos


Channel 9

Developer videos

Desktop app developer/partner content




Desktop app certification requirements

Certification requirements for Windows 8 desktop apps.

Desktop App Certification Kit

The Windows 8 SDK includes the Windows App Certification Kit to test desktop apps and get them ready for certification.

Compatibility Cookbook

Tips and fixes for common issues with desktop apps for the Windows 8 Consumer Preview and software for Windows Server 8 Beta.

Compatibility Center

Compatibility of desktop apps and devices with Windows 8. Partners can add products and update compatibility status using this template.

Hardware developer/partner content




Hardware Certification Requirements

Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements and Policies

Hardware tools and certification kit

Windows Consumer Preview Kits and Tools for hardware development

Driver development documentation

Developing, testing, and deploying drivers

Hardware and driver community resources

Forums, blogs, and newsletters for the hardware and driver developer community.

Compatibility Center

Compatibility of desktop apps and devices with Windows 8. Partners can add products and update compatibility status using this template.