Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012 Release Candidate Changes for Developers

01 June 2012

Briefly (very briefly) outline some of the changes for developers between Visual Studio 11/Windows 8 CP and Visual Studio 2012/Windows 8 RC.


Having installed the release candidates for Windows 8 and Visual Studio 2012, I had intended to diligently track down all the significant changes. However, I soon discovered that Microsoft have produced a very detailed paper on the topic (140+ pages). I also found out that Charles Petzold is spending the weekend updating all the samples that accompany his excellent eBook "Writing Windows 8 Apps With C# and XAML", and, at the same time, is documenting the more important changes. So, here's what I discovered before realizing that wiser heads than mine were engaged on the same task:

Item Changes
Total number of classes and interfaces Consumer Preview: 1687; Release Candidate: 1712 (25 more classes)
SolutionName.sln Minor: text "# Visual Studio 11" changed to "# Visual Studio 2012"
ProjectName.csproj Numerous minor changes to format
Package.appxmanifest Minor: Background color changed from #222222 to #464646
App.xaml None
  • OnLaunched(): Check to to see if app already running. If so, just activates its window
  • OnLaunched(): Now throws an exception if unable to navigate to the default page
  • OnSuspending(): New behavior to get a suspension deferral until the app saves its state or it times-out
  • Name changed from BlankPage.xaml
  • Page IsTabStop set to false by default
  • Grid background brush changed from {StaticResource ApplicationPageBackgroundBrush} to ApplicationPageBackgroundThemeBrush
MainPage.xaml.cs Name changed from BlankPage.xaml.cs
Common (folder)
  • Helper/sample classes removed: BindableBase.cs, BooleanNegationConverter.cs, BooleanToVisibilityConverter.cs, LayoutAwarePage.cs, RichTextColumns.cs. These helper classes have all 'disappeared' and have not been absorbed into the Metro framework
  • StandardStyles.xaml: Numerous changes, renaming of brushes, styles, etc.