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We're on Windows 8. Are you?

How Windows 8 benefits developers.

Windows 8

Our biggest customer here at Intergen is Microsoft US. We create all sorts of demos, documentation and software solutions for them. The great thing about this for our developers is that we get to play with a lot of new Microsoft technology for real before any of it gets out to the wider development community. This extends to our development environments which we also have to keep up to date in order to do this work.

With the Windows 8 Release Preview that came out a couple of weeks ago, our teams have begun upgrading their workstations and tools to run Windows 8, Visual Studio 2012 (with ReSharper 7), SQL Server 2012 and TFS Online.

The decision to upgrade to Windows 8 is an easy one for us and we get several important benefits from doing it:

Modern User Interface (formerly Metro) Application Development

Modern user interface-style (MUI) applications can only be developed on Windows 8. So before we could even get started we needed to upgrade our development workstations. We also use Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 RC for Windows 8, Blend for Microsoft Visual Studio 2012 RC for Windows 8, the Windows 8 software development kit (SDK), and project templates for creating modern user interface-style applications.

We have created several MUI applications for Microsoft including this vision for modern business applications. If you are looking for a MUI development partner, your search is over!


In our Enterprise Applications team our development workstations have traditionally been running Windows Server 2008 R2. This is because we run our development environments as locally hosted VMs using Hyper-V. This lets us easily move from one development environment to another (one customer project to another) or into Managed Services support without needing to make changes to the environments. They are self-contained and only have whatever libraries, frameworks and tools that are needed for that one project. And it lets us recreate customer production environments that have multiple servers (Active Directory, SQL, SharePoint etc.) without having to actually create multiple physical servers.

Windows Phone

Having our developers on Windows Server 2008 R2 was a major issue for us when it came to Windows Phone development, as the Windows Phone development tools are not supported on systems other than Windows Vista or Windows 7. What we ended up doing was having Windows 7 development workstations dedicated to Windows Phone development and we used our normal VM environments for anything non-Windows Phone. Now with Hyper-V support in Windows 8 our whole team can go back to leveraging locally hosted VMs using Hyper-V and develop Windows Phone and Metro applications on their single workstation.

As you can see, we get some major benefits by upgrading to Windows 8 in our development team. If our use of virtualisation or phone and metro development is of interest to you, we’d love to talk to you about it.

With Windows 8 release to market only a matter of days away, now’s the time to start considering your upgrade!

Posted by: Joe Newton, Practice Principal, Enterprise Applications, Innovation Strategy and Solutions Office | 18 October 2012

Tags: Hyper-V, Microsoft, Intergen, Windows 8, Developers, Windows Phone

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