Announcing: Bing Maps for Metro Style Apps


On Wednesday, February 29, our friends over in the Windows division proudly unveiled the Windows 8 Consumer Preview release to the world. Today, we are excited to announce a beta of the new Bing Maps SDK for Metro style apps, which provides a set of controls to help you integrate mapping into your Windows Metro style apps.

Building apps using JavaScript

If you’ve tried to use the Bing Maps AJAX v7 control in a Metro style app using JavaScript, you’ve likely encountered issues (due to sandboxing of the web context) that make it difficult to consume. With the new SDK, we’re now providing a JavaScript control specifically intended for use within your JavaScript apps. This new control is based on our AJAX v7 control, and thus shares a very similar API, but it’s also been enhanced to work within the local app context. For this beta release, you’ll find support for all of the same map types, pushpins, polylines/polygons, infoboxes, and tile layers as AJAX v7, plus the addition of the Venue Maps module. (Directions, traffic, overlays, and other modules are not yet available, but you can still render data provided by our REST APIs.) For more information on getting started, see Developing a Metro Style App using JavaScript.

Building apps using C#, C++, or Visual Basic

For those of you who prefer to code in C#, C++, or Visual Basic and build your UI in XAML, we’re excited to share the first beta release of our native map control as part of this SDK. This new control is written in C++, but is designed to be consumed by any native or managed Metro style app (written in C#, C++, or Visual Basic). One of the unique features of this control is its client vector rendering capability and full hardware acceleration—our ‘road’ map style (as of this beta release, for the US only) is rendered completely on the client, providing for smaller network data downloads and improved rendering performance compared to tile-based modes. In addition to road, this beta release also provides support for our Aerial and Bird’s eye imagery, as well as a traffic overlay. Because we’ve designed it for use with XAML, you can also overlay and position any custom XAML element over the map to enable all sorts of rich visualizations. You can learn more about development with this control at Bing Maps for Metro style apps (Beta).

Updated Licensing Terms

Along with the new controls, today we’re also announcing a new licensing model for the pre-release versions of Windows 8, providing you much more flexibility in developing and testing your Metro style apps on the Consumer Preview. The new Terms of Use for Pre-Release Windows 8 Metro style apps allows free and unlimited use of Bing Maps controls and APIs within your Metro style apps for the duration of the Windows 8 pre-release period. Additionally, you are encouraged to submit your apps to the Windows Store for others to use during the preview. In order to take advantage of this special license, you must use a “Metro style apps (BETA)” key, which is available from Please note: while use is free during the pre-release beta period, we are still finalizing terms for the commercial release of Windows 8 and will communicate more information when that is available.

Getting Started

To help you get started with this new SDK, we’re providing a handful of samples on the MSDN Code Gallery. The documentation is available online, and you can download the Bing Maps SDK for Metro style apps (Beta) from the Visual Studio Gallery, or directly from within the Extension Manager of Visual Studio 11. Of course, to get started developing on Windows 8 you should head over to the
Windows 8 Dev Center.

As this is a beta release, you’re likely to hit issues, have feature requests, or want to provide general feedback—we want to hear it all! Please use the Bing Maps Forum on MSDN to let us know what’s working, what isn’t, and how we can improve your mapping development experience for Metro style apps.

Dan Polivy
Senior Program Manager, Bing Maps

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