In Pictures: 11 (free!) Microsoft tools to make life easier

Tools that secure, automate, pinch pennies - including some for Windows 8

Visual Studio Express 2012 for Windows 8

If it’s time to write modern style applications for Windows 8, this is a must have. The tools here edit code, debug it to enable writing in HTML5, JavaScript, C++, C# or Visual Basic. It also includes a device simulator for testing the applications on a range of machine types to determine how user-friendly the apps are in different environments. This is a good place to start if the goal is dipping a toe into the waters before making a commitment to Windows 8. The platform has an interactive mode that lets developers test drive their applications as they write them.

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