Once the template has been selected and the project has been created, there are a number of files built for you. However, before I could do much, I needed a temporary developer license. I was prompted for this (and it remains valid for a short period of time). Note that there is no cost to obtain this developer license.
Note that the expiration date is not that long. However, one can always renew periodically.
Now, we can examine the initial project. There are two key files (the default.js and the default.html). The initial project view is shown below. As is typical with Visual Studio, the code is visible on the left pane and the solution explorer is visible on the right. If you expand the image, you will see all the files which were created with this project.
One of those files is the app manifest file. It appears you can set a number of capabilities in this file (using the supplied GUI). I made a few changes to the orientations as shown below. All orientation check boxes were unchecked by default.
I next modified the default.html file to include a text entry box and a button. You will note this is typical HTML. You may also note is it HTML5.
In the screen capture below, I have modified the HTML to include the button and text box. As with previous versions of Visual Studio, one needs to use unique identifiers for the majority of the elements where there will be interactions on the page. The division identified as outputName contains nothing as it will be filled dynamically by the JS code.
In the default.js file, you will note that all the code is wrapped in an anonymous function.
You will note that I created a separate function (which is then called with an addEventListener). The end result of these initial steps was a somewhat working application. A screen capture is provided below. At the moment, one needs to use Alt-F4 to stop the application.
Overall, the process of developing a simple app is relatively straight forward (provided you are using the proper tools). For those who are interested in the code, I provide all these generated (and slightly modified) files as a zip archive. For those who are curious, the code will not validate as HTML5. There is no <form> element. The label also points to a division, not a form element.
I hope to expand on my understanding of developing apps for Windows 8. Obviously, this was my first step. I am curious as to your thoughts on this post.