Is it possible to build Metro Desktop Tiles without Visual Studio?

It pains me that I’m asking this but I have spent the last 3 hours using my favorite search engine looking for an answer to this question and I’m literally licking the pink knotted balloon of the internet right now so please hear me out..

I hate developing on Microsoft platforms, it feels dirty. After watching the Windows 8 developer talks where they introduced Metro and had a bunch of students create their own tiles I figured how hard can it be?

I’m not willing to use Visual Studio. Microsoft said Metro supports CSS/HTML/JS so I want to build my tile in notepad++. I don’t mind creating my own manifests, that’s fine, but I want to keep it open. I just don’t see a way to do this without installing an “app(has to be a binary)” and then binding that app to the desktop and hoping that Windows finds the manifest for the tile and implements it.

Anyone had any luck? I’d love a little tutorial that just shows me how to get started.. Once I’m up and running I will be good to go!

Thanks 🙂

TLDR: I refuse to use Visual Studio so I want a way to create a desktop tile for Microsoft Windows Metro that doesn’t involve compiling anything.

5 thoughts on “Is it possible to build Metro Desktop Tiles without Visual Studio?

  1. I’m 99% sure you need visual studio to compile a binary, it’s completely messed up but that’s Microsoft for you.  “We’re all about standards…  As long as you pay us to use our tool to make them”..  

  2. That’s a great link/post, though geared to C#. Hope there will be info to do the HTML/CSS/JS equivalent as well.

  3. That’s not always true. It might be for cases like Windows Phone 7/8 apps, Windows Mobile, and sometimes ASP.NET websites or web services.

    But you can typically build standard Windows desktop apps, Windows services, DLLs, ASP.NET websites by hand or alternative IDEs  (SharpDevelop, MonoDevelop). For by hand method, you just need to know how to compile it with .NET framework command line tools, which come with the framework installation. That’s similar to using javac.exe and java.exe to compile Java files and package a JAR vs using a Java IDE like Eclipse.

    It just gets tricky when you go to the more Microsoft-centric platform of web services and mobile apps.

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