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And I don't mean Win 7 / Metro UI guidelines, I have them up the wazoo, but I've changed jobs and need to start looking at the new Windows 8 DESKTOP design. I know it takes a lot of cues from Metro on Win 7 mobile but it's not the same and I can't find UI guidelines anywhere.

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ux.stackexchange.com/questions/15417/… ? –  exp Feb 14 '12 at 14:25
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Windows 8 UI hasn't been finalized. There can't be design guidelines for an unfinished system. –  dnbrv Feb 14 '12 at 15:15
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I find that hard to believe as there's a dev kit out in the wild. It seems odd that you can develop an app without a UI. When Win 7 was coming we had UI guidelines in advance so we could develop apps in the right way. –  Robert Grant Feb 14 '12 at 18:32
    
FYI: The new term for "Metro-style apps" is "Windows Store apps". *(en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Store and en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8#Windows_Store_and_Apps) –  Jørn E. Angeltveit Nov 12 '12 at 8:01
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5 Answers

The guidelines for Windows 8 desktop applications are the same as for Windows 7.

That means that you'll find them here:
http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/aa511440.aspx


Windows 8 has two separate UIs: Windows Store apps (formerly known as "Metro-style apps") and Desktop.

Windows Store apps is the new, future oriented touch UI. These apps will typically run in touch environment where consumption (not production) of content is the main purpose of the app.
Screenshot of start screen with Windows Store apps

The Desktop UI is there for backward compatibility(!). It will be used by applications that need the full power of Windows. This UI is similar to Windows 7. Only minor changes to the look and feel, eg. squared button corners instead of rounded.
Screenshot of File Explorer with Desktop UI

Sources:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_8
  2. http://net.tutsplus.com/articles/general/windows-8-preview-a-developer-reflects/

Other resources:

  1. http://www.windows8designhandbook.com/ (Suggested by @Simon)
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Aah...that makes things a bit clearer, beautiful, thanks. –  Robert Grant Feb 16 '12 at 12:21
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And this blog looks like it's tackling some good ui and ux points windows8designhandbook.com, thought I'd comment so you can add a link, rather than just post another answer. –  Simon Nov 10 '12 at 19:29
    
Thank you @Simon. I've added the resource, and updated the answer to use the new term "Windows Store apps" instead of the old "Metro-style apps" which was phased out in August. –  Jørn E. Angeltveit Nov 12 '12 at 8:00
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Your question is hard for me to understand.

If you mean "I want the UX guidelines for Windows Store applications (not Windows Phone)", they're available on the Microsoft website. They're part of a more general overview of the UX of Windows Store apps. Those are the apps that run full-screen.

If you mean "I want the UX guidelines for designing apps for use in the Desktop mode of Windows 8", you should read the Windows UX Interaction Guidelines, paying special attention to the section on Ribbons (which are really emphasised in Windows 8's desktop mode). Those are the apps that run in windows, with the Windows taskbar and your desktop wallpaper visible.

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Punchcut posted on their blog a good series about Windows 8 / Metro and how to design for it.

It has 5 parts:

  1. Windows 8 solving the PC problem
  2. Windows 8: The New Modernism
  3. Windows 8: The Origin Story
  4. Windows 8: Microsoft’s Manifesto
  5. Windows 8: Designing the Metro Experience

Especially the last one is worth reading. They write about their experiences and gained knowledge (navigation concepts, branding, responsive design) while creating Metro Apps. There are even very practical tips like you should take CSS transform porperty for motion design, because this is GPU accelerated.

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For the Metro part, there's some documentation about the UI:

Do/Don't :do http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh465304(v=VS.85).aspx

Checklists with some about UI concepts http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh465424.aspx

Best practices http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/br229583(v=VS.85).aspx#guidelines_and_best_practices

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The question clearly states: "I don't mean Metro UI guidelines". –  bart Dec 5 '12 at 0:35
    
@bart: I don't read the question that way: I read it as "I don't mean Windows Phone 7/Metro, but instead Windows 8, the OS for use on desktop computers". So he uses "Metro" to refer to the Windows Phone software. Otherwise what does "I know it takes a lot of cues from Metro on Win 7 mobile" mean? –  Kit Grose Dec 19 '12 at 1:30
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Microsoft did a presentation at Build, titled "Designing Metro style: principles and personality" - the slides and a video are available which covers a lot of the aspects, such as choices of fonts, sizes, layout grids, etc.

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