Thursday, October 31, 2013

TechBooks, your Windows 8.1 window to discovering, and reading, MSDN and Patterns & Practices eBooks

Public Sector Developer Weblog - TechBooks Windows 8.1 app - Discover MSDN and Patterns & Practices eBooks

TechBooks is a handy Windows 8.1 app that brings all the freely available "MSDN" and "Patterns & Practices" technical eBooks, in one place for your reading pleasure (online or offline). App is all about the technical content  (ebooks) one can leverage to enhance their skill-sets.

App has the following features.

  • Uses Windows 8.1’s new HubControl and template.
  • Uses new Windows 8.1 PDF related API’s.
  • Includes standard stuff – appbar, semantic zoom, pin-to-start, fly outs, caching books for offline use, and basic bookmarking capability.
  • Includes privacy policy, about, support using new Windows 8.1 settings related FlyOut controls. - required for all apps.
  • FilePicker functionality to save the book wherever the user desires.




TechBooks app is for those planning a software career or wish to enhance their technical skillsets and improve career opportunities.

App provides the following capabilities.

  • Easily discover, download and read freely available technical MSDN & Patterns and Practices e-books while online or offline.
  • No ads whatsoever in the application & completely free app to view/read/download the freely available technical e-books listed in the catalog only.

Highlighting text, annotation and printing books is not the scope of the app, but the publisher allows you to download the book and use any other advanced reader you prefer.

Hope you can provide good rating+feedback based on the scope of the app, and share with your friends pursuing software careers.


  • Supports portrait, landscape and min. width of 500 px - Allow you to view/us multiple applications side-by-side
  • Follows general Windows 8 guidelines, focuses on delivering content with contextual buttons in lower appbar & leverages semantic-zoom feature (zoom-up) to display the list of subjects.


Kind of interesting and cool way to get the MSDN and P&P stuff. One thing to note is that it seems the app is optimized for touch, for example mouse scrolling doesn't seem to work. Unfortunately, this seems kind of common (where either touch is tested or mouse, but not always both)

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