Difference between Application created using Metro UI guidelines and Real Windows 8 Metro Application

Windows 8 Metro Application runs in AppContainer, whereas any application (web or desktop) created with the Metro UI design guidelines does not run on AppContainer. They may be running in browser or directly as exe on System32 under the logged in user credential.

I have been seen people are bit confused in between “An Application Designed with UI Guidelines of Metro “and in “METRO APPLICATION “itself. To make my point more clear let us visit this site.


If you see this TechED India site is beautifully designed and adhering to Metro UI design guidelines. Although it is following all the UI guidelines of Metro, it cannot be called as METRO APP. Then next question you may ask that what is a Metro App then?

Let us create a simple Hello World Metro Application. I am creating Hello World Metro Application using HTML and JavaScript.


There is nothing fancy about above application but a Hello World Text in H1 tag.

New to Metro Application Development? Read here

Hit F5 to run the application. While application is running open Task Manager. To open Task Manger press Ctr+Alt+Del. In Task Manger you can see your application is listed in the Application tab.


Click on the Details tab and you can see a program called WMAHost.exe is running. Microsoft WMA Host is responsible to run Metro Application on Windows 8 Machine.


What point I am trying to make here is that when you run a website adhering to Metro UI guidelines is run through a browser on your Windows 8 machine. Whereas Windows 8 Metro Application runs by a program WMAHost.exe. This program runs in sandbox rather than user login to the Windows 8 machine. To understand it more download and install ProcessExplorer.exe.

Open Process Explorer and in the Integrity tab you can see Windows 8 Metro Application run in App Container.


Here you see that Windows 8 Metro Application runs in AppContainer and this is the major difference between any applications created with the UI guidelines of Metro and Windows 8 Metro Application. I hope now it is clear to you difference between Windows 8 Metro application and application adhering UI guidelines of Metro. Thanks for reading

6 responses to “Difference between Application created using Metro UI guidelines and Real Windows 8 Metro Application”

  1. I think we have terminology to deal with this: Metro-style app versus Metro app, or better yet, since this matters mainly to devs, Metro-style app vs. WinRT app.

  2. I believe Distinction is really not necessary though I have seen many people asking question on the same , so thought to clarify it .

    Dhananjay Kumar

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