Austin is a digital note-taking app for Windows 8. You can add pages to your notebook, delete them, or move them around. You can use digital ink to write or draw things on those pages. You can add photos from your computer, from SkyDrive, or directly from your computer's camera. You can share the notes you create to other Windows 8 apps such as e-mail or SkyDrive.
When we sat down to create it, we wanted to build a very simple digital replacement to the real paper notebooks people carry around to meetings at work, to school, around the house, where they scribble things and take quick notes.
Another very important goal of this app is to showcase the power of the native platform and C++, and some of the new features in Visual Studio 2012 such as automatic code vectorization
and C++ AMP
. Austin aims to demonstrate with real code the kind of device-optimized, fluid and responsive user experience that can be built with our newest native tools on the Windows8 platform.
For that reason, we are making the majority of the source code available for download here
. We also plan to publish a series of blog posts on the Visual C++ Team Blog talking about our experience building it, and some of the technologies we used. You can find the introductory blog post by Jorge Pereira here
It's amazing how useful just a pen and a paper are by themselves. But when you take that concept to the computer realm and expand it to do things like add photos and annotate them right on the spot, and digitally share what you create, then the possibilities are endless.
This is a page of notes Jorge wrote while sorting out his thoughts before rewriting some of Project Austin's camera code:
And this is a sketch of his vegetable garden:
Playing with it...
The secret recipe...
And deleting pages...
But a video is worth a thousand sketches! So, we've put together this video
to introduce Austin to the world!
If you are ready to try the application yourself, you can download a developer package from You can also download and install a pre-built x64 retail package from here
or build it yourself by visiting our Build Instructions
page and have fun!
And that's all for now! We will be writing more about Project Austin because we want to share our experience building this app with everyone.