Marius Gheorghe

Building software : make it work, make it good, make it fast

Fixing the “Unable to activate Windows store app” problem

I had a nasty problem today with Windows 8 dev license and packaging an app for Windows Store. Basically after i have created a package for Windows Store, my Windows dev license expired. I dutifully updated the license and then lo and behold....everytime i wanted to run/debug the solution from Visual Studio i got this :

"Unable to activate Windows Store app. The activation request failed with error 'The application cannot be started. Try reinstalling the application to fix the problem."

Looking at the Event Log i found out that the app cannot be started because it's in state "17". Brilliant.

Googled for this problem and found some stuff here150151. Unfotunately none of those stuff worked for me.
The working fix for me was to create a new Windows Store project , move the files from older one (without Package.appxmanifest, Package.StoreAssociation.xml, *.pfx ) and runs fine now.

Some thoughts on Windows 8

So i installed the developer preview of Windows 8 (i was actually more interested in Visual Studio 11 rather than Win8) and i decided to share some opinions. To be honest since Win8 has been unveiled for the first time, i've been a bit puzzled about the decision to have the same OS for both tablets and desktop and combine those 2. (i mean touch is so different from mouse & keyboard that it makes no sense to mix them together).
Tablet : as a tables OS , Win8 looks fine. But to be honest, i don't really think it matters. Apps matter. Sure it won't be a problem from MS to get good apps for the tablet (i actually think by the time it alunches next year, MS will more apps than Google's honeycomb). But the way it see it, there's no market for tablets. I simply don't think there's going to be a "post PC" era. PCs (desktops and laptops) are here to stay. The keyboard (which is basically the best way to interact with a machine) is here to stay. Sure, MS can't affort not to sell a tables OS. But it looks like they spent too much time working on the "tablet side" of the OS in detriment of theit bread & butter : the desktop.

Desktop : well there are improvments of the desktop OS (it took what....5 years to finally get proper multimonitor support ?) but they certainly didn't improved the OS as much as i would have liked for the desktop use. Worse still they started to change things that only make sense for the tablet :

- replacing the start menu with the table specific start screen. This doesn't make any sense (even if you can tehnically "use" that screen with mouse&kb). Nobody is going to launch apps by scrolling horizontally and looking for a tile with the app name. If you want to improve the OS just add a freaking keyboard launcher not the tiles screen.

- they started replacing "default" controls with their "touch" equivalent (for instance in Control Panel the checkboxes have been replaced with the new Toogle Control). Using the toogle with the keyboard is bad (not to mention that toogle takes way more screen space than the checkbox).

So, in conclusion, i have the feeling Win7 will be the new XP. We're going to use it for a while....