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Microsoft's Project Siena lets you create Windows apps with ease

Nicole Lee, @nicole

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If you think creating an app is something only whizkid developers and those with programming skills can do, think again. Microsoft has recently unveiled Project Siena, a Metro-style app that lets anyone create their own Windows 8.1 program with regular PowerPoint and Excel knowhow. As it's a Metro app, you can even craft it directly from a touch-enabled tablet, no keyboard or mouse required. Microsoft has done this before with Windows Phone App Studio, which lets you build apps for the phone, and Siena is very much like that. Microsoft says using Siena is as easy as editing a document; simply cobble together the right design, connect it to your data and away you go. As for what you can do with it, the program is compatible with a variety of content like SharePoint lists, Excel and Azure tables, RSS feeds and an assortment of RESTful services, which should give creative minds a few ideas. Underneath the hood, the Siena-built apps are just HTML5 and JavaScript and can be deployed like other Windows 8.1 programs, so even tried-and-true developers can give it a go. If you're keen on learning how Siena works, hit the link below to watch a couple of tutorials, download it from the Windows Store and get started on creating the next big hit.

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