The Windows 8 simulator is quite handy to test how your app would behave on a device. You can preview your application interacting with the operating system and other apps, reacting to some common gestures and running under different orientations, namely landscape and portrait mode.
To launch the simulator for the first time, the easier way is to launch it from Visual Studio 2011 Beta. Instead of running it from the “Local Machine”, select to run your app on the simulator. Once the simulator launches, you can pin it to the taskbar.
The simulator is also good to take screenshots of the app running on different orientations and layout arrangements. However, I found an annoying issue where if you try to take screenshots from the simulator running on “portrait orientation”, you get the screenshot without the simulator frame !
Although this might be desirable in certain cases, you will probably still need some images with the simulator frame on them.
To solve the issue, I found this trick. Minimize the simulator using the “-” button on the top right. Then maximize it by clicking on the taskbar icon. Now press Alt + PrintScreen and you should be able to get the simulator with the chrome in the image.
Hope it helps and saves you some frustration!