Good news, Windows developers: Programming legend and author Charles Petzold is prepping a new edition of his classic Programming Windows book, and as you may have hoped, it will focus on Metro-style app development. The best news? If you pay just $10 during a special pre-release window, you’ll get access to the full book, over time, as it’s written.

“Programming legend Charles Petzold is rewriting his classic Programming Windows—one of the most popular programming books of all time—to show developers how to use existing skills and tools to build Windows 8 apps,” a post to the Microsoft Press blog reads. “To celebrate, Microsoft Press will release three versions of the eBook, as both the book and Windows 8 evolve. When you purchase the Programming Windows, Sixth Edition eBook, you will receive the current version of the eBook plus all subsequent versions, including the final, complete eBook. And with special promotional pricing, you can get crucial, early-access content—and all updates—for as little as $10.”

Folks, this is a publishing revolution. Count me in.

Here’s how it works.

The Beta version of the eBook will ship around May 17. It will be 300 pages long and can be purchased from May 17 to 31 (for two weeks) for just $10. If you purchase the book after that, until the final release, it will cost $20. The version based on the RC version of Windows 8 (to be called the Release Preview) will cost $30 for two weeks only in Summer 2012, and then $40 after that period. The final version of the eBook will cost $50.

Here’s some information about this eagerly awaited book:

Programming Windows, Sixth Edition will focus on creating Windows 8 apps accessing the Windows Runtime with XAML and C#.  The book will also provide C++ code samples. The Sixth Edition is planned as about 20 chapters organized in three parts:

Part I, “Elementals,” begins with the interrelationship between code and XAML, basic event handling, dynamic layout, controls, the application bar, control customization, and collections. You should emerge from Part I ready to create sophisticated page-oriented collection-based user interfaces using the powerful ListView and GridView controls.

Part II, “Infrastructure,” examines the level underneath the UI. In these chapters, you’ll go deeper into Windows 8 with a complete exploration of the multitouch interface, asynchronous operations for working with files and web services, networking, security, and globalization. You’ll see particular emphasis on data sharing, and interfacing with the search panes and contract panes of Windows 8.

Part III, “Specialties,” explores topics you might not need for every program but are essential to a well-rounded education in Windows 8. It includes working with the sensors (GPS and orientation), vector graphics, bitmap graphics, media, text, printing, and obtaining input from the stylus and handwriting recognizer.

Thanks to Leon Z. for the tip. As he noted via email, buying this book during the $10 window is a no-brainer.