Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 2nd Dec 2011 18:41 UTC
Windows Windows 8 will have both the new Metro-style applications and user interface and the traditional Windows 7 desktop for legacy applications, which kind of runs like an application. Since legacy applications have to be recompiled to run on ARM anyway, it's always been a bit unclear if the ARM version of Windows 8 would include the legacy desktop at all - even Microsoft itself confirmed it wasn't sure yet. Microsoft bloggers Mary-Jo Foley and Paul Thurrot have fresh rumours that Microsoft has now made the decision to remove the legacy desktop from the ARM version.
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Compatibility, forward and backwards
by joshv on Mon 5th Dec 2011 14:44 UTC
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What I've never understood about all this is how a developer takes the leap into a legacy free windows 8.

In the past, suppose you wanted to target some new feature in Windows 7. You could release one binary that does that and runs on all Windows 7 devices, but falls back or disables that feature, and would run on 99% of the existing windows desktops, whatever the windows version.

Now, to simply get a program that runs on all windows 8 devices, I've got to accept an entirely new programming model, and the fact that this program will not run in Windows 7 or below? So to delivery my product I have to deliver two entirely different binaries.

What Microsoft needs here is a Windows 8 "player" for legacy machines. This could be installed seperately, or embedded as an executable run time, and would allow developers to code to one API and deliver applications that run on all Windows devices.

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