Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 11th Mar 2012 22:21 UTC
Windows And thus, Microsoft bites itself in its behind with Metro. As you all surely know by now, the Metro environment in Windows 8, and its accompanying applications, need to follow a relatively strict set of rules and regulations, much like, say, applications on iOS. For one type of application, Metro has already proven to be too restrictive and limited: web browsers. Microsoft has had to define a separate application class [.docx] - aside from Metro and desktop applications - just to make third party web browsers possible for Windows 8.
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I think
by Nelson on Sun 11th Mar 2012 23:14 UTC
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

This is at best a stop gap to ease the transition from Win32 to Metro, and as such, I'm not entirely opposed to it not working on ARM.

For example, what incentive do Firefox devs have now to use the WinRT's new asynchronous networking APIs to deliver optimal performance and reliability? Now they are not usage aware (Can't tell when the PC is on metered or data capped mobile broadband, as one example).

Another example is background tasks and conserving battery. Now you have the full weight of a Win32 process running at all times behind the scenes, instead of intelligently multitasking. Architectually, there's not much that was standing in the way of them implementing background transfer tasks and being able to go into a suspended state to conserve battery.

The overall theme is now there is no incentive for proper OS integration, and it will lack even a predictable update mechanism (All Metro Apps update one way, their user-visible Metro App will be updated by the voodoo Win32 process behind the scenes).

Whereas they had the opportunity to albeit more slowly, write a proper port, now they can just slap what they had, render XUL to a DirectX Surface, and call it a day.

Sure, some things like JIT were harder (but not impossible), it would've made sense to address those specific pain points instead of creating another Application class.

Which is why I view this as a stop gap, and I am hopeful that Firefox devs will eventually transition to a more streamlined approach. You want to talk jarring? Downloading setup.exe from Firefox's website, being thrown to Desktop Mode, to install a Browser, make it the default, only to get it's Metro Style counter part. That's fucking jarring.

It's sad, because they could've done so much more. But hey, that's the cross platform mantra, cut corners.

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