Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 6th Mar 2013 19:00 UTC
Microsoft One of the major lacking features in the newest Office: no Metro applications. In fact, the only reason Windows RT has a desktop at all is because the Office team was unable to create Metro applications in time for the release of Windows RT. I often thought this was a classic case of two important divisions within Microsoft not getting along and not being aligned, but now that I have my own Surface RT, I'm starting to realise that there's a far simpler, and thus more likely, explanation: Metro is simply not ready for anything serious - or for anything at all, really.
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RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Thu 7th Mar 2013 01:09 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson
Member since:
2005-11-29

One company which ought to know how to engineer well-performing stable Metro apps is Microsoft themselves. But according to the article, Microsoft's own apps are affected by performance and stability problems too.


It is inevitable that apps will have bugs and performance issues in their initial releases. I don't care who you are, what background you come from, or what you've done in the past.

Even when porting large legacy software, in fact, especially when porting large legacy software.

OneNote MX works well for me on the Surface, yes there are small (small perf problems) but they're not major. Usually if I paste a large swathe of content with diverse styling, a bunch of tables, etc.. I get a slight delay in pasting (Never becomes unresponsive, just a quick progress indicator).

The quality of apps varies from team to team. For example the Bing apps are generally excellent in my opinion. Xbox Music blows. OneNote is good. SkyDrive is good.

Its going to vary with the maturity of the product, how service oriented the team is, etc.

Bing can do a great job because they are used to porting to mobile and other platforms. Its a simple consumption based app.

SkyDrive, the same deal. OneNote has been ported to Windows Phone so it could take cues from there.

However for a larger program like Mail (they actually implement an ActiveSync client in javascript, Mail is an HTML5 app) it'll take longer for improvements to come. I do hope they come soon. I hate Mail.

The good thing about Windows 8 is that the only app which is tied to the system is the Store. You can replace every stock app with a (theoretically) better one.

Uninstall mail, write an app to handle the mail protocols and URIs, and you have your replacement. Its a breath of fresh air. Let the market sort this out, if Microsoft doesn't make apps you like, then someone else should. Its a compelling enough proposition.


Let's hope that with increasing developer experience and in the absence of major goofs like the infamous "Silverlight network I/O in the UI thread" the issues with the existing apps can all be addressed.


Ugh. Don't get me started on that bone headed decision. It wasn't really network I/O on the UI thread, it was (only on Windows Phone) the continuation from the asyncrhonous operation firing on the UI thread.

So while the network request took place in the background, if you parsed the JSON or RSS or whatever, unless you knew better, this happened on the UI thread.

Amazingly, it got worse. It was also the case that images were decoded on the UI thread. Don't worry, no such nonsense exists on WinRT.

Async/Await takes the ambient SynchronizationContext which means it returns on the thread its started on. If its fired from a UI thread it returns on one, if not, it doesn't.


Regarding Office, Microsoft is currently working on Office for Android and iOS. If they have wisely chosen a proper cross-plattform development framework, then a WinRT port can come almost for free out of that.


Good point. I hope this is their strategy going forward.

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