Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 24th Jan 2014 20:17 UTC
Windows

One more tidbit about Windows 8.1 Update 1 from my aforementioned source: Update 1 may feature some of the work that Microsoft has been doing behind the scenes to reduce further the memory and disk space requirements for Windows. This would allow Windows 8.1 Update 1 to run on cheaper small tablets.

Windows 8.1 Update 1, screen shots of which leaked earlier this week, is expected to allow users to pin Metro-style/Windows Store apps to their desktop task bars. Thumbnail previews of these Metro-style apps will be available from the Desktop task bar, according to additional screen shots. Windows 8.1 Update 1 also is expected to include close boxes for Metro-style apps.

Seems like some welcome changes, but it's going to take a lot more for people to warm up to Metro. The biggest problem to me is that since there aren't any compelling Metro applications, there's simply no reason to put with its idiosyncrasies, especially on desktops. I cannot think of a single Metro application that is better than its desktop counterpart, nor is there any Metro application that is better than similar applications on competing platforms.

Developers need users, and users need developers. Right now - Metro seems to lacks both.

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RE: Comment by Nelson
by dpJudas on Sat 25th Jan 2014 13:29 UTC in reply to "Comment by Nelson"
dpJudas
Member since:
2009-12-10

You solve the developer/user catch 22 with a lot of money and patience, which Microsoft has. They solved it with Windows Phone.

I don't think it is this simple. Money and patience only goes so far.

In my opinion Microsoft made a lot of strategic errors in how they would lure developers to their new platform.

First they overestimated how many .Net developers would adopt it. The entire new WinRT system was designed to make it as easy as possible for C# devs to migrate, but this move seem to have failed. I think part of the reason has been that the typical C# developer does web applications and they didn't switch to App development over night as Microsoft had hoped.

At the same time they made it annoyingly hard for the traditional Desktop developers to adopt their new platform. A mixture of dropping all older API's (GDI, common controls, MFC, winforms, etc.), blocking LoadLibrary usage and not having Windows 7 support for C++/CX meant that they effectively asked any existing Desktop player to rewrite their entire user interface, and sometimes part of the backend as well. The end result has been that virtually all of them decided to wait and see. The fact that Microsoft themselves had to make an explicit exception for Microsoft Office shows just how much work they were asking to be rewritten.

Money and patience will only fix these problems when Windows 8 gains a significant marketshare (by forcing people to invest like happened with Objective C and Cocoa Touch), but even this assumes people won't simply begin to ignore the Modern section of Windows 8.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sat 25th Jan 2014 13:38 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29


In my opinion Microsoft made a lot of strategic errors in how they would lure developers to their new platform.

First they overestimated how many .Net developers would adopt it.


The Store has 140,000 applications, a large majority (~80% being C#/XAML). Windows Phone itself has about 200,000 applications, almost all .NET.

I think if anything, they overestimated the amount of HTML5 developers relative to their investment in WinJS.


The entire new WinRT system was designed to make it as easy as possible for C# devs to migrate, but this move seem to have failed. I think part of the reason has been that the typical C# developer does web applications and they didn't switch to App development over night as Microsoft had hoped.


I personally don't believe this to be true at all, and it is especially disproven by Windows Phone which already had an army of .NET developers.


At the same time they made it annoyingly hard for the traditional Desktop developers to adopt their new platform. A mixture of dropping all older API's (GDI, common controls, MFC, winforms, etc.), blocking LoadLibrary usage and not having Windows 7 support for C++/CX meant that they effectively asked any existing Desktop player to rewrite their entire user interface, and sometimes part of the backend as well. The end result has been that virtually all of them decided to wait and see. The fact that Microsoft themselves had to make an explicit exception for Microsoft Office shows just how much work they were asking to be rewritten.


I don't think they had the expectation that traditional Win32 applications would cross over any time soon in significant numbers. I think it was wise to cut out the legacy crap and have a clean base, and I think over time you'll see some of the older Win32 functionality come back as a WinRT API.

In a world of shipping schedules and deadlines I can understand why large monolithic legacy codebases weren't a priority.


Money and patience will only fix these problems when Windows 8 gains a significant marketshare (by forcing people to invest like happened with Objective C and Cocoa Touch), but even this assumes people won't simply begin to ignore the Modern section of Windows 8.


I think the counter example here is Windows Phone, Microsoft bought both apps and market share and now the developer situation seems more or less self sustaining. 2013 was a breakout year for the ecosystem as a slew of major apps hit the platform, and more are joining at an increasing rate.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by hamster on Sat 25th Jan 2014 13:53 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
hamster Member since:
2006-10-06


The Store has 140,000 applications, a large majority (~80% being C#/XAML). Windows Phone itself has about 200,000 applications, almost all .NET.


From what i have seen in the wp store it seems quite a lot of the apps are just the same all the wp trash talkes when someone mention that android has a bucket load of apps for each app in the windows store.


I think the counter example here is Windows Phone, Microsoft bought both apps and market share and now the developer situation seems more or less self sustaining. 2013 was a breakout year for the ecosystem as a slew of major apps hit the platform, and more are joining at an increasing rate.


And what will happen when ms wont be paying devs for developing apps for the platform anymore? We are talking a platform with less then 10% of the marked...

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by nt_jerkface on Mon 27th Jan 2014 00:32 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

Nelson what you're missing is that Windows RT does not contain the full .NET framework*

*like Win32 it is only available for internal Microsoft developers.

Sinofsky in fact deleted our comments when we pointed out that it wasn't possible to run Windows without Win32 or .NET and that blocking .NET from developers made zero sense. There had to be a "secret stash" API or else the entire thing wouldn't run. And of course the "secret stash" turned out to be true and you can find people who hacked Windows RT to run both Win32 and .NET applications. Sinofsky I guess thought we could all be fooled (though he did fool Windows bloggers and non-developers).

So maybe pay attention next time when Windows developers are calling BS on a Microsoft exec, ok?

P.S. The total idiot in charge whose strategies that you have been defending has been fired. I'm not sure if you have noticed.

- Jerkface

(An actual .NET developer who can't wait for Microsoft's period of inanity to be over.)

Edited 2014-01-27 00:46 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by nt_jerkface on Mon 27th Jan 2014 00:59 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

In a world of shipping schedules and deadlines I can understand why large monolithic legacy codebases weren't a priority.


Which codebase? Win32? It shipped with RT and just like the .NET framework it was artificially restricted from external developers.

Or Windows Phone? They couldn't provide a subset of Win32 like they did with Windows Mobile?

It actually took more work for them to come up with WinRT since the Win32 subset was already mature. There was also the .NET compact framework.

Let's review what existed before the iPhone:

1. Microsoft was a smartphone leader in marketshare.

2. Microsoft was a leader in portable APIs.

Hmmmm what to do with this situation? I know, THROW IT ALL AWAY. Yes that is what they did. But who am I to question such a strategy. Windows Phones are clearly a massive hit. I even saw one in public last year!

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by dpJudas on Mon 27th Jan 2014 09:02 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

The Store has 140,000 applications, a large majority (~80% being C#/XAML). Windows Phone itself has about 200,000 applications, almost all .NET.

Ignoring the quality vs quantity aspect (I don't own a Windows Phone so can't comment on that), keep in mind you are comparing it against iPhone and Objective C where virtually nobody knew how to code in the language. I think even today (without data to back it up) there are tons of more C# developers than Objective C.

However, point taken that a lot of them did decide to write apps.

I think if anything, they overestimated the amount of HTML5 developers relative to their investment in WinJS.

I actually always saw that more as a publicity stunt. In any case, a C# web developer would never pick that over their preferred language. ;)

I don't think they had the expectation that traditional Win32 applications would cross over any time soon in significant numbers. I think it was wise to cut out the legacy crap and have a clean base, and I think over time you'll see some of the older Win32 functionality come back as a WinRT API.

For Windows Phone this makes lots of sense, but I don't think it does for Windows 8. The traditional Win32 applications *have* to port over to Modern for it to become a success. We are talking about all the productivity suites like Office, Photoshop, Visual Studio, Autodesk, etc.

Microsoft effectively asked them all to port to a completely new platform. With the current constraints of WinRT, I'd say in some cases it might be easier to port to Linux. Note that I'm not saying that WinRT is poorly designed. I'm saying when you drop so much legacy things as they did, then what they created is no longer effectively the same platform the programs currently run on.

I think the counter example here is Windows Phone, Microsoft bought both apps and market share and now the developer situation seems more or less self sustaining. 2013 was a breakout year for the ecosystem as a slew of major apps hit the platform, and more are joining at an increasing rate.

Except that Windows 8 needs to buy the market share from Win32. A far more mature market where even the minor adjustments in Vista caused large portions to cling onto Windows XP until they had absolutely no other choice.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by bassbeast on Sun 26th Jan 2014 18:22 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Or do what is actually happening which is refusing to buy Windows 8 at all.

I'm a small PC shop owner/repair guy and I've stopped carrying Win 8 systems altogether and talking to my fellow shop owners its the same everywhere. We saw here just the other day HP likewise dropping Win 8, so why would devs jump on a platform that even major OEMs are abandoning? You go where the users are and its pretty clear that will never be Metro.

As for why I stopped carrying it, and for those like Lucas that will claim I am just refusing to "embrace the innovation" (yeah about as innovating as bolting bicycle handlebars onto a pickup truck) the reasons are simple, the most important to me is that I have the perfect "everyman" test subject...my dad. Not Windows savvy, does the same tasks a good 90%+ of the users do like check email, watch videos, print pics, everyday stuff. to see how Joe average would handle it when his new i3 laptop came in i just handed it to him, figuring "hey with his bad eyesight Win 8 will probably be great"...when I came back an hour later he told me "Take that POS and throw it in the trash" and even after putting in a start menu replacement the i3 sits in its case and he just uses his new galaxy tab.

If you want to see what happens to Joe and Jane when they use Windows 8 frankly this video says more than I ever could. Count how many times he says "no" "stop" and "I don't want that". Through the entire video the OS is actively fighting him because unlike previous versions where the OS was built to do what YOU wanted its obvious that MSFT had "use cases" and small screen tablets in mind when they built metro and it just doesn't play nice if you aren't "working the Metro way". Is it better in 8.1? Wouldn't know, not paying $100+ just to find out. You'd think with Win 8 bombing they'd be smart and lower the price, but nope, that would make sense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLTE_bvlWUE">Windows

Reply Parent Score: 7

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Sun 26th Jan 2014 21:17 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Why do you post the same things over and over?

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by lucas_maximus on Tue 28th Jan 2014 19:18 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
lucas_maximus Member since:
2009-08-18

As for why I stopped carrying it, and for those like Lucas that will claim I am just refusing to "embrace the innovation"


Let me sum it up for you, I don't believe your or a lot of anyone elses complaints are fair or valid and I have my own reasoning for believing that.

I will concede something, I've heard my first real world complaints about Windows 8 yesterday .... wait for it though ... the application was assuming that they had IE9 or lower installed, which was what the real problem was.

Edited 2014-01-28 19:30 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by zima on Wed 29th Jan 2014 21:56 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
zima Member since:
2005-07-06

my dad. [...] his new i3 laptop [...] the i3 sits in its case [...]
Is it better in 8.1? Wouldn't know, not paying $100+ just to find out.

Win 8.1 is a free upgrade on your dad's i3...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Nelson
by nt_jerkface on Mon 27th Jan 2014 00:44 in reply to "RE: Comment by Nelson"
nt_jerkface Member since:
2009-08-26

In my opinion Microsoft made a lot of strategic errors in how they would lure developers to their new platform.


I think the strategy was "make a shiny new API" which is the opposite of what made sense.

The entire new WinRT system was designed to make it as easy as possible for C# devs to migrate, but this move seem to have failed.


It actually wasn't. Easy as possible would mean to open the full .NET framework. Sinofsky however was anti-.NET and refused to answer technical questions as to why he wanted WinRT apps to be separate.

I think part of the reason has been that the typical C# developer does web applications and they didn't switch to App development over night as Microsoft had hoped.


The typical C# developer works on internal applications. Shrinkwrapped applications are still mostly written in Win32 since that was what they were started in. Photoshop, Autocad, etc.

The fact that Microsoft themselves had to make an explicit exception for Microsoft Office shows just how much work they were asking to be rewritten.


And Sinofsky wouldn't talk about that either. No .NET framework and yet Microsoft doesn't have to re-write Office (a Win32 application)? Yea those questions were deleted.

You are right that none of it made sense. Microsoft has been managed by total idiots. It's no surprise that everything has transpired as it has. Developers were absolutely livid during the Windows 8 development period and the strategy of the Windows 8 team was to suppress and censor. Microsoft still hasn't learned that the smartest developers are outside the company. The amount of hubris that resides in Redmond is phenomenal. They really thought a combination of censorship and self-praise would make all the criticism from developers go away.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by Nelson on Mon 27th Jan 2014 01:56 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

"Developers were livid" quantified by a few comments on a company blog. Amazing the delusional state you operate in.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Comment by Nelson
by dpJudas on Mon 27th Jan 2014 08:35 in reply to "RE[2]: Comment by Nelson"
dpJudas Member since:
2009-12-10

I think the strategy was "make a shiny new API" which is the opposite of what made sense.

Microsoft always loves making new APIs, no doubt about that. However I think the motivation overall was a bit deeper than this.

The way I see it, one of the main lessons learned by Windows Mobile and the first iPhone was that simply shrinking a desktop UI to a small screen device produces a poor user experience. Apple deliberately wrote a different API for the iPhone (Cocoa Touch) because virtually none of the user interface concepts for a mouse work well for touch.

What I think Microsoft did wrong was to go completely overboard when copying this, and also not understand that a touch UI doesn't work well for a mouse either. Sharing the UI between desktop and touch makes very little sense.

It actually wasn't. Easy as possible would mean to open the full .NET framework. Sinofsky however was anti-.NET and refused to answer technical questions as to why he wanted WinRT apps to be separate.

Easy as possible within the constraints they had given themselves. Part of the problem with supporting the full .NET framework is that in a sense a large portion of it is a thin wrapper around Win32 functionality. So what they chose to do was to drop every part of .NET that relied on Win32. Otherwise they had to port themselves. ;)

In a way you could say they dropped support for so many things that their new OS wasn't really Windows anymore. Everyone had to port.

And Sinofsky wouldn't talk about that either. No .NET framework and yet Microsoft doesn't have to re-write Office (a Win32 application)? Yea those questions were deleted.

The fact that Microsoft has to make an exception for Office is half my point of my original post. When nobody can afford to port, then nobody will port and Microsoft ends up having no applications for their fancy new platform. No amount of patience or Microsoft money will help here.

Reply Parent Score: 2