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141 May 25, 2012 at 17:32

Microsoft apparently wants all apps written with VS11 express to run Metro and Metro only.

#### 29 Replies

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101 May 25, 2012 at 19:58

Yep.. I downloaded it to try and found that I could only make metro-stuff. Quite a bummer, since I disabled metro in windows 8 after about half an hour of frustration.

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179 May 26, 2012 at 20:33

One the one hand, I think it’s a good idea. Push people forward onto a new system. Windows hasn’t changed much since Windows 95. That is I’m still using the OS as I did back then. This is one way to convince companies that Metro is the future and there’s no need to worry whether or not others will adopt it. As for traditional app development, I think VS2010 is still a solid IDE and does the job remarkably well. Missing out on C++11 is not the end of the world. Quite frankly it just adds more complexity to it. Just develop in Java and see how much those developers have to deal with less.

Now on the other hand, I think the Metro UI was horribly designed. I think blocky graphics works extremely well for presenting important information, but that’s where Microsoft stopped. They’re still bound to that icon-ism design. They need to get out of that mentality and start developing artificially intelligent UI systems with good filtering capabilities. There’s too much information out there and the traditional mechanisms for consuming that information is medieval. Click this for app store, click this to browse the interwebs, click this to watch movies, click click click… It would have been a much better user experience to allow developers to tap into a central “mainframe” and extend the desktop to integrate their application logic, so one search can operate on many levels and present multiple choices, all of which can easily be filtered by the user. It’s a damn shame that this “new-age” crud from MS is just a makeover for traditional behaviour. I would be much more supportive of Microsoft if they would just take their product to the next level.

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141 May 26, 2012 at 21:09

I’m still using Windows XP. I think Microsoft is trying to tap into the tablet market, but it probably won’t work out. Desktops are desktops. They were designed for a mouse. It sounds like another interface on top of an interface on top of an interface. No one is going to use it no matter what they do.

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101 Jun 15, 2012 at 15:34

Apparently they decided that wasn’t a good idea, so desktop development will be back in VS2012 Express - [url=”http://www.microsoft…oducts/express”]http://www.microsoft…oducts/express[/url] . Apparently desktops aren’t going away anytime soon.

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101 Jun 18, 2012 at 16:36

I don’t see why Microsoft can’t coax the userbase off the archaic ABI to a new one, starting with the free tools they put out for hobbyists. Plus, there are other IDEs for the cheapies who won’t commit to a real VS edition.

Also, MS has always held back a little on Express. VS2010 doesn’t have a 66bit compiler, I believe.

It’s one of those damned if you do and damned if you don’t things…

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167 Jun 18, 2012 at 19:17

VS2010 does not have a 66-bit compiler, it’s true. On the other hand, neither does anyone else. ;)

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101 Jun 22, 2012 at 14:59

What?!? You haven’t heard about the newest enhancements to VS? They call it the Microsoft Two Bits Performance Enhancement library. I’ve heard from Microsoft that it’s going to be awesome. Of course, you’ll have to throw away everything you know so far, but they have classes and certifications!

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141 Jun 22, 2012 at 17:05

I guess this is along the same lines, but Microsoft introduced the Surface recently which will only be available on Microsoft stores. I think this is probably because there were no takers on the open market. The OS will cost anyone outside of Microsoft 60 dollars as compared to free for Android. Now it’s a question of whether people will buy it from Microsoft. I don’t think that will happen. Tablets have become personal computer media devices. They don’t need much of a keyboard, and one you have to set the computer on a table or whatever doesn’t make much sense unless it is being used like a laptop. It’s going to be more expensive than other tablets unless they sell it at a loss or something, and Microsoft doesn’t have the cool factor reputation that Apple does to get premium prices for a tablet that is pretty late to market, which leaves a kind of screwed up desktop OS that from what I’ve read, people aren’t very excited about. I think it will be another Vista, where commerce and IT basically ignore it and wait for Microsoft to do a better project next generation. That’s really not hard to do anymore for businesses, especially in a slow economy. I think it’s another shot to the foot for Balmer. If this fails as I think it will, Microsoft should seriously consider putting someone else at the wheel.

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151 Jun 22, 2012 at 20:40

My take has always been that Microsoft are scared by two things.

1) The tablet market
2) The mobile market

Windows mobile is a failure, a failure that has probably killed Nokia, the jury is still out, but it’s looking that way.

Windows 8 and Metro seem to me to be aimed totally at the tablet market, to the detriment of the desktop market.

Things that were working really well for Microshaft, like XNA and .NET seem to have been kicked into the waste basket in favour of a badly designed, badly implemented pile of steaming sh1t

Ok, I have had arguments about this in the past, I know a lot of people disagree with me, but that’s my view.

Most people think Microshaft are too big too fail, but hey look at the current state of the worlds banks!

I wouldn’t be unhappy if they ended up with the pointy bits in the air, but what is the alternative?

Android has already been dropped by a lot of developers as “unsustainable”. Linux is nice, but not a state of the art OS, Apple is just Apple. I am running OS X Lion and I am amazed at the amount of mac software that no longer runs.

What would we be left with?

{stops typing to think about 66 bit computing…. interesting….} :)

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101 Jun 22, 2012 at 20:44

I would say Playbook with BB10 but I’ll be kicked in the face a hundred times so I won’t. :)

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151 Jun 22, 2012 at 20:51

I quite liked the idea of QNX, just not the implementation.

I think we should bring TAOS back from the dead, I’ll talk to Chris about it. Maybe if I buy him a farm of raspberry pi’s he’ll dig it out……

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101 Jun 23, 2012 at 01:12

@Stainless

My take has always been that Microsoft are scared by two things.

Microsoft has been “scared” many times. The biggest was their miss on the internet; they really were late to the game and almost got left behind. This led them to overshoot on XML.XML came on strong, Microsoft made everything into XML, and then XML fizzled for the mess it was. Now, the buzz is tablet and mobility, and Microsoft is trying hard there. What they lack is marketing like Apple. They do make decent products, such as the Zune.

- Android has already been dropped by a lot of developers as “unsustainable”.

Meaning what?

• Linux is nice, but not a state of the art OS

WHAT?!?! Linux has essentially taken over “The Cloud”, the current server-side buzz concept equivalent to tablets on the client side. :)

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117 Jun 23, 2012 at 01:34

I’m currently (for a lot of years) running Linux (went through huge variety of distros, even tried compiling kernel on my own (successfully - but it needed so much time to keep it up to date) - currently @ Debian :wub: (first use of this smiley :D)), with KDE desktop - and after I tried metro (just to test it, it wasn’t even at my home - but at colleagues place) I can just say Metro is not good way of doing things imo.

Metro just doesn’t allow one to customize it (and I really mean customize, not just change colors, etc.) - without it (e.g. turning metro off), it’s just old desktop … neither of these is enough close to what basic KDE gives you … and I don’t mention heavily customized KDE (which practically owns any other desktop environment).

As for Visual Studio - I don’t like the IDE (and yes, I’m one of the zealots that run terminals + makefile hell (and dozens of bash scripts), and I find it better and faster to work with than with IDE like Visual Studio :ph34r: - and it’s really a lot easier to configure than doing the same in IDE) - and supporting just Metro-only applications is wrong step -> I like console apps, F.e. if you do need to make some quick and easy app (to generate few lines of code, compute whatever, etc. - you know it) - making window app for this is just a waste of time and console apps rules for this … so I don’t see point of doing VS Metro-only … well maybe I’m a bit too much Linux/BSD influenced … :ph34r: (and I know that Linux is for ninjas!)

Note: It’s my subject opinion, I don’t like Metro (it seems a bit like unsuccessful Unity) - I like environment where I can really change stuff - but your opinion may vary, I respect it - I don’t necessarily say that Metro or new VS is bad, but imo there are better alternatives. :)

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179 Jun 23, 2012 at 02:32

@fireside

I’m still using Windows XP

My condolences.
@Reedbeta

VS2010 does not have a 66-bit compiler, it’s true. On the other hand, neither does anyone else. ;)

Those two extra bits go a long long way :) But for 64 bits, you can just download the Win SDK. It’s what I use to build 64 bit apps. Heck, you don’t even need VS. Just write your 1-mill lines of code in notepad and compile :D

On the topic of mobile platforms, the reality is that all major vendors have strengths and weaknesses. If they would set aside their imperialistic crusades and worked together, you would have the elegance of Apple, the freedoms of Android, the strong development tools from Microsoft, and the security of RIM devices. But, heaven forbid our species working together towards a common goal. Better to compete for several decades until the victor stands above the corpses of his fallen enemies.

No one can predict the success of Win 8 or its mobile variants, but I do believe Microsoft will win in the long term. Sooner or later people are going to upgrade their PCs or buy their family a tablet one xmas and the obvious choice is going to be something they know and use. From my point of view, I agree with Ballmer in his cocaine enriched press conference, developers developers developers :) The tools for developing on a win platform is like dining in royalty with silk serviettes and fine French cuisine. I’ve recently developed for Android and touched iOS here and there. Without a doubt, I would take an arrow in the knee for Microsoft. I really miss the simplicity of focusing on development matters that count versus putting up with the messy tidbits that the competition offers. If any one thing strikes me most, it’s that people don’t mind being slapped around with less than perfect tooling. How Android got popular with a dysfunctional emulator and obfuscated API and documentation is bewildering. Nah, madness.
@Vilem Otte

As for Visual Studio - I don’t like the IDE (and yes, I’m one of the zealots that run terminals + makefile hell (and dozens of bash scripts), and I find it better and faster to work with than with IDE like Visual Studio

I shall pray the rosary for you each night until, god willing, you come back to the light.

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101 Jun 23, 2012 at 03:29

@TheNut

Those two extra bits go a long long way :)

Definitely 66 bits is the future. Instead of being able to support a measly 16,777,216 TB of memory we can support 67,108,864 :D

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141 Jun 23, 2012 at 09:33

But, heaven forbid our species working together towards a common goal. Better to compete for several decades until the victor stands above the corpses of his fallen enemies.

I think that’s really what the internet and html are. It’s slow, but everyone is agreeing, and it gets more and more powerful. As far as mobiles and tablets, that’s why Microsoft won’t win. We like the familiar, and that’s our browsers. Microsoft is losing. It’s losing server space. It’s losing mobiles. All they are doing is alienating their userbase and driving more people to Apple trying to get it. That’s not to say they don’t make a pretty good product and will probably always be around as a desktop/laptop OS and server if Linux doesn’t eventually drive them out because of cost. I”ll be surprised if Balmer isn’t gone within the next two years because I think he’s over his head. This is a Vista redo. You could kind of write off Vista because he just took over. I haven’t used it, but I’ve read some of the reviewers, so I might be wrong, but an OS has to be built around it’s primary input.

My condolences.

I only use Blender and Unity anymore for development along with a few art programs. The OS is unimportant and I don’t want to waste money on an upgrade unless it’s really outdated. The free games I play work pretty good yet.

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151 Jun 23, 2012 at 10:10
• Android has already been dropped by a lot of developers as “unsustainable”.
Meaning what?

http://games.slashdot.org/story/12/03/10/2226214/battleheart-developer-drops-android-as-unsustainable

A lot of developers feel the same. What is the point of an OS that you cannot get software for?

• Linux is nice, but not a state of the art OS WHAT?!?! Linux has essentially taken over “The Cloud”, the current server-side buzz concept equivalent to tablets on the client side. :)

:D

If I was setting up a new firewall, or a server, I would use freebsd instead of Linux.
If I was setting up a multimedia server, I would use windows so it can talk easily to my xbox.
If I was setting up a development machine, I wouldn’t touch Linux.

I have a Linux box setup for when I do have to do bits and pieces, but it’s a nightmare every time I use it. This library got updated with a breaking change, so I have to update these six libraries. One of those has a breaking change, which means I have to update these 5 libraries, and so on and so on.

A day or so later I can boot up the IDE and start some work.

Maybe this doesn’t happen if you use Linux on a daily basis, but for an occasional developer like me, I hate it.

Then the quality of the tools just isn’t the same as you get on WIndoze and Mac. Compare 3d studio max to all it’s competitors, I know visual studio has it’s problems, but it’s a damn site better than anything else I have used. Ask anyone who has worked on Codewarrior or it’s ilk and you will hear what I mean.

Compare xcode 4 to anything and see what I mean.

Linux has it’s place, and it is very good in those places, but not for me as a daily work environment.

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151 Jun 23, 2012 at 10:29

Actually, the more I think about it, the more I think TAOS is the way to go.

It’s perfect for modern hardware.

TAOS used this idea that everything was organised as tools. Each tool was a separate entity and could be loaded on a different cpu than the calling tool.

Totally scalable.

Perfect for modern multicore processors

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141 Jun 23, 2012 at 10:55

A lot of developers feel the same. What is the point of an OS that you cannot get software for?

That might be true for someone trying to push the system to the limits, but there are a huge amount of Android Apps. Android still isn’t as popular as iPhone and it’s going to make less money, especially because people look for more free apps on it. When you look at consoles, iPhone, and Android, it’s at the bottom if you don’t count Microsoft’s phone OS or Symbian or something. Doesn’t prove a thing. Smart phones are taking over. Android is #2 and I don’t think that’s going to change other than it may become #1.

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179 Jun 23, 2012 at 12:27

@Fireside

I think that’s really what the internet and html are. It’s slow, but everyone is agreeing, and it gets more and more powerful.

My beliefs are sort of balancing on the edge of a knife. Part of me believes that html has the potential to merge everyone together, but in its current state HTML and CSS are extremely old and its lack of capabilities is showing. It’s not a markup suited for application development like XAML, and so if there’s going to be any future for that someone is going to have to role out a completely new markup (or support XAML) in order to eliminate the deficiencies of HTML. I personally think HTML5 should have addressed that, but such as things are…

Though I’m not sure what you mean by Microsoft alienating their userbase. The ARM tablets will be your typical locked-down useless toys, but the Intel based tablets will be a fully functional operating system like you would expect on a laptop. That’s quite powerful and likely a reason many will turn heads towards Microsoft. Why sit on a train playing angry birds when you could (should?) be programming those extra lines of code :D And if you feel like chilling out in a park without a clunky laptop, just remove the magnetically attached keyboard and relax while you play. Its seems a logical path to me.
@Stainless

This library got updated with a breaking change, so I have to update these six libraries.

Developers are more to blame for this problem than the OS. It’s a shame distros like debian and ubuntu try to cover up the problem by providing installers to automagically deal with the problem rather than face the true problem of developers going hog-wild on dependencies and not spending the appropriate time to package their software. In some cases, GPL licensing can also be blamed for libraries not statically linking code due to license incompatibilities. This is why I personally use Slackware because its isolated design makes it easier to control the use of libraries and software. Never had much of a problem with one of the oldest and first Linux distros.

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101 Jun 25, 2012 at 18:43

@Stainless

Linux has it’s place, and it is very good in those places, but not for me as a daily work environment.

Bah! BSD is just a *nix variant, like Linux. This is just splitting pinhead angel hairs… :) And, all your other examples are just preferences. There are legions out there who would argue otherwise (of course, since this is the internet).

But, more to the main thread:@Stainless

A lot of developers feel the same. What is the point of an OS that you cannot get software for?

You can. This is a myth perpetuated by Apple and its crusaders. What software do mostpeople (not hardcore gamers or devs like us) want that they cannot get on an Android tablet? EMail? There. Browser? At least four different ones. The Starbucks of apps: Angry Birds? :) There. Facebook? There. Netflix? There. All the major webby apps are there. What’s this software I apparently cannot get. (And, disclaimer, in my house you’ll find an iPhone, an iTouch and a Transformer tablet.)

I think the few developers that write articles like that are not the majority. The fragmentation in the Android world (which, BTW, owns a lot more marketshare than IOS) is dwarfed by the overall fragmentation many of us face: Android + IOS + Windows (soon to add another variant with Metro). For browser-based games, add in the various browser types. Yet, people are very succesful there. If it was so impossible, then how do you explain the successes?

Nothing is perfect. Anyone remembers how Apple almost f’ed every dev with iOS Developer Agreement, Section 3.3.1? I do.

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151 Jun 27, 2012 at 08:31

Every OS is marmite, some love it some hate it.

For me though I only really care about product out and money in.

Android is a nightmare for this. Yet again we get a solution to the issue of a huge number of hardware platforms, that ends up with a huge number of software SKU’s. It’s not what we as developers want. On top of that, the average spend per android device is $0.47. That is of all the millions of devices out there, the vast majority don’t buy any software. None at all. (data from the network operators I work with, so not truly global, but a good indication). So market share does not map directly to the attractiveness of the platform for a developer. Hell think of Symbion! To contrast that, the average spend on iPhone is$80.00

Windows 8 seems to me to be pushing HTML 5, (I’m not a windoze developer any more, but that seems correct to me, is it? ) but that’s just a joke. http://gamasutra.com/view/news/172804/Wooga_drops_HTML5_development_but_believes_it_still_has_a_future.php

I recently had to start using xcode, and I have to say it’s the best dev environment I’ve used for a while. It’s easy to switch targets between mac/iphone/ipad/retina. The compiler is based on a LLVM compiler as well, nice solution. Trouble is I cannot leverage it to create android/wince/windoze/linux software :D

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101 Jun 27, 2012 at 09:47

@Stainless

Windows 8 seems to me to be pushing HTML 5, (I’m not a windoze developer any more, but that seems correct to me, is it? )

I don’t think that’s correct. It’ll probably support vanilla HTML5, but I think it adds a lot of features to both the markup language and the available javascript API. The idea is that you can develop your application using HTML and Javascript, not that you use the exact same paradigms and API’s as you would for a regular website. A Metro app written in HTML/JS would almost surely not run in a browser.

And I think HTML5 is a bitch for UI design anyway. For example, vertical center? Oh, right, use this doubly nested <div> and some weird margin rules in CSS. Convenient.

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167 Jun 27, 2012 at 10:32

@.oisyn

And I think HTML5 is a bitch for UI design anyway. For example, vertical center? Oh, right, use this doubly nested <div> and some weird margin rules in CSS. Convenient.

Heh, vertical centering has always been an Achilles’ heel of CSS. I’m not sure why it’s apparently so difficult. On the other hand, horizontal centering isn’t as easy as it could be either - there are two different ways to do it. If centering text within an element you use one attribute, but if centering an element within another element, you have to use some weird margin rules.

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101 Jun 27, 2012 at 14:26

@Stainless

the average spend per android device is $0.47… To contrast that, the average spend on iPhone is$80.00

I think that this statement is as likely to be true as the complete opposite. I’ve seen analyses (paid-for ones, not someone’s guess on a blog) that go in completely opposite directions and are all over the place. The problem is the complexity in determining this. For example, one problem is that the “per Android device” can contain, depending on the source of the count, Android devices where consuming/shopping of the style the IOS world does not happen. IOW, all IOS devices are consumption-oriented, whereas not all Android devices are the same.

It’s definite that Android development is a bit more difficult than IOS; a homogeneous platform (IOS) with very few hardware option is much easier to target. That didn’t work for Apple in the desktop space in the long run. I suspect history will repeat itself, so it may pay for devs to not put all their eggs in one basket and learn how to straddle both world. Budget it as a “developer’s insurance” line item; you pay for other insurance without immediate ROI, don’t ya? ;)

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179 Jun 27, 2012 at 14:39

And let’s not forget the infamous vertical-align style. The first hit on Google is a website dedicated to explaining the property in several pages :D Tis why I’ve given up on such crud and wrote my own WPF clone using the canvas as a UI renderer. No more crying FUD.
@Stainless

So market share does not map directly to the attractiveness of the platform for a developer.

I think it does play a role. Windows Phone is hands-down the easiest, quickest way to go from idea to market. That hasn’t done jack for Microsoft though. One can complain about missing this and that, but the phone really is quite a capable device on its own. I agree that Android development is garbage, especially since Froyo devices don’t fully implement the NDK and still account for 20% of the devices out there. Still, having a couple million people using your app and generating revenues through advertisements is quite attractive.

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101 Jun 27, 2012 at 17:24

I just happened to stumble on this and remebered this thread:

http://gigaom.com/mo…its-blackberry/

One more article on an analysis that adds more confusion to the mix of which platform is a good long-term bet… ;)

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151 Jun 27, 2012 at 20:36

Interesting article, looking at that last table, there aren’t going to be any developers soon :D

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101 Jun 27, 2012 at 23:27

RIM is starting a certification program where if a certified app makes $1,000 it is guaranteed to make$10,000 - even if part of it comes from their pockets. They’re spending a lot on the BB platform to get developers for it - which is why most people are moving away, lack of apps.

Check out this link, where they compare all the platforms and their profitability: http://www.shivaengine.com/developer/1815-case-study-game-scorpion-inc