Have you seen the video of the guy trying to use Windows 8 for the first time? Not sure if the video proves that the desktop mode should be improved or just done away with.
I see nothing that we can class as a desktop improvement. Metro actually gets in the way of the desktop, rather than enhances it.
If we were to have a unification of features such as WinRT, XAML as a first class citizen, the feature posted here, charms, etc, then MS would have a surefire hit in the corporate world. I have just had a client ring me to tell me not to offer them a Windows 8 update to our software because they will not upgrade. Now, these people throw money around on just about any software upgrade because they do this to protect their budget. For them to say no to this is unprecedented. Heck, they even upgraded to Vista when that first came out.
I don't know how clear we can make this, but there are lots of companies out there who have applications that cannot be offered in a Metro way, so not offering access to the same features and not listening to people who really do need to treat the desktop as their primary system is just alienating us. I have tried to love Metro, but I just can't. Embracing it would be financial suicide for us. The single screen app does not work for our clients, this being one of the reasons we never went the ipad route.
The error that many people do is to consider Metro applications as an *upgrade path* from classic desktop apps. This is not that at all. Just like a phone application is not an upgrade to a desktop app.
In fact Metro apps are companions to full blown desktop apps, with less features and touch oriented. The firms who don’t get that are doing it wrong. Metro apps should be developed *in addition* to standard applications.
There is no doubt that in some cases we will see Metro-only apps (just like we have some phone-only apps), but if the client has a running application on the desktop already, proposing an upgrade to Metro doesn’t make sense.
All this IMHO of course.
Not sure if my comments will conflict or agree – probably some of both. No offence intended. A lot of this are “my thoughts” – the are based on strategic decision making and how I logically see it playing out from a commercial point of view. Commercial scenarios control the technology choices we have in front of us, not technical features. That is the way it has always been.
Metro is for both desktop and tablet form factors. You must demonstrate that your WinRT based solution can run on both for marketplace submission. Thinking that it is for one over the other is naïve – I am not saying that it is the right way to go of course.
The start screen is just that – a start screen, an extension of the existing start menu. It is not the place where WinRT application run. It is a snapshot of applications that have access to the start screen (menu) properties such as tiles and common contracts.
Metro is a touch first UI technology, but beyond that (and no chrome) they are what we traditionally think of as desktop applications. WinRT is everywhere in Windows 8 and I think what we will see is that you will have the choice of building a chromeless Metro style application for “consumer” experiences, or a traditional Windowed application with no constraints on design language implementations for “enterprise” experiences – both in WinRT with the features and benefits of WinRT. We already know that in order to target ARM – you will need to provide two different install packages, and it is not inconceivable that you will also be able to specify “metro” or “desktop” either. The reason why is that companies like Banks need to be able to privately distribute and install solutions without public stores. I don’t think that will be there for GA – maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.
The downside to that with LOB is that the entire framework is not there yet – nor do I believe it will be for GA timeframes. We honestly don’t even have parity with Silverlight 4 at this point (both in tooling and framework), but that is not to say that it isn’t coming. When you throw the phone into the mix – getting framework consistency has to be a higher priority, because it has been pure crap up to this point being restricted in one platform to the other, building multiple code bases to support similar features of the same solution on a phone compared to a desktop. This is not about creating the same application on all platforms but creating companion solutions because the use cases are different from device to device.
There is nothing stopping you from creating your traditional Silverlight or WPF applications and ensuring that they will run under compatibility for Win8. So where is the issue?
Developers in general maybe angry at the direction of MSFT – but pause for thought – The existing frameworks were heavily limited to what could be achieved with them moving forward in terms of hardware requirements. The entire architecture of the under-lying OS needed to be modified to move towards the performance requirements of solutions and hardware moving forward. This is a reason why we see HTML based “Applications” performing faster in rendering terms as compared to C#-C++ solutions. The platform is optimised for rendering and performance – as opposed to execution speed of the code that is powering the solution within the framework.
In the end – I hope that they remove backward compatibility altogether. They have needed to do it for years and it keeps getting pulled. I am sick of the frameworks, performance and functionality of cross platform delivery being constrained by it.
If users of older solutions want to use those solutions and are happy and efficient doing that – they have 10 years to get used to another scenario. As a developer, if you want to keep targeting that market, again, there is nothing stopping you from continuing to develop for it in those technologies – WPF and SL.
There are a whole heap of other reasons why MSFT would head this way – commercially with revenue in content distribution, eco-system ownership (people owning all MSFT devices as opposed to Apple), improvements in management scenarios, and lastly the disastrous cloud. The cloud will get better and the terms under which we build for it are about to change as well – it has to in order to make the entire proposition viable. MSFT know this. Let’s see if they can actually execute it without all the BA’s and other people that have never written a line of code getting in the way.
Either embrace the change and try to understand how to make solutions for it that benefit users, or master the tech that you are currently happy with. In the end, the users (both consumer and enterprise) will decide what works and what doesn’t. It’s our job to be able to build for that expectation and that is why (love or hate Windows 8) you should all be learning how to build for it.
The XAML DX interop I saw a mile away...they need it if they're going to support running WP7 apps on Win8. With regard to the rest...it may be burnout talking but I'm pretty much feeling m'eh about the whole technology carousel. I'll let the next group figure out how all this stuff works. Not sure why they took the start button away from the consumer preview. If having it bring up the Start Screen was too confusing, not having it at all is probably worse. Like I said right now, I'm really not as hyped about Win8 as I should be. It might pass, it might not. It's just another cycle of learning followed by a few years of waiting for the market to follow. Judging from the adoption of WPF, we have about 4-6 years before we start seeing any true demand for it.
Then again, I could be totally off base and it takes off like gangbusters. There are a lot of issues holding it back from being the default new project template for the business world. But the consumer space may take a liking to it. We'll see.
I just find it interesting how much of Microsoft is trying as hard as it can to figure out a plausible reason to get itself moved into the Windows Azure group.
Sorry for tossing a live grenade into the group and running off. Sounds like everyone was thinking the same thing but were ignoring the big elephant in the corner. Me I’m the kid that has nothing to lose and will call out the fact that the emperor is running around with his balls dangling. My point is I don’t feel the urgency to be on the bleeding edge this cycle. Remember how fun it was to learn WPF without the tooling, documentation, or awesome books to help us along? We’re right there again with WinRT. I tried to make an App using the developer preview. After file new project, it took me about two hours to figure out how to change the default data-source. And that was using the damn tutorial.
Truth be told, I’m leaning toward HTML5 for UI work. And not necessarily the Metro JS stuff. Sorry I don’t feel like being tied into a single platform anymore. Looking at products like PhoneGap has a lot of appeal to me now. I’ll stick with what I know (.NET and Azure) for the backend, but proprietary UI frameworks are as awesome as anesthetic free circumcision. The MVVM friendly JS libraries (Knockout and Kendo) are all the butter I need for my baked potato.
Looks like I am treading the same path as yourself.
I really enjoyed learning WPF, it was the first UI framework that I
have worked with that I felt was really elegant, MVVM, visual tree,
templating ... I guess you all know what i mean ;-)
There are a few reasons why I find myself uninterested in WinRT, the
first is that I work in the financial domain, where I struggle to see
the relevance. I am willing to wager that the company I work for will
not develop a single Metro app this year, or next. However, just
because I cannot see a relevance to a technology hasn't stopped me
playing with it in the past.
For me, the main issue with WinRT is that it is sufficiently similar
to WPF / Silverlight not to feel like something new or challenging,
yet it is sufficiently different to be frustrating to use. Some of
these differences feel deliberately obstructive, especially when you
consider that there will be quite a number of apps that live both in
the Metro and Desktop, creating these will be very very painful. More
painful that cross-platform Silverlight / WPF apps.
So, like Michael, I have been leaning towards HTML5. To my mind this
is a great opportunity, an emerging technology, full of new things to
learn - yet massively mis-understood. Microsoft's attempt to embrace
HTML5 in Win8 baffles me. WinJS is Win8 specific, in my opinion the
application is just madness, especially when you have C# as an
alternative! (OK, node.js is a counter-argument, but I am sure there
I am currently enjoying PhoneGap, Knockout and teaching people how to
we are moving a LOB desktop app to the web. The technology I
recommended for this is GWT and we are finding it to be eminently
suitable, and despite the fact that it is Java, enjoyable also!
On Wed, Mar 21, 2012 at 12:50 AM, Michael Brown <mbr...@kharasoft.com> wrote:
> Sorry for tossing a live grenade into the group and running off. Sounds like
> everyone was thinking the same thing but were ignoring the big elephant in
> the corner. Me I’m the kid that has nothing to lose and will call out the
> fact that the emperor is running around with his balls dangling. My point is
> I don’t feel the urgency to be on the bleeding edge this cycle. Remember how
> fun it was to learn WPF without the tooling, documentation, or awesome books
> to help us along? We’re right there again with WinRT. I tried to make an App
> using the developer preview. After file new project, it took me about two
> hours to figure out how to change the default data-source. And that was
> using the damn tutorial.
I observe a lot of excitement amongst our Windows 8 clients. However one
thing is true: they are not the typical clients that we are dealing with for
WPF and Silverlight. The clients we are dealing now for Windows 8
applications are the ones we also dealt with for XBOX apps, Windows Phone
apps etc. This is a clear sign that the excitement for this new platform is
more for consumer-oriented apps.
Personally I am excited to see one more platform supporting XAML and
supporting it well. In the past 2 years we have developed XAML based
applications on a large number of platform, like Silverlight embedded, XBOX,
Windows Phone, Windows desktop (SL OOB / WPF), Kinect (WPF and C++), Surface
and more. Interestingly enough, this is more platforms than I ever covered
before (and I was a part of the Java community in the end of the 90s!!). Of
course this is not a truly cross platform development, since we have to
adapt each application to its environment, but based on previous experiences
with Java and then HTML/JS/CSS (which was my main professional activity for
quite a few years), I truly think that this is the right way to do it. I am
following the developments in HTML5 with a lot of interest, but what I am
observing for the moment is a rehash of what we did back then (with a few
cool additions, granted) and this is not enough to bring me back to the
Again, I think that the goal of having the same application running on
desktop and Metro is not a good choice, at least not on Windows 8. Who knows
what will come on Windows 9 (10...) but right now the Metro apps are clearly
an addition to a client's portfolio, not a replacement.
For me personally, I am excited about the new opportunities (dealing with
different clients, bringing our UX to the living room, etc). From a
technical point of view, I am waiting to see the WOA devices because I think
this is where the real potential of Metro will lie. I am especially
impatient to see the new form factors that OEMs are going to bring to the
market. I am also excited by the convergence of ultra mobile (phones) and
mobile (slates), and I think that in a very short time, we won't really make
the difference anymore.
Finally, let me tell an anecdote: My 10 years old came back from school a
few weeks back with a friend, and brought her to my home office because she
wanted to show her what I was working on (this was a Kinect app back then).
She said "I wanted to show her what you do because it is so cool". With the
trend to develop on mobile platforms, or with Kinect, or Surface, there is
definitely a "cool factor" that is quite exciting. It is really nice to get
asked what I do for a living, and to see sparks in non technical people's
eyes when I talk about the new devices, the new UX and the new
opportunities. I am a bit surprised at all the "meh" around here, when in
fact we are probably living in the most exciting time ever to be a client
app developer (on every platform) :)
From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [mailto:wpf-di...@googlegroups.com]
On Behalf Of Colin E.
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 7:36 AM
Subject: Re: [WPF Disciples] XAML and DX Interop
I guess the m'eh for me is that I won't be seeing that kind of action anytime soon. And although I was able to sell WPF/Silverlight to a lot of clients, selling Metro isn't possible for the world I'm working in now. Until a feasible solution is made for Metro-desktop integration (among other things) that's how it's going to be.
From: wpf-di...@googlegroups.com [wpf-di...@googlegroups.com] on behalf of Laurent Bugnion [lau...@galasoft.ch]
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 4:50 AM
Subject: RE: [WPF Disciples] XAML and DX Interop
Sent: Wednesday, March 21, 2012 6:26 AM
Sent from my iPhone
Hey Steve, how are we going to explain to people that our tablet doesn't have a stylus. Every other tablet does.
Hmmm, putting a digitizer into the iPad will eat into our profit margins. Let's use the emperor's new clothes strategy.
"Stylus, who needs a stylus, none of the cool kids use a stylus"
That's about how it went.