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Microsoft's preview of Windows 8 has developers 'horrified' - report

post #1 of 85
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The prospect of writing software for "Windows 8" in HTML5 and JavaScript has reportedly "horrified" Microsoft's development community, which is anxiously awaiting more information.

The new developer program for Windows shown off by Microsoft earlier this month is based on HTML5 and JavaScript, giving applications for its next-generation operating system, currently referred to as "Windows 8," a new look and feel with its touch-friendly tile interface. That news has concerned developers who have become invested in Microsoft's existing development tools for Windows, according to Ars Technica.

Author Peter Bright noted that Windows developers have invested "a lot of time, effort and money into the platform," learning to program in Win32, COM, Visual Basic 6, .NET, Silverlight and WPF, just to name a few. But concern arose when Microsoft Vice President Julie Larson-Green said the new developer platform is "based on HTML5 and JavaScript."

"Hearing that Windows 8 would use HTML5 and JavaScript for its new immersive applications was, therefore, more than a little disturbing to Windows developers," Bright said. "Such a switch means discarding two decades of knowledge and expertise of Windows development -- and countless hours spent learning Microsoft's latest-and-greatest technology -- and perhaps just as importantly, it means discarding rich, capable frameworks and the powerful, enormously popular Visual Studio development environment, in favor of a far more primitive, rudimentary system with substantially inferior tools."

Microsoft's new development platform for Windows 8, built on HTML5 and JavaScript, is a frustrating change for some developers, who are concerned that the tools available for Windows 8 will be less powerful and full-featured than its predecessor.

The change has caused a "justified fear" among developers, in Bright's words, exacerbated by the fact that Microsoft has opted not to speak out on the controversy. Instead, Microsoft has promised to talk about its Windows 8 development platform at the company's "BUILD" event in September.

Mike Angiulo, corporate vice president at Microsoft, shows hardware partners "Windows 8" earlier this month.

"The developers that the company should be courting are being given good reason to doubt the future of the platform," Bright wrote. "And they're genuinely angry and worried by this. The prospect of being stuck with HTML5 and JavaScript for their development is encouraging them to jump ship."

Of course, come September Microsoft could reveal that it will offer a more powerful development platform for Windows 8, in addition to HTML5 and JavaScript. But The Redmond, Wash., software giant's silence has caused great consternation among the Windows development community.

Microsoft Chief Executive Steve Ballmer initially said that Windows 8 would arrive in 2012, though a company spokesman later retracted those comments as "a misstatement." The company also clarified that it has not officially revealed a name for the next-generation version of Windows, set to become available in the company's coming fiscal year.

While Microsoft is staying mum on its next-generation platform, Apple is set to launch Mac OS X 10.7 Lion in July. The next-generation Mac platform will be available only in the Mac App Store for $29.99, and will pack more than 250 new features -- many of them inspired by the iOS interface found on the iPad.
post #2 of 85
I remember reading that Windows 8 was to be written in C++ and F#... And there's no 'uck' emoticon...

Why not just make the new developer environment be Objective-C to ride the wave of iOS and Mac development?

You can't do a tenth in HTML5/JavaScript that you can do in a real programming language.

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post #3 of 85
This has to be a joke...

How could anyone believe that M$ will have a brand new platform up and running by 2012, especially if the developers aren't behind them if html5/javascript is the foundation.

Steve B... your time to leave is near.
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post #4 of 85
As much as I like C (I'm weird like that ), not everyone would want to program with it. Similarly, this is a rather stupid move by Microsoft . For a company that has always battled Apple by giving "choices", I'm surprised they're limiting devs to HTML5/Java \ Silly MS
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post #5 of 85
This isn't a joke, but the developer who was used to comment on Windows 8 obviously is

The dashboard is based on html5/css3 which is SHOULD BE, that doesn't mean you write your application in HTML 5, it just means if you want a front end that shows on the dashboard tiles you write it with HTML 5, which is a good thing.

You can't tell me you know how to write C++ but can't write HTML5, it's too easy.
post #6 of 85
Random developer gets wrong end of stick. Gets a splinter. Complains loudly.

Honestly there's nothing to see here, move along folks.
post #7 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

The company also clarified that it has not officially revealed a name for the next-generation version of Windows

Oh, let me guess... Windows 8
post #8 of 85
So here we have Microsoft AT LAST trying to come into line with everything going on outside Redmond, instread of keeping on its old path of 'my way or the highway' and still people aren't satisfied. Could it not be that what Microsoft is saying is 'where HTML5 and Javascript will do the job, that's the way we want you to go' ?

Oh! and I do agree with the earlier comment that Mr. B needs to be booted out. He's screwed up too much too often. Let's give someone else a chance to succeed - or fail.
post #9 of 85
I have to say the VP-dude on the photo does look a bit terrified.
post #10 of 85
I actually applaud Microsoft at this point... They can't grow Windows if they are still tied to "decades" worth of old frameworks. I hope they don't cave based on developer whining...
post #11 of 85
..in regards to anyone foolish enough to believe that Microsoft would abandon decades of development on the NT kernel and evolved codeset that is the existing foundation of Windows. They couldn't implement Longhorn, which was arguably the logical inheritor of the Windows legacy - albeit stronger, more secure and a better codeset. Now, with Mr. Ballmer claiming that Windows 8 will be a "one size fits all" OS, it makes sense that Windows 8 will have the usual desktop underpinnings with a chromesque+touch interface which will ignore part of the library and resources not required for a mobile+touch device. And they may be relying on html5 and javascript to accomplish that, but to make the assinine assumption that the whole of the OS (and all the resources thereby) is reconstructed is to call into question the actual ability of said developer. Sad really. Much ado about nothing. Someone should write a play with that title.
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post #12 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave K. View Post

I actually applaud Microsoft at this point... They can't grow Windows if they are still tied to "decades" worth of old frameworks. I hope they don't cave based on developer whining...

.NET is decades old and Java is somehow new? Things that have become quite trivial thanks to .NET would be a nightmare to code in Java.
post #13 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by webmail View Post

This isn't a joke, but the developer who was used to comment on Windows 8 obviously is

The dashboard is based on html5/css3 which is SHOULD BE, that doesn't mean you write your application in HTML 5, it just means if you want a front end that shows on the dashboard tiles you write it with HTML 5, which is a good thing.

You can't tell me you know how to write C++ but can't write HTML5, it's too easy.

I was thinking that would be related only or primarily to the front end type user interface stuff - not the entire application.


Windows 8... my homework!

Maybe they will rebrand it PC OS x86 v14 and PC OS x64 v12 or something along those lines.

And why stop at Home - Student - Pro - Enterprise versions - take a page from Nintendo - and have the Windows Pink Edition customized with features most wanted by teenage girls -and Windows Black for the Goth kids, Windows White for use in clean rooms.
post #14 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by webmail View Post

This isn't a joke, but the developer who was used to comment on Windows 8 obviously is

The dashboard is based on html5/css3 which is SHOULD BE, that doesn't mean you write your application in HTML 5, it just means if you want a front end that shows on the dashboard tiles you write it with HTML 5, which is a good thing.

You can't tell me you know how to write C++ but can't write HTML5, it's too easy.

If what you are saying is true though (that Windows 8 is just an HTML 5 'dashboard' tacked onto Windows 7), then everything they have been saying is a lie and the platform will fail anyway.

Microsoft either has to come up with a modern platform for mobile devices or go away and die.
Either way, this isn't it.

If they were smart, they'd have had a team making an iOS version of Word, Excel, etc. in 2008 and be ready to port it to their own new platform which they started building in 2009. They are already years and years behind and not even trying that hard to catch up.
post #15 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmillermcp View Post

.NET is decades old and Java is somehow new? Things that have become quite trivial thanks to .NET would be a nightmare to code in Java.

JavaSCRIPT, not Java. Those are two very different platforms. Java is an interpreter language, whereas Javascript powers the modern web. We wouldn't have the rich application-like experience on the web that we do today without javascript (though, we wouldn't have quite nearly the level of security problems without it as well).
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post #16 of 85
Good that Microsoft for seeking to simplify Windows 8, but I'm sorry. Desktops and laptops are dead. After I get my iPad 2 I dont think i'll ever need to use a "full" computer ever again.

Hell im even on Ubuntu at the moment .
post #17 of 85
Well, when iOS came out, HTML, Javascript and CSS were the tools developers were told to use. Not because that was really Apple's goal, but because the SDK was not ready for consumption. (Of course, some less bright beings do still believe that the jailbreaking community and their apps caused this change of mind, just, the timeline does not support this.)

MS is under huge pressure to have "anything" for tablets. Windows 8 will certainly not be a mature product (the touch/tablet part of it), but they can't play around until 2013/2014 to even get started. So, this will be about compromise. Developers coding "conventional" mouse applications can continue to do what they do now - and MS will tabletify their apps to some degree by adding a few functions to zoom buttons, bring up a on-screen keyboard, etc. to the OS, to at least be able to say: "See, we have tablet apps". The entire HTML5/JS stuff is just a temporary solution for pure touch-based apps and tiles, and it will be replaced with more appropriate stuff 2-3 years later.

Of course, the whole thing will be one huge mess and won't help MS's position in tablets... but at least there is some new vaporware to keep the board quiet.
post #18 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jmillermcp View Post

.NET is decades old and Java is somehow new? Things that have become quite trivial thanks to .NET would be a nightmare to code in Java.

Where in the article was Java mentioned? Are you confusing Java and Javascript (two very different technologies)?

What I don't understand is how you'd write a device driver in HTML5? Can someone explain that one to me? Does Microsoft think that peripherals are going away, or are they going to create their own custom Javascript extensions for that too?
 
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post #19 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

If what you are saying is true though (that Windows 8 is just an HTML 5 'dashboard' tacked onto Windows 7), then everything they have been saying is a lie and the platform will fail anyway.

Microsoft either has to come up with a modern platform for mobile devices or go away and die.
Either way, this isn't it.

If they were smart, they'd have had a team making an iOS version of Word, Excel, etc. in 2008 and be ready to port it to their own new platform which they started building in 2009. They are already years and years behind and not even trying that hard to catch up.

Microsoft has created a modern platform for mobile devices - its called Windows Phone 7, which is loosely based on Silverlight. We won't know any more details about Windows 8 until later this September at the BUILD conference, but its apparent to me that Silverlight will continue to play a role in the new platform. Why not? It's already running on ARM, so cross-compatibility with x86 is still possible.
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post #20 of 85
I think Microsoft is lost in the seas of technology, they absolutely got no clue where to place their next big bet.

Sure HTML5 got some hype in the mobile world those days, but what Microsoft are thinking? Ok I admit they were really need to jazz up their interface but what Microsoft showed us is a Media centre like OS that will change absolutely nothing for already existing apps. Microsoft still do what they do best, pile shit on top.

I wonder why most blog haven't realize Windows 8 Tablet and Windows 8 PC despite what Microsoft claimed is two different beast, compiled apps wont be interoperable between ARM based Windows 8 and x86 version of Windows 8. I think Microsoft want to minimize platform issue by going with an interpreted environment such as Javascript and HTML5
post #21 of 85
Developers horrified !!!, Just think of the billions of windows end-users that will be horrified !!!!

Make it simple, just do a new Windows BOB OS so one size fits all.
post #22 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by webmail View Post

This isn't a joke, but the developer who was used to comment on Windows 8 obviously is

The dashboard is based on html5/css3 which is SHOULD BE, that doesn't mean you write your application in HTML 5, it just means if you want a front end that shows on the dashboard tiles you write it with HTML 5, which is a good thing.

You can't tell me you know how to write C++ but can't write HTML5, it's too easy.

Actually, anyone can write HTML5 but they just may not be good at it. HTML like any other language takes years to master even when you know other languages. People simply don't give it the full attention it deserves to their own detriment.

I actually agree that people should be moving to cross platform solutions like HTML5 particularly for the UIs. MSFT actually has the right idea here. Developers are going to have to re-train themselves. They complain about proprietary products and now MSFT is rightfully telling them to learn the cross platform ways of doing things. HTML5, CSS3, Javascript.
post #23 of 85
That developer is the reason Windows sucks. Windows developers don't want to move forward because it costs them money. This same thing happened with the DOS to Windows XP transition.
post #24 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post

Microsoft has created a modern platform for mobile devices - its called Windows Phone 7, which is loosely based on Silverlight. We won't know any more details about Windows 8 until later this September at the BUILD conference, but its apparent to me that Silverlight will continue to play a role in the new platform. Why not? It's already running on ARM, so cross-compatibility with x86 is still possible.

Except the article is explicitly stating that Microsoft has explicitly stated that Silverlight will *not* be the development environment for Windows 8, nor will it be the development environment for the Windows 8 'layer," (for those who believe that's what they are talking about.)

These things may change, but for the moment, those are the facts.
post #25 of 85
MS adoption of emerging standards will be within MS world. They went thru this with Netscape. They want to disrupt their operations and short circuit Apple, Google, HP WebOS, with MS development capabilities and Windows everywhere.

At the same time they will keep their current legacy tools etc fully functional and evolving. They want to compete with Apple MacOS, think Visual Basic, with Google Chrome and WebOS think Silverlight. And .NET, and with Android and iPhone iPad apps.

Jobs would just move on to the future. MS wants to not loose what it has and get the new disruptive. This will be hard and rarely works, but it did with Windows from
Apple and Internet from Netscape, and .Net from JAVA. Not so well for media players, social, cloud, and Search.


So stand by for quite the ride.
post #26 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

Actually, anyone can write HTML5 but they just may not be good at it. HTML like any other language takes years to master even when you know other languages.

No, HTML takes weeks to master. Javascript takes a few more months. Being able to design a nice web page with it is another story.
post #27 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Peabody View Post

Except the article is explicitly stating that Microsoft has explicitly stated that Silverlight will *not* be the development environment for Windows 8, nor will it be the development environment for the Windows 8 'layer," (for those who believe that's what they are talking about.)

These things may change, but for the moment, those are the facts.

Eh, what part of the article explicitly states that Microsoft is not using Silverlight in the development environment for Windows 8? They've never said any such thing. The only information we have is essentially all contained in that 5-minute preview video, which leaves a lot of unanswered questions including the fate of Silverlight.

Anyone spouting something "definitive" about Windows 8 right now is either guessing or lying, since we don't have any additional info yet. The facts, as you put it, are that Windows 8 will introduce a new platform that will exist across Desktops, Laptops, Tablets and Phones, and that platform (for now) is based on HTML, CSS and Javascript.

We'll know more in September.
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post #28 of 85
Anyone else starting to wonder if Ballmer is on Apple's payroll?

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post #29 of 85
This is more about Microsoft being unable to articulate the way the touch layer and the "hardcore" OS layer are going to work together. Microsoft is nothing if not beholden to the needs of its legacy users and long-term developers.

This does underscore how poor a job they did explaining the "2 UI" identity of Windows 8 and how utterly focused they were about serving something up that responded to iOS.
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post #30 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by EyeNsteinNo View Post

Developers horrified !!!, Just think of the billions of windows end-users that will be horrified !!!!

Make it simple, just do a new Windows BOB OS so one size fits all.



BOB for Tablet would be wonderful for Windows users ;-)
post #31 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by AdonisSMU View Post

I actually agree that people should be moving to cross platform solutions like HTML5 particularly for the UIs. MSFT actually has the right idea here. Developers are going to have to re-train themselves. They complain about proprietary products and now MSFT is rightfully telling them to learn the cross platform ways of doing things. HTML5, CSS3, Javascript.

I'm old enough to have lived through the "write once, run anywhere" promise of many development technologies (Java, Python, Ruby, etc) and I'm still not buying it.

Companies which create and sell a platform have no incentive to allow you to create apps which work on competitors platforms. They may begrudgingly support cross-platform development technologies (so that they can market their platform as having many existing applications), but they'd much rather tie you to their platform in the long run. I'd count on Microsoft to extend Javascript in proprietary ways.

Show me a single HTML5 application that can receive multitouch input and gestures on every device which supports it, or access the camera/video camera on all devices and show images/video from it, etc, etc.

There are such a wide variety of devices out there, combined with the number of different HTML5 engines (customized for each platform), that I seriously doubt there will ever be a way to have a complex HTML5 application work the same way on every device. Simple HTML5 applications, sure, but not complex ones which make use of the unique features of each device.
 
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post #32 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMacadvocate View Post

This does underscore how poor a job they did explaining the "2 UI" identity of Windows 8 and how utterly focused they were about serving something up that responded to iOS.

... and more importantly (to M$), Android/Honeycomb.
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post #33 of 85
My understanding was that this HTML5/JavaScript layer was just a layer of icing on the traditional Windows cake. This seems like a huge overreaction based on extremely limited information. Microsoft not commenting on this situation is precisely what Apple would do too. Not too excited about Windows 8 myself, but let's not jump the gun.

I have to say I'm disappointed in AI. The quoting of 'horrified' was only in the title of the linked article and was not itself a quote from any developer in the linked article. It's not good journalism IMO.
post #34 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post

Microsoft has created a modern platform for mobile devices - its called Windows Phone 7, which is loosely based on Silverlight. We won't know any more details about Windows 8 until later this September at the BUILD conference, but its apparent to me that Silverlight will continue to play a role in the new platform. Why not? It's already running on ARM, so cross-compatibility with x86 is still possible.

MS has said, over and over, that Windows Phone 7 will NOT be used for tablets. Silverlight does not need to be ported to x86, because this is where it comes from.

MS wants to be on tablets, without cannibalizing their core business. That is why they draw the (useless) line between phones and tablets. A phone OS does not bring enough fees from the OEMs, people do not pay hundreds for Exchange, Sharepoint and Windows Server CALs for a phone OS, and people do not pay up to $400 for an office suite on a phone OS. Heck, there is not even a possible up-sell to Professional and Ultimate versions here.

Of course, Ballmer is again wrong here. OEMs can't even compete with Apple's iPad using the free Android. How interested will they be in $25 - $100 Windows licenses?
post #35 of 85
I agree that developers need to realize that 20 yrs worth of reference has to go away if they want to get ahead like mac... but JS? it's almost like saying, we're going to take 3 steps forward, but two steps backward....

Windows 8/9 needs to be evolutionary... not revolutionary
post #36 of 85
"The developers that the company should be courting are being given good reason to doubt the future of the platform," Bright wrote. "And they're genuinely angry and worried by this. The prospect of being stuck with HTML5 and JavaScript for their development is encouraging them to jump ship."

Jump ship? Seriously?? Where are they going to "jump ship" to? Are all these disgruntled developers going to suddenly start writing code for Apple or Linux? I think not.

It's not like Windows 8 will see 100% adoption immediately following release. Windows 7 is going to be around for quite a while so they can slowly transition to the new technology as needed.

Of course I am not a developer... so maybe I have no idea what I'm talking about but it doesn't seem like that big of a deal.
post #37 of 85
A potential Microsoft dev rebellion? I love it!

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post #38 of 85
I have a great platform they can develop for that is mature and productive and runs on the most popular devices in the world (hint hint)
post #39 of 85
I could careless. I'm all Apple baby! I'll be programing for the iPad and starting my business in a few years. Good times ahead. Big ideas abound.
post #40 of 85
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkichline View Post

I have a great platform they can develop for that is mature and productive and runs on the most popular devices in the world (hint hint)

Maybe more and more MS devs will see the wisdom of developing for iOS. Wheeee!

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