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

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 84
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,388member
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 84
    island hermitisland hermit Posts: 6,217member
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 84
    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
  • Reply 4 of 84
    webmailwebmail Posts: 639member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 84
    cloudgazercloudgazer Posts: 2,161member
    Random developer gets wrong end of stick. Gets a splinter. Complains loudly.



    Honestly there's nothing to see here, move along folks.
  • Reply 6 of 84
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 3,213member
    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
  • Reply 7 of 84
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 84
    katastroffkatastroff Posts: 103member
    I have to say the VP-dude on the photo does look a bit terrified.
  • Reply 9 of 84
    dave k.dave k. Posts: 1,306member
    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...
  • Reply 10 of 84
    ..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.
  • Reply 11 of 84
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 84
    lilgto64lilgto64 Posts: 1,147member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 84
    prof. peabodyprof. peabody Posts: 2,860member
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 84
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    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).
  • Reply 15 of 84
    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 .
  • Reply 16 of 84
    dreyfus2dreyfus2 Posts: 1,072member
    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.
  • Reply 17 of 84
    auxioauxio Posts: 2,746member
    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?
  • Reply 18 of 84
    yuusharoyuusharo Posts: 311member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 84
    bigmac2bigmac2 Posts: 639member
    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
  • Reply 20 of 84
    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.
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