Why Microsoft is Terrifying Windows Developers Over Coding

Microsoft’s Windows 8 Metro interface sure looks pretty with its tiled background but news that the operating system will require new APIs for applications that run in this new environment has at least some developers on edge. According to Microsoft applications in its new finger friendly operating system will have to be optimized for touch screen use to work within the Metro environment. A major part of Windows 8’s new look and feel and the software giant’s attempt to make it a viable tablet operating system are new full screen immersive applications. Windows 8 will include new APIs for developing these applications. Now having new APIs is not what’s spooking developers the issue is there have never been apps like this before on Windows so the old APIs won’t work. Windows developers have developed a lot of time, money and effort into the platform. Over the years they’ve learned Win32, COM, MFC, ATL, Visual Basic 6, .NET, WinForms, Silverlight and in Windows 7 WPF. All of these technologies at one time or another were needed to create desktop applications for Windows. With the exception of Visual Basic 6, all of them are still more or less supported on Windows today, and none of them can do it all; all except Visual Basic 6 and WinForms have a role to play in modern Windows development.

So for these developers to learn Windows 8 will use HTML 5 and JavaScript for its new immersive applications was more than a little disturbing. After all such a switch requires discarding two decades of knowledge and expertise in Windows development. This just goes to show how untrustworthy Microsoft can be. For consumers the fact that Windows RT which runs on the same ARM architecture as Apple’s iOS making it incompatible with x86 based Wintel programs cannot run alternative web browsers is also a raw deal.

Frankly, whether or not Microsoft is investigated over Windows RT anti competitive behavior consumers in the mobile device business can vote with their wallets and have real choices. Remember, Microsoft has been a monopolist in the past and has attempted to use their monopoly position to illegally thwart competition. It’s one thing to want to outperform your competitor it’s another to want to kill it entirely. The good news for anyone but Microsoft is with the software giant facing real competition Windows 8 adoption remains flat. Few consumers are willing to upgrade their PCs to Windows 8 and to try and entice people the Redmond software giant is offering Windows 8 coupons to Windows 7 PC buyers to upgrade their computer for free. My biggest complaint with Microsoft has always been the Windows Tax that has to be paid even when buying a PC without Windows the good news is Microsoft can’t bully their way to dominance in the smartphone and tablet market.


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