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L. Spiro

How Much do You Plan to Support Windows 8/Metro?

84 posts in this topic

[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1351536264' post='4995126']
[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351527159' post='4995096']
The free version [b]was[/b] Metro only, until people vocally complained. [/quote]

Wrong. The free version only allowed you to build Metro apps. There is no Metro version of Visual Studio.[/quote]

That's what I said. Perhaps I should've phrased it better, but the context was selling apps, not developing. "The free version was [i]for developing[/i] Metro [i]apps [/i]only". So what I said was exactly correct. You read it as "The free version was [i]able to run on[/i] Metro only". Sorry for the confusion in wording. My statement still stands: "[i]The free version of Visual Studio made software for Metro only, until people vocally complained.[/i]"

[quote][quote]For the upteenth time.... Windows 8 runs Win32 apps. WE KNOW. But Windows RT will not run anything that hasn't been sold through the Windows Store.[/quote]

Who cares?! Windows RT is not designed to be your primary environment![/quote]
It's designed to be the primary environment [i]for consumers[/i]! We're talking about the open garden becoming a walled garden. Developers always have options, but here we are talking about the ways to put your software [i]before consumers[/i] becoming limited. Thus, every developer should care.

[quote]Windows RT is the equivalent of iOS and Android.[/quote]
Except it also eats into netbook market share, not just tablet and smartphone shares, and tablet and smartphone shares also eat into netbook shares, so the end result is less market share for open systems. I don't care what you [i]compare[/i] it to, or what you liken it to.

(Excluding Servers and Kiosks, because they are not particularly relevant to our discussion)
1990s:
Desktops (Open distribution)
Consoles (Closed distribution)

[b]Late 1970s, Early 1980s:[/b][list]
[*]Desktops (Open distribution)
[*]Consoles (Open distribution) ([size=2]led to video game crash of 1983, thought it worth mentioning[/size])
[/list]
[b]1990s:[/b][list]
[*]Desktops (Open distribution)
[*]Consoles (Closed distribution)
[/list]
[b]Early 2000s:[/b][list]
[*]Laptops (Open distribution, takes some Desktop share but most consumers have both)
[*]Desktops (Open distribution)
[*]Consoles (Closed distribution)
[/list]
[b]Mid 2000s:[/b][list]
[*]Netbooks (Open distribution, takes alot of Laptop share)
[*]Laptops (Open distribution, takes more Desktop share)
[*]Desktops (Open distribution)
[*]Consoles (Closed distribution)
[/list]
[b]Late 2000s and Early 2010s:[/b][list]
[*]Smartphones (Closed distribution, most consumers use in conjunction with other machines)
[*]Tablets (Closed distribution, takes some Laptop/Netbook share)
[*]Netbooks (Open distribution)
[*]Laptops (Open distribution)
[*]Desktops (Open distribution)
[*]Consoles (Closed distribution)
[/list]
[b]Mid 2010s ([size=2]After Windows RT and Windows 8 launch[/size]): [/b]([u]Likely[/u] predictions)[list]
[*]Smartphones (Closed distribution)
[*]Tablets (Closed distribution (mostly))
[*]Netbooks (Half closed, half open)
[*]Laptops (Open distribution)
[*]Desktops (Open distribution)
[*]Consoles (Closed distribution)
[/list]
[b]Late 2010s, Early 2020s:[/b] (Unlikely but still possible predictions)[list]
[*]Smartphones (Closed distribution)
[*]Tablets (Closed distribution)
[*]Netbooks (Closed distribution)
[*]Laptops (Half closed, half open)
[*]Desktops (Partly closed, mostly open distribution, but greatly reduced market share)
[*]Consoles (Closed distribution)
[/list]
Developers and businesses will always have more flexible machines than consumers. The average consumer, unknowingly, will continue to opt into closed systems because they have very clear short-term benefits (better security, cheaper short-term, more intuitive, better integration with other devices), not realizing the long-term costs (higher software prices, poorer quality service, greater corporate control, more consumer lock-in, less privacy protection).

More and more software releases will probably head to the clouds and to websites (with also tie-in apps in the marketplaces), since the internet is still open distribution even on most closed distribution devices. Unfortunately, that is also displeasing to me for similar reasons that I won't get into here.

This is not a doomsday "Oh no the sky is falling!" nor is it a "Microsoft is teh evil!", nor is it, "Video games are dead! Flash is dead! Microsoft will go bankrupt!".

This is merely, me saying, hey, this is clearly happening, here are the likely results, and here are further possible results, how should I best adapt to the changing environment? I want to be prepared for the changes [i]before[/i] they come, not when they so up at my door.

[quote]Windows 8 is the new (better) operating system which also happens to be able to run applications targeting mobile devices.[/quote]
And has no guarantee that it won't [i]only run[/i] such applications with a later version. Whether Microsoft [i]will[/i] go that route or not, I don't know, but they are now much closer to such a transition if they decided to take it, and I prefer not to be shocked when the move is actually made, but to consider the ramifications (and what options I have, or what steps I should take to either take advantage of, or minimize the loss of) such a step way in advance of it actually being taken.

[quote][quote]How much market share will Windows RT (shipped on cheap laptops) get? What will Windows 9 do? These are valid concerns.[/quote]

Except they are not valid concerns. I'll repeat, anyone who thinks Microsoft is going to jettison their 95% grip on the desktop / laptop market is an idiot. There are over 1.2 [b]billion[/b] Windows desktop installs across the world right now.[/quote]
Any move Microsoft makes won't effect 1.2 billion instantly. It'll take 10 years or more before those 1.2 billion are entirely replaced with new hardware and software, whether it be Microsoft or not. Further, most consumers just go out and "buy a computer" not knowing what an OS is. Microsoft's lead comes from the fact that, because Microsoft lets the OEM make the products, their software is cheaper than competitors and more prevalent. Walk into Best Buy and see a hundred Windows laptops and, maybe, 5 Apple laptops. Also walk into a Best Buy and see iPhones and iPads and iPods because of popular demand.

Most consumers don't even know that what software is on one device can be moved to another device. They're happy to rebuy it for every computer they own, as long as they get some tech guy at Best Buy to transfer their pictures over. They'll even happily rebuy their music all over again, not understanding they could save that.

[quote]Compare that to the 150+ [i]million[/i] iOS devices, and the 250 [i]million[/i] android devices. It makes no business sense to screw your 1.2 [b]billion[/b] customers in order to try to take over a hundred million or so mobile devices. The [b]only[/b] reliable upgrade path for those billion customers is to ensure that their applications continue to work on the new operating systems.[/quote]
1.1 billion of those customers don't understand that they even [i]can[/i] take their software with them. I'm talking about young people that have grown up with computers. The other 0.1 billion are businesses, and Microsoft ofcourse will provide alternatives for them. You, I, and everyone on these forums fall into the minority that's so small, we don't make much of an impact.

[quote][quote]Non-'[i]Windows Store[/i]' software [i]WILL NOT WORK[/i] on some versions of Windows 8 (the Windows RT versions).[/quote]
Once again, who cares? OSX apps won't work on iOS. [b]EVERYBODY PANIC![/b][/quote]
Obviously people on this forum care, and elsewhere on the internet. Why do we care? Because the consumer won't care, and will buy whatever is A) coolest, or B) cheapest. If the coolest and cheapest options are both walled gardens, it's harder for us to get our software in front of the consumer, without paying upfront costs or percentages of revenue. Previously we could. Increasingly we cannot.
It's because we're not idiots, that we stop and consider [i]ahead of time[/i], what our options are, and how to best move forward as developers.
Nobody is saying panic. At least, nobody on this forum. We're saying, "[i]How much do you plan to support Windows 8/Metro?[/i]" (read the thread title). More accurately, the thread is about, "[i]Why will you or won't you port your software to Metro, and what effects might Metro have on releasing your software?[/i]".

You think we are children crying wolf, and flaming Microsoft as anti-Microsoft zealots. Wrong. We are developers who develop software for Microsoft, and we run Windows ourselves, and we are thinking aloud with other similarly minded developers in an intelligent way about where our industry might be headed, and what steps we should consider taking to best place ourselves for that change.

If you can't understand that, fine! Go start a thread, "[i]Why I love Windows 8 as a consumer[/i]", meanwhile, we'll keep discussing, "[i]What changes does Windows 8 bring to me as a developer[/i]".

[quote][quote]If Microsoft Surface becomes successful, too bad for any software not sold through Microsoft and giving Microsoft a 30% fee. The non-RT version of Surface won't ship until January. Every Surface sold for launch and for the Christmas season will not support any software except the ones that Microsoft sells for you. Not fantasy, this is fact.[/quote]
So what? Microsoft isn't the only one making Windows 8 devices. Most of the devices available as of last Friday are full blown Windows 8 devices. Not Windows RT. Lets not pretend like only Windows RT is available until January.
[/quote]
"[i]The non-RT version of[u][b]Surface[/b][/u] won't ship until January[/i]."
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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351542574' post='4995160']"The free version of Visual Studio made software for Metro only, until people vocally complained."[/quote]
Regardless. Microsoft listened to it's users and updated their software to support it. This shouldn't be a surprise. Microsoft, while a large company, does not simply ignore it's customers as you would have people believe. If you do any work with IIS or ASP.NET you should know this. Microsoft's community involvement is amazing.
[quote][quote]Windows RT is the equivalent of iOS and Android.[/quote]
Except it also eats into netbook market share, not just tablet and smartphone shares, and tablet and smartphone shares also eat into netbook shares, so the end result is less market share for open systems. I don't care what you compare it to, or what you liken it to.[/quote]
It eats into netbook shares the same way Android and iOS do in that netbooks are not very compelling and are typically not primary systems for people either. Windows RT is not a full replacement device, even for "consumers". It does a better job of it than Android or iOS does, but it doesn't stand alone.

[quote][quote]Windows 8 is the new (better) operating system which also happens to be able to run applications targeting mobile devices.[/quote]
And has no guarantee that it won't only run such applications with a later version. Whether Microsoft will go that route or not, I don't know, but they are now much closer to such a transition if they decided to take it, and I prefer not to be shocked when the move is actually made, but to consider the ramifications (and what options I have, or what steps I should take to either take advantage of, or minimize the loss of) such a step way in advance of it actually being taken.[/quote]
We'll have to agree to disagree here. It would be an incredibly stupid move, and I believe the only thing consumers care about is if they can use their favorite applications on the new system. Why do you think it's so important for companies to get top tier games and apps on their systems? x% of users won't switch to Windows phone because it won't run y iOS app/game. x% of Windows users won't switch to an OSX laptop because they can't get application y on it. This happens all the time, and is a game Microsoft knows well. That's one of the reasons they invest so much in the development community.
[quote]If you can't understand that, fine! Go start a thread, "Why I love Windows 8 as a consumer", meanwhile, we'll keep discussing, "What changes does Windows 8 bring to me as a developer".[/quote]
I'm looking at it from both sides. I am a developer and a consumer, just like pretty much everyone on these forums. Pretending that two are mutually exclusive is silly. On most platforms centralized distribution and app certification are good things from both the developer and consumer perspective! Windows has gotten a bad rap for security due to the garbage people are willing to install on their computers. App certification goes a long way towards mitigating the risks of malware infection. Also, as an independent developer of apps, centralized distribution is very important! Suddenly your new app will be available to not just your family and friends you send the link to, but it also shows up under the new app list for the millions of users who use those app portals! I spent a couple weeks working on a WP7 game, and there is no way it would have received even a fraction of the downloads that I did without it having appeared on a new app list in the store. Edited by tstrimple
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Not anytime soon. I'm not in a rush to join the "Win 8" crowd. Win 7 serves my needs just fine.. besides i work on OSX 1/2 the time these days. Maybe in a year or so if the buzz is still good about Win 8 and the app economy is doing well..
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[quote name='ddn3' timestamp='1351549146' post='4995178']
Not anytime soon. I'm not in a rush to join the "Win 8" crowd. Win 7 serves my needs just fine.. besides i work on OSX 1/2 the time these days. Maybe in a year or so if the buzz is still good about Win 8 and the app economy is doing well..
[/quote]

I think this is the real shame about Windows 8. There is so much hype and fud surrounding the metro mode that it completely overshadows the actual operating system improvements. Scott Hanselman has a decent rundown of [url="http://www.hanselman.com/blog/Windows8ProductivityWhoMovedMyCheeseOhThereItIs.aspx"]some of the improvements[/url]. The new task manager and explorer are great. Was it worth upgrading? For me yes, because I'm working on converting my WP7 app to Windows 8 Metro. I don't miss anything from Windows 7. It helps that I use the start menu the same way in Windows 8 as I did in Windows 7. It's an application launcher, not a menu of applications. Just press Win and start typing the app you want to run. If you're the type who likes to dig through carefully organized folder hierarchies to launch applications, I can see where the new start menu would be annoying.
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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1351550376' post='4995184']
Just press Win and start typing the app you want to run. If you're the type who likes to dig through carefully organized folder hierarchies to launch applications, I can see where the new start menu would be annoying.
[/quote]
It would be better to have both options.
Many of the applications that come with Windows (any version) have Japanese names, since I live in Japan.
Kanji and Hiragana are no problem. I can easily and correctly spell any Kanji or Hiragana.
???, ??????????, ?????????
But all of those applications are in Katakana.

The reason Katakana is difficult is because it is a phonetic spelling of foreign words, including elongations of some sounds, thus you really just have to guess how the first Japanese person to hear the word [i]thought[/i] it sounded from the person speaking it, who may not have been American etc. Until you memorize them all via brute force, you just have to guess where all those elongated sounds ago plus the accent of whoever introduced the word to Japanese.
Try to spell “button” without checking online
[spoiler]??? (botan)[/spoiler]

So in my menu I have a “Start Up” folder. Except it is in Katakana.
So, ??????
No, remember to elongate (postfix a character with ?) where appropriate.
????????
Wait the P sound in Up sounds a little strong (put ? before it), so maybe it’s:
?????????
Is Up really elongated?
????????
There it is! “suta-toappu”.


This isn’t supposed to be a lesson in Japanese, just a demonstration that there are more reasons to have that list of applications than you may really know/appreciate.
I use it when seeking Japanese folders/applications, otherwise I type the application name. It doesn’t mean I like browsing through hierarchies of folders.


L. Spiro
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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1351548846' post='4995175']
[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351542574' post='4995160']"The free version of Visual Studio made software for Metro only, until people vocally complained."[/quote]
Regardless. Microsoft listened to it's users and updated their software to support it. This shouldn't be a surprise. Microsoft, while a large company, does not simply ignore it's customers as you would have people believe.[/quote]
I never said Microsoft ignored it's customers, nor did I imply that. I certainly would not "have people believe" that, nor did I try to make them believe that.

It was originally in response to pingz's comment: "[i]Do you really think Visual Studio will become Metro only?[/i]" (which I misread to mean. "[i]Do you really think Visual Studio will only allow creation of Metro apps?[/i]")

My only point in it was that Microsoft was trying to encourage Metro apps over Win32 software - which is perfectly understandable! Microsoft would love for every one of it's users to only ever buy software from the Windows Store which is also perfectly understandable, and I would want the same thing if I had a business. Except, it's not good for developers [i]or[/i] consumers [u]long[/u]-term, though it benefits both developers [i]and[/i] consumers [u]short[/u]-term.

As a heavy user of Windows, and as someone who dislike's Apple's walled-garden approach with alot of their services and products, I want Microsoft to remain strong (though I'd like to see OSX gain some extra ground) to keep a competitive market. However, the same reason I dislike iTunes and iPhones is what leads me to dislike the Windows Store and the [i]future potential[/i] of a Windows RT-like "[i]must buy everything from Microsoft[/i]" Windows. I don't like single-gatekeepers controlling a majority of any market (bah, AT&T). I'm not anti-business, I just recognize the need for heavy competition, and I would also rue the loss of the long-standing openness of a platform I use and love, if it ever occurred.

Is Windows 8 a upgrade over Windows 7? Yes, and I never said otherwise. Though I'm not particularly fond of the interface changes (being a mouse + keyboard user and not a touch user), I would adapt to it quick enough. I think the Windows Store and the new WinRT api is bringing Windows closer to a walled garden, though it's [i]not[/i] there yet. I did say, and will repeat, that I think walled gardens are bad in the long term for both developers and consumers. That is the totality of my opinion, and I'm not on some anti-Windows FUD campaign, or just spouting nonsense and flinging insults at Microsoft as you seem to infer from my posts
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Whilst I disagree with a lot of the scaremongering and FUD about Windows 8, I do share Servant of the Lord's concerns about Windows RT being restricted so you can only release through MS[*].

Note, this is not the same as the advantages of "centralised distribution" - you can have that without it being a locked down platform. You have it on Android, as well as Nokia platforms, Linux distributions. And 15 years ago on the Amiga. Nor is this the way things are done on mobile platforms, as the two most popular platforms (Symbian and then Android) were not locked down.

Furthermore, those centralised distribution sites aren't necessarily better. tstrimple says:

[quote]Suddenly your new app will be available to not just your family and friends you send the link to, but it also shows up under the new app list for the millions of users who use those app portals! [/quote]But this isn't really an advantage, as there have always been places to advertise your application, not just "sending a link to family and friends". The "official" distribution site is yet another download site, perhaps better, perhaps not, than others. E.g., for me of one hand, Nokia Store is great, giving me hundreds to thousands of downloads per day with zero effort. On the other hand, Google Play does less well than the various download sites (e.g., Freecode) I use for Windows. I suspect MS's site will be great for early adopters, but then there'll be too much competition for it to really be any better. Indeed, here's another problem with a locked down platform, as it means there's no ability to have more specialised sites. E.g., open source developers can put their games on places like Freecode and Sourceforge, and attract people more interested in those games; similarly Android has F-Droid. But if there's only one site, you're lost in the noise, having to compete with commercial games heavily promoted and backed with loads of marketing.

But as I say, we should be including Apple alongside MS in these criticisms, not giving them an excuse for being different (after all, that argument works for Windows RT too).

But, whilst this does mean I have no plans to buy a Windows RT device, I plan to happily upgrade to Windows 8[**], and look forward to the increased portability of full PCs in the form of hybrids like the Surface Pro.

Regarding netbooks, there are plenty of x86 Windows 8 netbook/tablet hybrids announced. It's unclear whether netbooks as we know them (low cost x86 devices, or perhaps with touchscreens, but not full hybrids) will continue to exist - there's no reason why not, though the lack of a "Windows 8 starter" could push the price up, or perhap encourage a switch to Windows RT devices.

[*] Unless this isn't true(?), in which case great.
[**] Take advantage of the upgrade offer until Jan 2013. I mean, I just spent more on the takeaway - even if the differences aren't huge, it seems silly to quibble on such a low price.
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Happy with Windows 7 for years to come I will be!

When Windows 9 is available then I will try it.    


Clinton
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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351552669' post='4995190']
I never said Microsoft ignored it's customers, nor did I imply that. I certainly would not "have people believe" that, nor did I try to make them believe that.[/quote]

[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351542574' post='4995160']
You, I, and everyone on these forums fall into the minority that's so small, we don't make much of an impact.[/quote]

That was the statement I was referencing because the attitude bothers me. Microsoft [b]needs[/b] developers to build applications for their operating systems and so Microsoft listens to the developer community. It's also worth pointing out that while Windows 8 is the most "consumer" friendly version of Windows yet, it's also the most power user friendly. The keyboard shortcuts are great, and the advanced menus are much easier to access than in any other version of Windows.
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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1351556224' post='4995216']
[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351552669' post='4995190']
I never said Microsoft ignored it's customers, nor did I imply that. I certainly would not "have people believe" that, nor did I try to make them believe that.[/quote]

[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351542574' post='4995160']
You, I, and everyone on these forums fall into the minority that's so small, we don't make much of an impact.[/quote]

That was the statement I was referencing because the attitude bothers me. Microsoft [b]needs[/b] developers to build applications for their operating systems and so Microsoft listens to the developer community.[/quote]
That statement was more meant as, 'As consumers that also understand tech, we're in the minority', and most big business is focused on the casual users, or else the business users,
But yes, as developers, Microsoft will definitely make sure we can create good software, by reaching out to us from the business-side of their work.
"[i]The other 0.1 billion are businesses, and Microsoft ofcourse will provide alternatives for them.[/i]" <- As independents, we're still businesses. In my first post, I mentioned that "Windows 9 Professional" or whatever, will almost definitely support Win32 software even if "Windows 9 Home User" goes the worst-case scenario route of being entirely Windows Store only.

[quote]It's also worth pointing out that while Windows 8 is the most "consumer" friendly version of Windows yet, it's also the most power user friendly. The keyboard shortcuts are great, and the advanced menus are much easier to access than in any other version of Windows.[/quote]
I'm really glad to hear that! From what I've seen so far, it hasn't looked that way, but I've only seen some of the videos and press releases Microsoft themselves put out and haven't yet used it in person.

As a consumer, and as someone who loves Windows 7, I certainly wouldn't mind a Microsoft Surface Pro (and would think the Metro interface would fit perfectly with such a tablet/laptop convertible).
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[quote name='shadowomf' timestamp='1351529775' post='4995105']Now the other issue. Sure Linux/BSD do have package repositories. But there different, you can have multiple repositories provided by different people and you can always install stuff without using any repository at all. I don't know how Ubuntu's Software Center works, but if it's the sinlge vendor controlled place to get software for Ubuntu, there isn't any difference to Apples or Microsofts AppStore.

It's also quite different if the provider of an AppStore is also distributing Software over it's own AppStore. As a developer you can't be sure that your product get's the same attention and advertisement as a competeting product made by the store owner.

And one more, as customer you have to trust the store owner that he makes sure software that is being sold in his store isn't crap. As far as I can tell, this doesn't work so well. Apple seems to allow any crappy piece of software in their store, as long as it's not malware. [/quote]All valid points.

I will clarify that, of course, you can add software sources to apt-get, so the comparison between apt-get and Windows Store isn't perfect unless the same can be done for Windows Store. I simply wanted to say that I prefer such a system, as opposed to installing software directly without organization. I don't like using a different installer for each package, especially if it doesn't remove everything it installed, or if there is litter left behind in my Windows registry.
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Windows 8 is great. I've been using it on my samsung series 7 slate for some time now. The released version is really quite nice.

Metro I could live without, doubt I'll use it much. I do think there's a place for it though - appliance-like use cases - media centres, for example. Anything where you're not sitting at a desk, really.

WindowsRT (the ARM-based iOS/Android equivalent) is of no interest to me. I think there's a great deal of usefulness in a tablet PC as a tablet/laptop crossover, but something that only runs Metro apps is of no use to me.

I've yet to buy anything from the windows store, but I'll probably pick up a designed-for-touch media player to help me avoid microsoft's advertising in the default music player.

I have lost a great deal of respect for Valve and GabeN over his FUD about Windows 8. See, Valve has been working for some time on setting up a Steam app store, which has now appeared. It's more than a little dishonest to blast MS for wanting to be a gatekeeper of a closed ecosystem when you were yourself working to become that gatekeeper.
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I'm not a huge fan of assuming the walled garden approach is going to be bad. All signs point to it being a very very profitable walled garden. For most developers, more users will be able to find your app, and more users will probably buy your app as being in the store carries a safety guarantee from MS. They also offer a better revenue split than you'll find pretty much anywhere.

I think the major problem is that you can't side load apps on consumer devices right now. More than likely most developers would release both ways before finding out the windows store makes releasing a side loaded app pretty much useless. HOWEVER, there are a couple apps that would benefit from being able to work around store policies (a steam metro app for example could be able to communicate with the desktop steam client. I'm not sure if it can do this now because it depends on whether a 'local mechanism' includes setting up a local server for the two to communicate).

Personally I will start worrying when there is actually something tangible to worry about rather than the possibility of something to worry about.
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[quote]Also, who is a “fanboy” here?
I hate Linux and Apple even more than I do Microsoft.

L. Spiro
[/quote]
[img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/laugh.png[/img]
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Sorry I just noticed this:
[quote]The average consumer, unknowingly, will continue to opt into closed systems because they have very clear short-term benefits (better security, cheaper short-term, more intuitive, better integration with other devices), not realizing the long-term costs (higher software prices, poorer quality service, greater corporate control, more consumer lock-in, less privacy protection).[/quote]
Why do you assume that all of your long term costs are the case? At least 3 of them are currently false on closed systems. Software prices are generally lower (distribution is very expensive. Closed systems tend to handle that for you and usually pay for their revenue take in that regard). Prices being higher goes against almost every piece of data we have on closed digital distribution platforms today; the worst platforms are about the same price. I'm not sure what you mean by "poorer quality service," but there are very good products released on closed systems just like there are bad ones, this is true of any market. If you mean customer service, I see no indication that quality would suffer by nature of the system being closed. I'm also unsure why you assume privacy protection is worse. If anything your privacy is better off. Microsoft/Google/Apple may learn more about you, but random developer who you may or may not approve of having any of your information is much less likely to have your private information. Likewise malware/virus developers are less likely to be able to get any of your information.

Consumer lock in is a legitimate problem, but it has always been a problem even on open platforms or in the non-digital space.
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Depends how much windows 8 plans to support "me"
And by that I mean, lend support to dev outreaching to it.
I feel very little compelled to support windows 8 at this stage, knowingly that several larger corps are merely ignoring it.
So long as boxes on shelves list Windows 7 instead of 8, I'm not too worried about being out of sync, so Microsoft will have to find a way to convince us to move forwards with them. Edited by Orymus3
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[quote name='Heath' timestamp='1351474584' post='4994900']
I remember the clamor and controversy over Windows XP, and that turned out to be nothing. In fact, people who had first claimed they would stick to Windows 98SE and Linux later turned around and said they would stick with Windows XP when Vista was coming out. People are fickle.
[/quote]

Windows XP (future activation doubts) was exactly the reason I ditched Windows.
More and more people are getting interested / involved in UNIX and it is only a matter of time. At this current moment in time, the Linux developer community is HUGE! Much larger than any other platform.

It would be silly to waste time learning how to develop for a dying technology and if it goes the way of XNA -> MonoGame, then it will be the open-source community maintaining it anyway.. so why not just cut out the middle man ;) Edited by Karsten_
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I am perfectly happy with Windows 7. Using myself as a barometer for the market, I'm going to say that pretty much everyone else is probably quite happy with Win7. Why upgrade to Win8? What compelling feature do they have which I absolutely must have? The Microsoft app store? As a user, do I really want to fork out $X number of dollars so that I can log onto the app store to buy useless widgets and apps which third party developers have created to cash in on mass market appeal? No, not really (but I'm a tight wad).

As a developer, here are the things I don't like about Microsoft:
1. Visual Studio costs lots of money!!! VS2012 Ultimate is $13,000!!! I get it, it's a great product and its got all the bells and whistles a large corporate dev team could want, but as a single indie dev, it's way out of my price range. Yeah, I could use the express edition, but I'd rather decide what features of the IDE I don't want to use rather than having that decision made for me by licensing. Other IDE's for different platforms and languages are free (eclipse for Java, XCode for iOS).

2. If you want to code for the MS platform using their API's (DirectX, XNA, .NET), you get locked in to the MS ecosystem. This limits the market base you can target. Java apps, on the other hand, will work on any platform which can run and support the JVM. You don't have to run any VM's or third party software. (note: the VM is included in the JVM). Making .NET available on non-MS products is contrary to Microsofts big picture business plan -- to build and run an MS controlled ecosystem.

3. I just don't take their store seriously as a viable platform. Look at XBox Live Arcade. Very, very few developers strike gold. Maybe its a market demographics and saturation problem. Maybe its an overall business plan issue. And, the win8 app store is supposed to be different and better...how?

Things I'm uncertain about:
1. The pricing structure for selling apps in the windows store.
[quote][url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj193593.aspx"]Microsoft Source[/url]: When you sell apps through the Windows Store, we assess a Windows Store fee. For apps that generate less than $25,000 in sales, this fee is 30%. After the app generates its first $25,000 in sales, the fee on the subsequent revenue drops to 20%.[/quote]
Considering how I'm already slightly biased against it and a little reluctant to spend time, effort and money on developing a Win8 app in the first place, if all MS does is match their digital distribution competitors at a 30% take, I will be even more hesitant. They'd better sweeten the pot a bit and go down to 25% at the least, and ideally 20% overall. The first $30k should be all mine! Everyone wants their slice of my pie (government taxes & Microsoft)! Once I cover my development costs, I'd be willing to split the revenue a bit more generously... if I was going to charge.

2. The windows app store doesn't support a "donate directly to me, whatever you want, whenever you want" business model. That means no humble indie bundles or shareware. Obviously, they'd cut themselves out as the middle man so its not in their interests. So, when they're reviewing your product, they probably wouldn't like it if your app circumvents them from getting their share. So, what about in-app purchases of virtual goods which are a transaction strictly between the developer and the player? Would that get rejected by the certification process?

3. I've got a leery feeling that MS isn't looking out for my best interests as a developer. I'm just a necessary pawn they need to entice in order to reclaim lost territory in the digital distribution market. I do get that warm and fuzzy feeling when I think of Valve, who will help me market and distribute my game and has had a history of selflessly having mine and my users best interests at heart. Initially, it'd be good to be courted by MS because they'll bend over backwards for dev support, but if/when they get their appetites satiated, I worry that they'll get beligerant/cocky and I'll find myself kicked to the curb with all my eggs in their basket.

The only two reasons I can think of to play in the Windows Store market:
1. It's a new market, so getting in early would make it easier for me to capture market share with a polished app.
2. There will be a lot of eyeballs using Win8, all of which are potential customers. MS [i]is[/i] still the dominate OS on the desktop.
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[quote name='slayemin' timestamp='1351622532' post='4995513']
1. Visual Studio costs lots of money!!! VS2012 Ultimate is $13,000!!![/quote]

Not sure where you're getting your prices. VS is expensive, but it's not [b]that[/b] expensive. The professional edition is probably the one to shoot for if you're buying a license. I have access to ultimate, and I do not use any of the more advanced features. Professional is selling for $800, and Ultimate is just over $6,000. It is also worth keeping in mind that you're not just buying Visual Studio, you're getting an MSDN subscription as well which allows you to download pretty much all Microsoft software for development purposes. This includes all of their office suites, all of their operating systems, etc. Plus it's not all that hard to get those tools (even ultimate) for free. Check out [url="http://www.microsoft.com/bizspark/"]Bizspark[/url], [url="http://www.microsoft.com/web/websitespark/"]WebsiteSpark [/url]and [url="https://www.dreamspark.com/"]DreamSpark[/url].

[quote]2. If you want to code for the MS platform using their API's (DirectX, XNA, .NET), you get locked in to the MS ecosystem. This limits the market base you can target. Java apps, on the other hand, will work on any platform which can run and support the JVM. You don't have to run any VM's or third party software. (note: the VM is included in the JVM). Making .NET available on non-MS products is contrary to Microsofts big picture business plan -- to build and run an MS controlled ecosystem.[/quote]

This is just flat out wrong. Mono and MonoTouch allow you to run your .NET apps on OSX, Linux, Android and iOS. You may have heard of an XBLA game called [url="http://supergiantgames.com/?p=1286"]Bastion[/url].They used a version of MonoGame to take their XNA game and build it for the Google App Store.

[quote]1. The pricing structure for selling apps in the windows store.
[quote][url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj193593.aspx"]Microsoft Source[/url]: When you sell apps through the Windows Store, we assess a Windows Store fee. For apps that generate less than $25,000 in sales, this fee is 30%. After the app generates its first $25,000 in sales, the fee on the subsequent revenue drops to 20%.[/quote]
Considering how I'm already slightly biased against it and a little reluctant to spend time, effort and money on developing a Win8 app in the first place, if all MS does is match their digital distribution competitors at a 30% take, I will be even more hesitant. They'd better sweeten the pot a bit and go down to 25% at the least, and ideally 20% overall. The first $30k should be all mine! Everyone wants their slice of my pie (government taxes & Microsoft)! Once I cover my development costs, I'd be willing to split the revenue a bit more generously... if I was going to charge.[/quote]

30% is the standard. It's what Apple and Google both charge. As far as I know, Microsoft is the only one that drops it to 20% after a certain amount of revenue. As far as app stores go, it's a pretty good deal.

[quote]2. The windows app store doesn't support a "donate directly to me, whatever you want, whenever you want" business model. [/quote]

Of course it doesn't. But that doesn't stop you from building one into your app. You can distribute an app for free on the Windows app store, and build in your own in-app purchases, or your own donate button.

[quote]3. I've got a leery feeling that MS isn't looking out for my best interests as a developer. I'm just a necessary pawn they need to entice in order to reclaim lost territory in the digital distribution market. I do get that warm and fuzzy feeling when I think of Valve, who will help me market and distribute my game and has had a history of selflessly having mine and my users best interests at heart. Initially, it'd be good to be courted by MS because they'll bend over backwards for dev support, but if/when they get their appetites satiated, I worry that they'll get beligerant/cocky and I'll find myself kicked to the curb with all my eggs in their basket.
[/quote]

All I can do here is recommend that you work with them. I guarantee you'll change your mind. Find your local developer evangelist and tell them you're thinking about writing an app, and they will be happy to talk with you and most will offer technical assistance if / when you run into problems during development. Potentially of more value, they can introduce you to others in your area who are also building apps and you can tap into that network.
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[b][Edit:][/b] Didn't see the above post before submitting mine.
[quote name='slayemin' timestamp='1351622532' post='4995513']
As a developer, here are the things I don't like about Microsoft:
1. Visual Studio costs lots of money!!! VS2012 Ultimate is $13,000!!! I get it, it's a great product and its got all the bells and whistles a large corporate dev team could want, but as a single indie dev, it's way out of my price range. Yeah, I could use the express edition, but I'd rather decide what features of the IDE I don't want to use rather than having that decision made for me by licensing. Other IDE's for different platforms and languages are free (eclipse for Java, XCode for iOS).[/quote]
The Express edition is the equivalent of those "other IDEs". I don't personally use it, but it's fully capable and very popular. So it's not like the Express version is limited, it's that the Ultimate edition is enhanced.

If I used VS at all, I'd be perfectly happy for business licensees to unintentionally fund the further development of the free version. The only real alternative would be making the Ultimate version $800 or more, and the Express version free but for non-commercial use (which would suck worse for indies).

I mean, if we got to pick and choose what features we wanted, not even the businesses would pay for the Ultimate edition (except for support reasons).

[quote]2. If you want to code for the MS platform using their API's (DirectX, XNA, .NET), you get locked in to the MS ecosystem. This limits the market base you can target.[/quote]
That's something I don't like either... but if I was in MS's place, I'd do the same thing. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/tongue.png[/img]
Apple also does that.... and hey, even GNU does that too. GPL license? We Demand You Release Your Source Code Publicly! (locking you into an ecosystem, just not a commercial one)

[quote]Making .NET available on non-MS products is contrary to Microsofts big picture business plan -- to build and run an MS controlled ecosystem.[/quote]
Though Microsoft did make alot of the .NET runtime an open standard, and pledged not to use their patents against other non-Microsoft .NET implementations (such as the open-source Mono project). The only ambiguity is a few non-standard Microsoft extensions.

[quote]3. I just don't take their store seriously as a viable platform. Look at XBox Live Arcade. Very, very few developers strike gold. Maybe its a market demographics and saturation problem. Maybe its an overall business plan issue. And, the win8 app store is supposed to be different and better...how?[/quote]
Games for Windows Live also previously existed for Windows machines. I think the difference is, it's pre-installed and in-your-face, and also customers are more used to it from the whole iOS stuff.

[quote][quote][url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/jj193593.aspx"]Microsoft Source[/url]: When you sell apps through the Windows Store, we assess a Windows Store fee. For apps that generate less than $25,000 in sales, this fee is 30%. After the app generates its first $25,000 in sales, the fee on the subsequent revenue drops to 20%.[/quote]
Considering how I'm already slightly biased against it and a little reluctant to spend time, effort and money on developing a Win8 app in the first place, if all MS does is match their digital distribution competitors at a 30% take, I will be even more hesitant. They'd better sweeten the pot a bit and go down to 25% at the least, and ideally 20% overall. The first $30k should be all mine![/quote]
Then they'd make zero money from the majority of the apps on their system, most probably won't break 20k.

[quote]Everyone wants their slice of my pie (government taxes & Microsoft)![/quote]
Fully agree. My dad likes to use the analogy 'Mosquistoes sucking blood'. Every business wants to take a small amount of blood continually out of your arm - leaving you just enough blood that you can continue to live and produce more blood for them to drink. [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/dry.png[/img]

[quote]2. The windows app store doesn't support a "donate directly to me, whatever you want, whenever you want" business model. That means no humble indie bundles or shareware. Obviously, they'd cut themselves out as the middle man so its not in their interests.[/quote]
They wouldn't have to cut themselves out. If they had a "Pay what you want" option, with a minimum pricing of, say, $1 or $5, and took 20%, that could work for them.

[quote]So, when they're reviewing your product, they probably wouldn't like it if your app circumvents them from getting their share. So, what about in-app purchases of virtual goods which are a transaction strictly between the developer and the player? Would that get rejected by the certification process?[/quote]
Many stores allow in-app purchases now, but you just the API the store provides so the store makes sure they get their cut. Steam allows this, as does iOS, and a week or two ago the [url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/179210/Happy_Wars_Does_freetoplay_on_Xbox_360_work.php#.UJA-_W_A9oI"]first XBox 360 free-to-play game[/url] launched. Edited by Servant of the Lord
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[quote name='Servant of the Lord' timestamp='1351630913' post='4995574']
[quote]So, when they're reviewing your product, they probably wouldn't like it if your app circumvents them from getting their share. So, what about in-app purchases of virtual goods which are a transaction strictly between the developer and the player? Would that get rejected by the certification process?[/quote]
Many stores allow in-app purchases now, but you just the API the store provides so the store makes sure they get their cut. Steam allows this, as does iOS, and a week or two ago the [url="http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/179210/Happy_Wars_Does_freetoplay_on_Xbox_360_work.php#.UJA-_W_A9oI"]first XBox 360 free-to-play game[/url] launched.
[/quote]

If you use Microsoft's infrastructure for collecting payments, you pay the same % as the app purchase. However you can implement your own in-app purchase and it is not against the [url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh694083.aspx#acr_4_7"]certification requirements[/url].

[quote][b]4.7 If you use a commerce transaction provider other than the Store's, you must identify the provider at the time of the transaction or whenever you collect any payment information from the customer[/b]
If your app uses the Windows.ApplicationModel.Store namespace for in-app purchases, this messaging is provided for you. If your app uses any other method for in-app purchases or to collect payments, it must display a message to the customer stating that who is responsible for the transaction.
For example, in-app purchases made from apps produced by Contoso that don’t use the Windows Store for the transaction would display a message such as, “This item is available from Contoso” at the time of the transaction.

[b]4.8 Your app must prompt the user for authentication to allow a commerce transaction to be accomplished.[/b]
The app can offer the user the ability to save this authentication, but the user must have the ability to either require an authentication on every transaction or to turn off in-app transactions. If your app uses the Windows.ApplicationModel.Store namespace for in-app purchases, this prompt is provided for you.

[b]4.9 If your app collects credit card info or uses a third-party payment processor that collects credit card info, the payment processing must meet the current PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)[/b]
[/quote]

Thus, it's possible to distribute through the Windows app store for free, and build the purchase into the app itself, and you would keep all of the revenue. Just keep in mind, a user is probably much more likely to want to press the purchase button on the store than to trust you with their credit card. Edited by tstrimple
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My $0.02 regarding tstrimples point about MS abondoning windows market share. This doesn't really relate to games, but it does affect what will happen to them.

Up until now, Microsofts cash cow was enterprise. The majority of it's revenue came from businesses running windows and office, and one of the big selling points for businesses was the availability of both shrink-wrapped and bespoke software on the platform. In short, windows was the easiest platform to develop for. The average business relied on office and maybe one or two critical lob apps (most of which were written in VB or win32).

But that's changing. More software is becoming web based. An SME can now get by with gmail, google docs and their custom software provided is probably looking at moving their win32/.net app to html5.

Microsoft knows that it's propping up a shrinking market. Yeah, it's an unfathomably big shrinking market, but the writing is on the wall for it nevertheless. It might take 10 or 20 years for that market to shrink significantly, but it will also take at least 5 years for Microsoft to position itself to take advantage of the new markets. So windows 8 is the first step in a long term strategic move for the company.

This is my reading of it. Could be (and probably is) wrong. Right now there's a lot of uncertainty regarding how we will do our computing in the future. Certainly, for 90% of people, a desktop OS will no longer be necessary.
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[quote name='tstrimple' timestamp='1351631716' post='4995581']
If you use Microsoft's infrastructure for collecting payments, you pay the same % as the app purchase. However you can implement your own in-app purchase and it is not against the [url="http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/apps/hh694083.aspx#acr_4_7"]certification requirements[/url].

...

Thus, it's possible to distribute through the Windows app store for free, and build the purchase into the app itself, and you would keep all of the revenue. Just keep in mind, a user is probably much more likely to want to press the purchase button on the store than to trust you with their credit card.
[/quote]
Interesting. But just because it permits you to use a third-party provider, that doesn't mean they don't collect their share, does it? Skimming the license agreements, and skimming what you posted, I can't find any clarity on the subject. I bet Microsoft will come out with a list of acceptable third-party providers, and take their share from the provider directly before it reaches the developer, instead of trying to retrieve money from individual developers.
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