Windows 8 –Trust me, we got this covered this time I promise…

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Yesterday the VP of Web Services at Microsoft showed us the upcoming future of Microsoft AppStore me to thanks for playing Apple iTunes clone but not quite because its metro style of solution delivery….*gasp*… (try saying that without pausing)

Side riff: Microsoft, try and pick one person to be the face of Windows.. I get VP’s want to be geek celebs, but really who is that guy anyway and why should we care about his existence?..sorry carry on reading…

I care less on who copied what and where, the fact that there is an AppStore in the Microsoft ethos for us WPF/SL developers to capitalize on and make some bank – count me in!

Oh wait, we don’t get an invite actually because in order to actually make some cash on this idea you have to kind of wait for Windows 8 to be more ubiquitous and outsell the current Windows 7 adoption curve that we have before us today.

Confused?

Let me show you a big circle that has 500m attached to it and compare it to other devices and operating systems to give you a sense of scale and illusion around which is a smarter platform to target. I should also point out in September Microsoft also stated it was around 450million

Here it is.

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Now, don’t ask too many questions (like how is Windows Phone 7 market share fit into that graph?) around how that number came to be, just bend over and accept its existence and let it soak into your brain mass that Microsoft have your back and we are the future of the interwebs.

Still not buying it? Well let me see if I can rustle up some insights for you from a Microsoft staffer, what about another VP at Microsoft – lets here what he has to say on the matter.

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Comment: “ I thought I did, but to be honest, I’m not even sure what was said”

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Comment: “…But the graph…it said…500m… and you guys also said 450m la…you know what, you are banned from using numbers”

 

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Comment: I’m doing the math and I’m also including world population growth, projected device market sales targets and and and and… did you just tell me to start coding and stop whinging …..I am coding, I do it daily, but the problem I have is you’re co-workers interrupting that sales pipeline with a whole bunch of question marks about the future of what I’m actually coding on…so that is to say, I’m doing my part, what are your guys doing? …sorry back to the numbers.

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Comment: OH snap.. no he didn’t….

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Comment: Target what again… and you just said 500million earlier…what…what are we talking about again… and if Win8 launches today are you saying we should stop targeting Windows 7 and now focus on Windows 8?……. WHAT THE FU…

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Comment: Which one? 500million, 450million or 300million… or….

Fair enough, he is not into the whole questions thing and regards it as being a case of being a whining and what I also found interesting was the implication that one should “shut up and code”

Only problem I find there is actually I have been coding, pretty much for the last few years and that’s the problem because I have been coding on the last set of promises they / me made to the community around Silverlight and WPF. I remember it clearly, we got up on stage and we gave the same formula you have before you yesterday, we drowned you in copious amounts of “We caught a fish this big” graphs, painted a bright and happy days future, then told you “trust us, we have this covered” story.

Fast forward today, Silverlight 5’s future is in question and WPF is well, dare I still say dead? In fact Silverlight 5 was scheduled to release last month and that was told to you by a Microsoft staffer but yet no sign of the product that describes another way of saying the word “Flash” (aka Silverlight).

Ok, well I guess we’ll all have to sit tight, hold onto the .NET …err I mean WinRT…err I mean .NET …C++?…HTML5?… Ok whatever it is we are supposed to hold onto, write some killer applications and wait for further information from Microsoft on how well Windows 8 will sell and to which verticals its likely to excite the most.

Its clear it will beat iPad / iPhone to death as once Windows gets onto a tablet like device, it will be unstoppable – well that’s what MVP’s at Microsoft tell me and why on earth would they be biased – crazy talk.

Sarcasm aside.

Look, I think Windows 8 is an opportunity for all to prosper, I think it has the potential to excite and increase the cash in everyone’s wallets. I honestly don’t care whether or not the developer story gets reset, what I do ultimately care about is how one can take the concepts of Windows 8 and use them in today’s Windows 7 upgrade environments.

Call me crazy but based on historical data and simply getting my fill of the Microsoft internal culture I honestly don’t think Windows 8 will replenish the market the way Windows 7 has today. I think its going to be mostly a tablet device story only and even then it’s got question marks above its head on what you can and can’t do when it comes to development.

Furthermore, Microsoft cannot seriously expect developers to trust them anymore as the amount of broken promises…. I won’t go down that path, I’ll simply leave it at “no, you haven’t earned the trust” so instead of throwing down metrics onto the table like they actually resonate with developers instead of making that team look artificially successful – why not answer some hard questions with that time.

Paint a detailed picture on what you think is the future of Windows specifically on areas where you think it interconnects, lets talk about how Windows Azure is the preferred server side engine for your Apps in the AppStore or more importantly lets talk about skill transference in more detail, how does a Silverlight / WPF card carrying .NET diehard fan transition over to the new Windows RT way of life.

How do they work with Designers in this new space? Whats your thinking around the tooling story and how they interconnect.

AppStore sounds fine, it looks good but why can’t we start today, why do we need to hold off for Windows 8 or is this your idea of a forcing function that will drive consumers to buy Windows 8 instead of Windows 7 – because of the Appstore?

That may work for new devices called tablets, but what about that 500m install base just sitting there waiting to be fleeced with my Flashlight glow in the dark Twitter application?

Stop whining and build? Build with what, who for and which platform?

So far there is less that 50,000 developers world wide targeting Windows 8 and that’s assuming that MSDN downloads indicate  one developer per download ( I know I downloaded it 4x times since BUILD… so make that –4).

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Never fear though, as you can now watch the developer uptake increase due to brilliant strategies like the Build Windows Contest featuring weird beard guy in front of a bicycle wheel? (WTF)

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Catch is you have to be a US resident only and use the new secret stuff from Microsoft …actually I have no clue what the hell this contest is really about and lastly a VP at Microsoft once told me in a meeting “Contests are the last desperate refuge for bad marketing”… enough said.

UPDATE:

Co-worker shares his thoughts after reading this blog post

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  • What I’d like to know is, what is that graph going to look like by the time that Windows 8 actually SHIPS? The other app stores are up and running TODAY, and in the case of the Chrome Web store, you just write your app using HTML5 and JS/CSS. No proprietary Win32 API to target in order to get your app to do useful things.

  • Jer

    Just buy a mac and be done with it. Easier all around. I gave up on Microsoft about 6 years ago and I’m SO glad I have. I rarely have issues with my network, computer or any other IT related device. Simply put I have more time to play with my family rather then having to play with the Microsoft BIG bag of hurt. 

  • Anonymous

    It would be nice if I could use Chrome apps without using a proprietary browser as well. 

  • Anonymous

    You wrote this the way I think and am thinking what you wrote. 

  • Ward

    Perhaps Mossy has so cultivated his identity as a whiner (or, “Whinger”) that the MS VPs find him easier to curse than take seriously. Big mistake. Mossy speaks for all of us when he asks”build with what?”.

    I can’t find a developer of any stature who can say confidently what the way forward is with MS technology and when to get on that road. Berating YOU for discomfiting observations on this topic is a marketing anti-pattern. When a food chain sickens its customers with contaminated beef, does the PR team tell the world to suck it up because the boss is an industry powerhouse with better beef on the way? Such a response … combined with the crazy secrecy … is some kind of self-destructive madness. I struggle to understand what Shaw thinks he’s accomplishing. Utterly childish. Maybe they should hire some Proctor & Gamble folks.

  • That wierd Beard guy scares the crap out of me… oops, that crap looks like Win8!

  • Hmmmm.  Indications are that Win8 won’t ship until late/mid next year.  I still deal with corporates who are happy on XP.  That means many Enterprises/Individuals won’t be on Win8 for another 4-5 years.  I wonder what the Google/Apple app store market share will look like then? 

    What’s the big deal making this Win 8 only?  Win7 has made many people happy.  Apple added their desktop appstore to the OS in a weekly update.  Why not Microsoft?  The appstore in NOT going to be the compelling reason for individuals to upgrade to Win8 when it launches. 

    Do it now before it’s too late … again.

  • Spiked3

    Windows 8 = climate change and you = al gore. Hang in there, you are the correct one here.

  • Borat

    Why you whinged and not lie back and enjoy it? You like my wife talk talk talk headake all time. Less talky more build babies like Microsoft boss man say.

  • BillyBob

    Apple shipped iPhone, iPhone2, iPhone3, and iPhone4 before the first Win Phone 7 phones appeared.
    MSFT missed the phone market and has a tiny market share.

    Apple shipped iPad, iPad2, and will probably ship iPad3 before the first Win 8 tablets will appear.
    Amazon has the low end of the tablet market covered with Kindle Fire, priced at $199.
    Amazon could even have a next generation tablet before Win 8 tablets appear.
    Lots of cheap Android tables are out or will be out long before Win 8 tablets.
    MSFT has missed the tablet market and will probably end up with a tiny market share.

    It sounds like MSFT is struggling these days.

  • Anonymous

    I think one of their goals with Win8 might be to create a tablet OS that can be used for production and not just pure consumption. But yeah, they are really late to the game and it will be tough especially if some of these Android tablets gain some traction in the next few months. 

  • Anonymous

    While reading the Twitter conversation, I pictured a schoolyard full of kids chanting “fight! fight! fight!”

  • Bobgogetem

    What a complete disaster!  I know that I will not be rushing to develop anything for Windows 8 anytime soon.  Microsoft lost my trust a while back after the whole Silverlight/HTML5 mess.  Microsoft is definitely losing its mojo and probably this developer.

  • Uh, you can.

  • Vít Sedláček

    God I love this. Scott can we has more video bits please? It’s hilarious. Perhaps something “the Office”-ish, you know, like your everyday dev goings-on, dealing with the topics you write about. That would be a blast.

  • Gartner predicts that by 2015 things will change even more in the mobile world: Symbian will become extinct, Android will take 50% of the market share, Microsoft will be in the 2nd place with 20% and iOS third with 19%.(http://mashable.com/2011/04/07/gartner-smartphone-2012/) . 

    Surprisingly, the numbers in the tablet world are different: iOS tablets in the first place with 45% of the market share, Android 2nd with 35% and Windows8 third with only 10% – http://redmondmag.com/articles/2011/09/22/third-place-for-microsoft-windows-8-tablet.aspx. So Gartner also thinks that Windows8 won’t be a true heir of Windows 7.

  • J Lewald

    Thats untrue

    Most HTML5 stuff only works fine in one browser.

  • Paul Mason

    I think that’s the most important thing to take away.  Developers have no idea where Microsoft is going, and their track record of ditching technology after a few years doesn’t build trust.  I have to assume that once the Silverlight 5 support runs out in 2021 the whole WinRT thing will be winding down or dead, and the next great thing on the rise (with whining and complaining).  Will Microsoft still be a HTML5 champion then?  Who knows, but my money is on “no”.  Sometimes I think ditching the dead Delphi was a bad idea – it’s still going after all these years, just not terribly popular.

  • Man, I like the site and I like the article.  What bugs me is how A LOT of people generalize and dummy down developers.
    I think people are caught up in the name of platform (Silverlight v/s WPF v.s WinRT). 
    From there, people throw in comments like.. “don’t know which direction MS is going, etc…”
    The skills you have from Silverlight or WPF or WinRT or XNA should EASILY transfer from one realm to another.
    Its not like you’re going from C# to C++ to JAVA to HTML5.
    If you’re a Windows developer, you should not be crying like a little girl because Silverlight may be dying.
    Even if you’re a .Net 1.1 developer using C#, you only learning curve should be XAML.
    Hell, i would even bet that only the Silverlight browser plugin is dying.
    And what is silverlight???  Its XAML plus C# to me.  The same as WPF…the same as WinRT.
    A developer with a year experience under his belt should be able to easily go from targeting Silverlight browser plugin to WPF to WinRT.

  • Solerman

    Big deal, windows is also a proprietary plataform on which the only thing made for it that works in other SO’s is java. At least chrome was already ported to the platforms where desktop matters and that’s a no issue

  • Paul Mason

    You’re missing the point.  As it stands now WinRT is Metro ONLY – it doesn’t support desktop mode (for business applications), and Metro isn’t suitable for (most) desktop applications.  The technologies that are suitable for desktop business applications (WPF, Silverlight and WinForms) are being sidelined with no replacement.  I agree, my WPF and Silverlight skills can be transferred to WinRT – the problem is that WinRT can’t be transferred to my target market.

  • That doesn’t make it “proprietary”. Go to nytimes.com/chrome in IE and see for yourself.