Thoughts on Windows 8 Details

Yesterday at All Things D, Microsoft announced Windows 8 (codename of course) details, and a first glimpse on video
 

Windows 8 Video #1

My initial reactions to this, as a consumer and as a development manager of an app that at this time is completely windows desktop .NET based:

HTML5/JS Apps

First reaction? Why not just use a browser? and How are they going to interact with the OS? What level’s of rights will they have to read/write file system, etc, etc. Also, what happens to Silverlight? C++/Winforms apps? Yeah they show old apps running “behind” the new UI, but what is MIcrosoft’s stance on development of these other technologies? WPF? They have told devs to build using these tech’s for desktop for years, now, lets go HTML5/JS? WTF? Will apps run in browser too? On a mac? iOS?

Tiles

First reaction? Looks like an exploded Windows Phone UI, WP7. Which at first blush looks cool but I have found usability to be painful. Seems to be more of a shell UI on top of Windows 7 (or whatever). They should call it Windows Blinds Smile

In General

I think that this will be a good refresh for the OS, but it might take a few iterations for this new UI to be used heavily. My take? Users will get the OS installed and (hopefully there will be an option to) turn off the new UI and go back to what they have used for years. Slowly but surely the new UI will take hold with some cool apps and more and more people will use that and get used to it, abstracted away from the core OS explorer, etc.

Looking forward to trying it out in beta, and when it goes live. I will give MSFT this, they keep things changing so devs have to keep learning! Oh yeah, and PDC is no longer, it is now BUILD – http://www.buildwindows.com/

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on Windows 8 Details”

  1. I think its about choosing the right tool for the job. Are you a web developer writing web applications, then use HTML 5. Are you a traditional Windows developer and need to have full access to the operating system, use WPF or Silverlight.

    I have not heard anything about WPF and Silverlight being depreciated. Sure, there is alot of talk about HTML5, but Microsoft is a big company with lots of teams, they can work on multiple technologies at the same time. If Microsoft wasn’t doing anything with HTML5, people would be giving them crap about that.

    I think the tiles will make the desktop space more usable. I pretty much use the start menu and pinned programs on the taskbar, leaving my desktop pretty sparse.

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  2. I think its about choosing the right tool for the job. Are you a web developer writing web applications, then use HTML 5. Are you a traditional Windows developer and need to have full access to the operating system, use WPF or Silverlight.

    I have not heard anything about WPF and Silverlight being depreciated. Sure, there is alot of talk about HTML5, but Microsoft is a big company with lots of teams, they can work on multiple technologies at the same time. If Microsoft wasn’t doing anything with HTML5, people would be giving them crap about that.

    I think the tiles will make the desktop space more usable. I pretty much use the start menu and pinned programs on the taskbar, leaving my desktop pretty sparse.

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    1. Yes and no :) .. if in windows 8 you can get full access to OS (an unknown at this point) – then it might make sense to get on the HTML5/JS train as you can make desktop apps AND web apps with the same tech. 

      They will never come out and say WPF and Silverlight are going away but they have never said it about Winforms either, but you don’t see any new developments on that front.

      It will be interesting to see what all comes about once we can get the bits installed.

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