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  1. inteller's Avatar
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       #1  
    ...is horrible. I really expected a lot of the top tier, top 50 apps to be here by now. Unlike Windows Phone 8, the Windows 8 SDK has been out much longer and devs have had plenty of time to get on. Instead we are seeing scads of RSS feed dreck and lots of "unofficial" apps that constitute IP theft.

    TO make matters worse, I confirmed a sneaking suspicion I had yesterday at Best Buy....exclusive app crap....for stuff like Amazon on Acer. Seriously? Windows is the LAST place you want to introduce this app fragmentation crap. People EXPECT to have an app available everywhere if they have Windows.

    The holidays are the BEST time to showcase your app on a new PC, and someone has dropped the ball big time not getting more top name apps to the platform in short order.
  2. pavlovscow's Avatar
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    #2  
    Which apps are you expecting? I don't anticipate to many companies doing major app reconstruction for Windows 8 since it still supports the older version on "The Desktop". I personally hate falling back into the desktop, reminding me of Windows 3.1 and having to launch command line apps in a tiny window. It just feels old. I imagine the major players won't do a major update until next year when they see that Windows 8 is going to stick around.
  3. mparker's Avatar
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    #3  
    It's doing about what I expected. As I've been saying for months, WinRT is far too immature and unpleasant to be taken seriously by developers at this point (notice that Microsoft can't even write a decent email client with it, much less something significant like a WinRT version of Office). Although I've been hammered for making saying this, I'll repeat it here - there just isn't enough incremental market share to be gained from suffering through a major WinRT effort, even had Windows 8 really taken off. For WinRT to be worth developing for, there needed to be a huge movement of *ARM* tablets - Clover Trail does nothing for WinRT marketshare since it can also run traditional Vista and Win7 apps. We're in the process of writing a touch app for Windows 7, and it's been as easy as pie, it needed a new UI with a lower-density touch-friendly design (easy with WPF), and make sure the app is lean and battery-friendly. Due to the nature of the app it made a good test-case for WinRT evaluation. Firstly the fact that WinRT isn't supported on Win7 and Vista was immediately a problem, and will be until the Win8 adoption levels get much higher. The WinRT API itself was awesome if you're trying to write a calculator app, or a RSS scraper, or the sort of games that used to be written in Flash, or a few other things that it has extensive support for. Anything beyond that and you'll spend all your time fighting the API instead of getting useful work done.

    In some ways the WinRT thing reminds me of the early days with the PS3 and Xbox 360. Like the PS2, the PS3 was difficult to develop for but developers put up with it because that's where the market share was. The transition to the PS3/X360 changed that dynamic, suddenly the Xbox offered a comparable market and since developers were starting from scratch anyway they opted for the easier and more mature development system and the PS3 tended to get the lower-quality ports. Like Sony, Microsoft has a habit of aggravating-to-use APIs (Win16, Win32, OLE2 - the .NET BCL was a delightful exception). Like Sony, Microsoft continued this tradition at a time of transition when the market share argument wasn't sufficiently in their favor.

    Philosophically, WinRT reminds me of Newspeak from Orwell's 1984, which was deliberately crippled language who's primary goal was to make it impossible to say or think bad things (from the government's perspective). WinRT is a deliberately crippled API who's primary goal is to make it impossible to write bad programs (from Microsoft's point of view). But Microsoft's point of view is not our point of view, nor our customers' point of view. They have real problems that need real software solutions, and if WinRT makes it impossible (or even difficult) to accomplish that, then Apple and Google are happy to offer viable alternatives.
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  4. Laura Knotek's Avatar

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    #4  
    I think the main issue is because Windows 8 is still able to use the desktop, and also because Windows 8 has such low market share still.

    For example, Windows 8 has a "News" app, but why would I use it? I am able to get news by visiting news sites in a browser. Even if I read a story using the Windows 8 News app, I can't share it, since sharing by email tells folks to open it in the News app if they're running Windows 8. I don't know anyone who has Windows 8. Therefore, I'll just use the desktop and a browser and email a link to the story.

    The News app is even more useless with Twitter, since one cannot even share using any of the Windows 8 Twitter clients.
  5. inteller's Avatar
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       #5  
    I guess Microsoft should have just shipped 8 with a browser and nothing else. That seems to be the suggestion I get every time I ask "where is app X" Of course, in the case of Amazon and eBay, their apps are crap anyways and force me to use a browser instead of a sleek touch optimized experience. We are still lacking good banking/finance apps (still no Quicken oe mint.com?!?!) This week we got a NASCAR app (oh boy yee haw)...at this pace they might have all the apps I need by the time the Surface4 comes out.
  6. Laura Knotek's Avatar

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    #6  
    Quote Originally Posted by inteller View Post
    I guess Microsoft should have just shipped 8 with a browser and nothing else. That seems to be the suggestion I get every time I ask "where is app X" Of course, in the case of Amazon and eBay, their apps are crap anyways and force me to use a browser instead of a sleek touch optimized experience. We are still lacking good banking/finance apps (still no Quicken oe mint.com?!?!) This week we got a NASCAR app (oh boy yee haw)...at this pace they might have all the apps I need by the time the Surface4 comes out.
    Ok. I think I understand what you saying now. It sounds like you are referring to Windows RT, not Windows 8.

    Yes, all of those apps make sense on RT. However, desktop Windows 8 is just as functional without the apps.
  7. inteller's Avatar
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       #7  
    Windows 8 Desktop is NOT the future.
  8. Laura Knotek's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by inteller View Post
    Windows 8 Desktop is NOT the future.
    The cloud and subscription services are the future. However, cost is also a major issue. Enterprises have already been using subscription services for Office licenses. However, whether or not consumers will pay for Office 365 subscriptions or opt for cheap or free alternatives is a big question.
  9. inteller's Avatar
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       #9  
    let me clarify, running everything through the Windows 8 Desktop "app" is not the future. As such, more Windows Store apps need to be forthcoming.
  10. Laura Knotek's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by inteller View Post
    let me clarify, running everything through the Windows 8 Desktop "app" is not the future. As such, more Windows Store apps need to be forthcoming.
    Yes, that does make sense.

    For example, the game apps would appeal to casual users. OTOH, hardcore gamers would still use desktop versions of games unless a Modern version of Diablo/Crysis/etc was as robust as the desktop version.
  11. mparker's Avatar
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    #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by inteller View Post
    Windows 8 Desktop is NOT the future.
    Unfortunately for Microsoft, WinRT may not be the future either.
  12. inteller's Avatar
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       #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by lak611 View Post
    Yes, that does make sense.

    For example, the game apps would appeal to casual users. OTOH, hardcore gamers would still use desktop versions of games unless a Modern version of Diablo/Crysis/etc was as robust as the desktop version.
    there is really no reason to not make a Windows 8 app of the same game since it will just shell out to a D3D session anyways. There is really no "robustness" to it, it is the same game just presented to the user differently. The "robustness" would come from whether it runs on x86 or ARM or both. The ARM games thus far have been a little underpowered.
  13. mparker's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by inteller View Post
    there is really no reason to not make a Windows 8 app of the same game since it will just shell out to a D3D session anyways.
    Development and support costs? Will enough more customers buy the game to justify the costs? Unless you are the developer of that game you really have no basis for a statement like this.
  14. jhoff80's Avatar
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    #14  
    I agree that the app situation is garbage, but it's almost entirely what I expected, unfortunately. Luckily, now that we have an MKV player, most of my immediate needs are met for now, but it's far from ideal.

    The one exception to it being how I expected, is I really thought the "First Wave" Xbox Games would mostly be out by now. I want Zombies!!! and The Gunstringer to hit already; for that matter I want Solitaire to finally be released for ARM (Taptiles and Minesweeper came last week, so hopefully Solitaire and Mahjong shouldn't be too far behind). And having Pinball FX2 is great, but we're about 20 tables behind the 360 version and iPad/Android Zen Pinball.

    And really surprising is that these Microsoft games (Solitaire, Taptiles, Minesweeper, Mahjong) prior to their updates all advertise features for compatibility with WP8 that aren't present yet- the ability to resume a game where you left off on your WP8 phone is nowhere to be found, despite being displayed prominently in the original releases of the apps. If anyone should've been ready for launch, it should've been the people that Microsoft is directly paying and putting their name on the product of.
  15. inteller's Avatar
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       #15  
    do they have those games for WP8 yet? only recently has Minesweeper and Taptiles been compiled for ARM devices.
  16. jhoff80's Avatar
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    No, but that's part of the problem. If anyone should've been ready, it should be Microsoft (or whoever they're contracting this out to, in this case Arkadium).
  17. inteller's Avatar
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       #17  
    ok I didn't think so. It just seems pretty simple logic. You have a web property. You have a new Start Screen. You could ask your users to come through the browser, or you could create a slick touch optimized app and stick it on its own tile right there in front of the users with one tap access. In sales they have this concept of friction and doing whatever you can to reduce that friction to get the sale. This is one of those friction reducing moves that every app worth its salt should be taking advantage of and getting front and center on the Start Screen.
  18. mparker's Avatar
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    #18  
    Quote Originally Posted by inteller View Post
    ok I didn't think so. It just seems pretty simple logic. You have a web property. You have a new Start Screen. You could ask your users to come through the browser, or you could create a slick touch optimized app and stick it on its own tile right there in front of the users with one tap access. In sales they have this concept of friction and doing whatever you can to reduce that friction to get the sale. This is one of those friction reducing moves that every app worth its salt should be taking advantage of and getting front and center on the Start Screen.
    And yet developers aren't flocking to produce WinRT apps. They aren't universally stupid, and they (or their management) understand the marketing and sales concepts perfectly well. So the fact that things aren't unfolding the way you expect should be a good clue that there's something very wrong with your analysis.

    There is essentially no market for WinRT applications. The fact that there are 40M+ machines out there capable of running WinRT is almost irrelevant, because very few of these users are captive to WinRT - they can buy or reuse their traditional applications. The WP market is much better for this reason, even though there are fewer WP systems out there than there are Win8 systems. On the flip side, developers that spend time writing a WinRT app will find that it only runs on Windows 8 and not the older Windows platforms - this asymmetry also makes WinRT much less attractive for developers, because it means that they cannot simply transition their users to the new WinRT app, they must keep supporting and enhancing it in parallel with their traditional apps, so not only is it a significant up-front cost, it is a significant recurring cost. Android and iPhone users that complain about WP apps and WinRT apps not being updated as frequently as the Android and iPhone apps are noticing a true phenomenon .

    This is not a hypothetical concern, and it is not developers being lazy or stupid or unimaginative. Since developing or porting software for WinRT isn't free, it must at a minimum offer a very good chance of recouping your investment, and preferably it should offer the best return on your investment of the various competing systems (iOS, Android, Win32/DirectX).

    This Engadget post is very relevant to the topic: Gaming company derides Microsoft Store: 'We've made the princely sum of 52'

    Microsoft is facing a pretty ugly chicken-and-egg problem here, and Sinofsky made some decisions about WinRT that make this much harder for them to solve. I think they're in a long-term trap unless the developer division managed to hide a skunkworks group doing a WinRT replacement.

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