05-02-2013 05:44 PM
61 123
tools
  1. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    The thing is, the .NET runtime was never designed to be as portable across systems as was the java platform. The runtime environment and Windows aren't really separate entities. One example of this is the extent to which the .NET runtime makes direct calls into MinWin. The two are "baked" together. So, the only viable solution Microsoft really had was to bring MinWin over to WP, and MinWin includes the kernel.
    WinRT doesn't call MinWin (which is an internal thing far below what we're discussing here), it calls the regular Win32 APIs. WinRT is just another user mode app framework. In fact, when I profiled my WinPRT app while it was doing intensive Direct3D work on my HTC 8X, I was surprised to see that the largest amount of time was spent in, get this, GDI32.DLL (42%). The second highest component was the Snapdragon 8960 DX9 graphics driver (at 12%). I asked MSFT about GDI32.DLL on Windows Phone 8 and why it was involved at all but received no response. It would be interesting to profile a pure XAML+C# app on a phone to see how much GDI32.DLL shows up (my guess is a lot since the XAML renderer uses D3D, which is probably the component that touches GDI32). One final note on this topic, in my profile I also saw that DWRITE.DLL was in use. WinPRT apps are not allowed to use DirectWrite. Why not? Basically, you have most of the important Win32 APIs sitting right there on the phone, ready to use yet MSFT artificially restricts accessing them. It's silly.

    I was a C++ programmer and I would disagree. Most of the OS doesn't run in kernel mode. That includes all of the API surface exposed by Win32. If you look at Microsoft's architectural diagrams of Windows, you will find Win32 sitting at least one layer above the kernel.
    When I said "Windows kernel" I was referring to something more general. Maybe a better term is "Windows Core" or "Win32 API". It's difficult to come up with a description of what I mean by "core" given all the bits and pieces in the Win32 API ... but basically I'm referring to the commonly used components in C++ programs (e.g. File APIs, WinInet, WinSock, etc.). It was silly to artificially prevent access to these well known and battle-tested APIs.
    04-25-2013 11:07 PM
  2. spaulagain's Avatar
    WinRT doesn't call MinWin (which is an internal thing far below what we're discussing here), it calls the regular Win32 APIs. WinRT is just another user mode app framework. In fact, when I profiled my WinPRT app while it was doing intensive Direct3D work on my HTC 8X, I was surprised to see that the largest amount of time was spent in, get this, GDI32.DLL (42%). The second highest component was the Snapdragon 8960 DX9 graphics driver (at 12%). I asked MSFT about GDI32.DLL on Windows Phone 8 and why it was involved at all but received no response. It would be interesting to profile a pure XAML+C# app on a phone to see how much GDI32.DLL shows up (my guess is a lot since the XAML renderer uses D3D, which is probably the component that touches GDI32). One final note on this topic, in my profile I also saw that DWRITE.DLL was in use. WinPRT apps are not allowed to use DirectWrite. Why not? Basically, you have most of the important Win32 APIs sitting right there on the phone, ready to use yet MSFT artificially restricts accessing them. It's silly.


    When I said "Windows kernel" I was referring to something more general. Maybe a better term is "Windows Core" or "Win32 API". It's difficult to come up with a description of what I mean by "core" given all the bits and pieces in the Win32 API ... but basically I'm referring to the commonly used components in C++ programs (e.g. File APIs, WinInet, WinSock, etc.). It was silly to artificially prevent access to these well known and battle-tested APIs.
    Silly from your perspective but maybe MS had good reasons of their own.

    I think they are simply in the process of building this environment. Just the fact that they are unifying these products is a million mile stones ahead of where MS was just a couple years ago. Its pretty impressive what that company has done over the past 2 years across their entire portfolio.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    04-25-2013 11:23 PM
  3. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    Silly from your perspective but maybe MS had good reasons of their own.

    I think they are simply in the process of building this environment. Just the fact that they are unifying these products is a million mile stones ahead of where MS was just a couple years ago. Its pretty impressive what that company has done over the past 2 years across their entire portfolio.
    There are two problems with C++ development on WinPRT (no XAML access and large differences between WinRT and WinPRT) and there are no "good" reasons for those limitations. In a MSDN blog post, one of the Dev Managers for WinPRT said that they weren't 'philosophically opposed' to C++ XAML access but that they 'ran out of time'. I assume this is also the reason for the API inconsistencies, too. This is unacceptable for a strategic product from a company with 90,000+ employees. The dev managers should have recognized the time shortfall early on and fought for more dev help (and upper management should have offered the WinPhone team anything they needed).

    We shouldn't be sitting around waiting for MSFT to get it "right" with Windows Blue. I don't know what they're smoking up in Redmond these days but they appear to be unaware of the dire situation for them out here in the real world.
    04-26-2013 08:59 AM
  4. sandmanfvr's Avatar
    We shouldn't be sitting around waiting for MSFT to get it "right" with Windows Blue. I don't know what they're smoking up in Redmond these days but they appear to be unaware of the dire situation for them out here in the real world.
    Couldn't agree more and I am not into the development discussion per say. I see another Tweet on the news page and who bets that is just hot air? Releasing an app every month or so isn't cutting it.
    04-26-2013 10:01 AM
  5. spaulagain's Avatar
    There are two problems with C++ development on WinPRT (no XAML access and large differences between WinRT and WinPRT) and there are no "good" reasons for those limitations. In a MSDN blog post, one of the Dev Managers for WinPRT said that they weren't 'philosophically opposed' to C++ XAML access but that they 'ran out of time'. I assume this is also the reason for the API inconsistencies, too. This is unacceptable for a strategic product from a company with 90,000+ employees. The dev managers should have recognized the time shortfall early on and fought for more dev help (and upper management should have offered the WinPhone team anything they needed).

    We shouldn't be sitting around waiting for MSFT to get it "right" with Windows Blue. I don't know what they're smoking up in Redmond these days but they appear to be unaware of the dire situation for them out here in the real world.
    But that's based on your perspective from your chair that is not in Microsoft's headquarters.

    What you are failing to recognize is the general state of the Microsoft company just 2 years ago. For over a decade that companies work environment has been siloed to hell. Former employees talk about it all the time and it shows in Microsoft's products over the years. That has huge effect on several aspects for product releases. First off, it means the teams that work on different products often don't communicate or integrate very well. Second, those teams are limited to the resources they have, they can't just borrow some developers from the other products. Especially because those developers are not familiar with the products environment.

    Microsoft has publicly stated the efforts over the past 2 years to reinvent not only their products, but themselves. There has been massive reorganization, new management, new product directions, and a whole new concept for their products interface and development process. They are doing all of this at the same time. It does not surprise me one bit that they ran out of time or resources. They can't forever delay the products release or they'll miss the opportunity with the customers.

    Its just not as easy as you think it is to steer a giant company like that and get every desired feature out at once.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    04-26-2013 05:28 PM
  6. fatclue_98's Avatar
    It's one thing to have fewer apps than the competition, it's another drop apps that were previously available. I was activating a Titan a couple of days ago and was re-installing some apps that I had used in the past. To my surprise I received numerous error messages that read "this app is no longer published". Example, the Walgreen's app on WP7 was worlds better than the iOS counterpart (for once) and now the only choice (for lack of a better word) is no more than a link to the mobile website. That's unacceptable. I can do the same from my PalmOS Treo and at least have a real keyboard. Heck, I can do the same on a feature phone with a WAP browser. When you have 700k apps available you can afford to jettison some duplicate apps that have low churn. When you only have 1 or 2 of something.....you get the gist.
    04-26-2013 06:59 PM
  7. svenhassel's Avatar
    Guys, the situation is not bad. Its not as good as iOS of course, but is not terrible as some people want to make others think.

    Many apps in the others OSs had to just provide basic stuff that the platform didnt have (iOS didnt have an apple official alarm clock until 2012).

    I have an iPad, and I just keep using regularly 10 apps. And I even dont miss them on the phone, cause they have different functions. Flipboard on the phone? Yeah, it could be nice, but I would never use it.

    WP8 problem is not the lack of apps, is the lack of a notification center, and other basic stuff (lack of USB sync with Outlook). And even those problems are not so serious.

    Each platform has its trade offs: iOS has static icons and comes in expensive packages, android is a resource hog, is fragmented and is insecure for business. When android started, it was terrible as an OS, and the apps sucked. It gradually improved over the years. WP8 will probable improve too, both in the core stuff, and the app selection. Anyway, its a great platform now, and its a matter of taste. For me the best experiences come from iOS and WP8. Android is a big advertising for Googles services that suck your information.
    04-26-2013 08:09 PM
  8. Lumiaddict's Avatar
    I love my 920...I dont plan on changing phones any time soon. I only started this post to spark good convo lol
    04-26-2013 10:34 PM
  9. Mike Gibson's Avatar
    Second, those teams are limited to the resources they have, they can't just borrow some developers from the other products. Especially because those developers are not familiar with the products environment.
    It doesn't require borrowing devs from other products. The MSFT devs are not single function robots that can only work on one part of a project. You may have a GDI guy that does some work in KERNEL or USER or whatever is required at the time. This mostly happens when a dev is finished with his/her specific work on the main project (and especially when there are piles of beta bug reports to sort through/classify/fix/postpone/etc).

    Anyway, blabbing about stuff like this doesn't solve anything. Who knows what will happen. I hope MSFT comes to its senses and makes some drastic changes. Their future is at stake.
    04-27-2013 12:11 AM
  10. Daniel Ratcliffe's Avatar
    The racism and personal attacks stop right now! Any more racist attacks will receive discrimination infractions which is an instant permanent ban. Don't do it!
    05-01-2013 03:35 AM
  11. gpstrucker's Avatar
    I appreciate everyone's input on this, especially the developers as they would know better than anyone what hurdles exist (or don't exist) in developing high quality, full featured apps for WP.

    I really hope things improve and we see many more high quality apps that provide the same (or better) features compared to iOS and Android in the near future. As I previously stated, I love the OS and the UI, but am simply disappointed at this time with the quality of the available apps.
    05-02-2013 05:44 PM
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