10-08-2013 08:16 PM
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  1. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    It's not magic. It's actually pretty "easy." Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 have become much closer and apps can share much of the same code base. In fact, I think the APIs for each are the biggest difference that developers have to accommodate for. If they update the APIs to be the same, it will help a lot. It's then just a matter of the developers adjusting the UI for different screen sizes.

    Apple already allows developers to use the same app for both iPhone and iPad. Our companies app is just one app and it automatically detects which version to install based on the device.

    Microsoft is only a few steps away from a platform that you can literally code once and install on all devices. Really, web applications that use Responsive Design are essentially the same thing. They use the same code for the backend and even much of the front end. The responsive websites I've coded only needed about 10-15% more front end code (HTML/CSS) to make them responsive (optimized) to all devices.

    Microsoft will have an amazing development environment...

    1. One set of code that works on phones, tablets, laptops, desktops, and xbox/tv.

    2. Many code development options for enterprise .net developers and web HTML/CSS developers alike.
    It's a good thing that you put "easy" in quotes. Microsoft is still very far from what you are envisioning. Microsoft has been promising "code once, run everywhere" for over 15 years.
    09-28-2013 11:08 PM
  2. spaulagain's Avatar
    It's a good thing that you put "easy" in quotes. Microsoft is still very far from what you are envisioning. Microsoft has been promising "code once, run everywhere" for over 15 years.
    And so that means they'll never get there? Maybe they didn't get there before because technology hasn't made that easy? And what did "everywhere" mean 15 years ago? Desktops and laptops? Smartphones were just a niche market that was still grossly underpowered. You couldn't develop the same application for them.

    I'm not saying that in the next 6 months it will all be one easy press of a button. But they are closer to it than they ever have been. And for the first time in Microsoft history, they have pushed a unified portfolio that has completely reinvented their entire line of products. They want this all the merge. To the point they've completely restructured the company to blend a once ver siloed company.

    MS isn't just blowing smoke up peoples asses, they are doing it. They aren't "very far." Especially with them treating web development as first class development platform, it really makes coding once much easier. That's what Responsive Design web applications are, code once, code everywhere.
    09-28-2013 11:28 PM
  3. Christian Kallevig's Avatar
    Microsoft is definitely moving towards unifying the APIs across platforms. My understanding is that the Xbox One is effectively already the same as Windows 8 save for a few things that make sense to be different, and that we could see true unification of Windows Phone (WinPRT currenttly) and WinRT APIs as early as the end of next year. I don't know that this will happen, and even if it does it will likely be a while before most apps are updated to take advantage of it, but I think they will get there and that they are pushing to do it soon.

    Microsoft may be a lumbering giant much of the time, but they are not stupid and they know how important getting this right is. This is essential to growing their app ecosystem, as it would lower the barrier to entry for developers as well as reduce the resources (and therefore time and money) they need to spend. Plus it will allow for the gaps currently left on each platform to be filled by the other to some degree, and really Microsoft needs all the advantages they can get here right now
    09-29-2013 12:54 AM
  4. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    And so that means they'll never get there? Maybe they didn't get there before because technology hasn't made that easy? And what did "everywhere" mean 15 years ago? Desktops and laptops? Smartphones were just a niche market that was still grossly underpowered. You couldn't develop the same application for them.

    I'm not saying that in the next 6 months it will all be one easy press of a button. But they are closer to it than they ever have been. And for the first time in Microsoft history, they have pushed a unified portfolio that has completely reinvented their entire line of products. They want this all the merge. To the point they've completely restructured the company to blend a once ver siloed company.

    MS isn't just blowing smoke up peoples asses, they are doing it. They aren't "very far." Especially with them treating web development as first class development platform, it really makes coding once much easier. That's what Responsive Design web applications are, code once, code everywhere.
    You're are certainly entitled to your opinion. My history of developing for Microsoft platforms and listening to their frequent promises of convergence over the past xx years leads me to form the conclusion that I have. There is far more to the matter of true convergence than what is possible with "Responsive Design web applications". So there ya go.
    a5cent likes this.
    09-29-2013 08:39 AM
  5. Christian Kallevig's Avatar
    Microsoft has always been a large, disorganized company. Sometimes I wonder if different groups within Microsoft communicate at all, or if there is any kind of unifying direction within the company... That said, I genuinely believe they have seen the need for change now, and that change is coming. Although I think a lot of this hinges on who the new CEO is. They've got to pick someone who can look at their situation objectively and make some hard choices.
    09-29-2013 09:43 AM
  6. tgp's Avatar
    I've heard that if we knew how disjointed Microsoft was we'd be surprised that they can produce anything at all! I suppose that that's true, to some extent, for any company that size.
    a5cent and BIGPADDY like this.
    09-29-2013 10:45 AM
  7. txkimmers's Avatar
    Watch this video.

    This video totally sold me. Those options, plus Office 2013 with Outlook, plus expandable memory....I had zero interest in a tablet of any kind until now. Starting my Xmas Gift campaign today.
    a5cent, BIGPADDY and ohgood like this.
    09-29-2013 01:06 PM
  8. DCProjMgr's Avatar
    If it requires a stand alone app, Amazon has only done those for their store and Kindle. If it can be accessed through a web interface then it will work through IE 11 on a RT device.
    But, not in HD!. Only the Fire and some TV's and DVR's can do that. So, Amazon's got you there if you are a Prime subscriber.

    Also, if MS made a 7 or 8 inch tablet running Windows RT with a decent screen and as light as the Fire I would snap it up in a second, even if it cost more than the Kindle. In my opinion, that is the only form factor where RT makes sense.
    10-01-2013 12:32 PM
  9. rea2013's Avatar
    My standard response for all competing products now is "Can it play Halo?"
    I do the exact same thing, in a joking way though :) . I have this friend who was going to get a Lumia 920 and got an GS3, I keep telling him stuff like "I'm just off to play Halo, on my phone of course." I also sometimes do the same thing with wireless charging, etc.
    10-04-2013 02:17 PM
  10. a5cent's Avatar
    My understanding is that the Xbox One is effectively already the same as Windows 8 save for a few things that make sense to be different
    And that is exactly why we will never have complete API unification. There are always differences, and the closer people program to the hardware (as in games, which are in no way comparable to web applications) the less those differences are masked by API's. You can't make something identical that is fundamentally different, and the deeper you dig, the less identical you realize phones, tablets, desktops and servers are.

    MS can obviously get closer than they are right now, and that is great, but at least the lower level APIs will never be identical.
    WillysJeepMan likes this.
    10-04-2013 02:44 PM
  11. Christian Kallevig's Avatar
    Of course it can never be truly identical, but if you're going through something like DirectX and other things that are already capable of working on different platforms with minimal effort then at least the amount of actual new code that needs to be written can be greatly reduced.

    And for things that don't need low level access, which is probably most apps, then the 'write once, run anywhere' thing is not terribly impractical.
    10-04-2013 02:51 PM
  12. a5cent's Avatar
    Of course it can never be truly identical, but if you're going through something like DirectX and other things that are already capable of working on different platforms with minimal effort then at least the amount of actual new code that needs to be written can be greatly reduced.

    And for things that don't need low level access, which is probably most apps, then the 'write once, run anywhere' thing is not terribly impractical.
    I think we are pretty much in agreement. It's just that the expectations people have when they hear the term "API unification" usually go beyond what we just discussed. The expectation usually is that you would be able to deploy the exact same application to different devices, with a code base that is able to completely ignore differences in screen size, the set of sensors, CPU and GPU performance characteristics, etc. In reality, no matter how unified the APIs get, we will always hear of porting efforts between devices. Always. The goal of API unification is to reduce the amount of effort required to the lowest possible levels, which in some cases, may still be a lot of work.
    10-04-2013 03:00 PM
  13. Christian Kallevig's Avatar
    Anyone who thinks that is just plain ignorant. The hardware differences between, say, a desktop PC and a Windows Phone are far too enormous for something to work without some retooling, or at the very least being programmed to be adaptable to different scenarios.

    I'm not a software developer myself, and the only programming language I've ever learned is Blitz Basic... But even I can appreciate that the more low-level access you require, the more work it's going to take to port something, no matter what APIs you use.
    10-04-2013 03:07 PM
  14. Jas00555's Avatar
    I don't know why we're freaking out about "unified API". No large company has that.

    People keep talking about Apple, but hell, they have 3 different stores: The Mac app store, the IOS store (and there are a lot of iPhone apps that don't scale very well to iPad apps), and the Apple TV apps. Sure, they're similar, but definitely not unified.
    10-04-2013 03:11 PM
  15. SwimSwim's Avatar
    I so agree. Surface RT/2 is made for students. Free Office with laptop experience AND full tablet experience in a robust design.
    I agree with you 100%, the problem is, again, getting the market to realize that.

    I've said it a bazillion times already, but I'm in highschool. If you were to ask all the kids what kind of tablet they want, 87% of responses would be an iPad, 12% of responses would be some kind of Android tablet, and the other 2% would be me on probably a few others kids who would answer a Microsoft Surface.

    The Surface definitely is much better for homework and such, but many kids aren't even aware it exists. Also, the small app market is a real pain. Sure, it's awesome when you're getting work done, but when it's time for play, the Windows Store leaves a lot to be desired. Yes, I'm aware it's up to use early adopters to grow and nurture the OS, but kids aren't going to care how much school work they can get done if they can't play afterwards.

    Seriously, "Hey kids, would you rather have a tablet that lets you do your homework, or a tablet that lets you plays lots and lots of games?!" What do you think the response will be? So while I will personally enjoy how much easier school work will be since I won't have to use the laptops anymore (once I buy my Pro), most kids are just fine with using the crappy school laptops for their work, and then their iPhones and iPads for play.

    So, for the schools example, two major obstacles:
    1) Getting kids to acknowledge the thing even EXISTS.
    2) Getting more apps, so they'll have enough games to make them feel it's worth buying.
    Laura Knotek and a5cent like this.
    10-06-2013 11:19 AM
  16. Christian Kallevig's Avatar
    Well if we want to get people interested, I think it's important to stress that Surface can do a lot of cool things and the fact that it is great for being productive is just an awesome bonus. Really the form factor lends itself to more than just work, and people need to be made to understand that
    Laura Knotek and rav16 like this.
    10-06-2013 12:16 PM
  17. ohgood's Avatar
    Well if we want to get people interested, I think it's important to stress that Surface can do a lot of cool things and the fact that it is great for being productive is just an awesome bonus. Really the form factor lends itself to more than just work, and people need to be made to understand that

    please send microsoft an email, and ask them to SHOW IT WORKING just like the video above does.

    dancing ads and trying to ***** apple in the ribs just isn't getting it out.
    10-08-2013 08:23 AM
  18. Christian Kallevig's Avatar
    The Surface Frames ad comes painfully close to actually advertising it well except for one huge, gaping, enormous flaw: It talks about Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 as if they are the same product.
    10-08-2013 08:52 AM
  19. chezm's Avatar
    The Surface Frames ad comes painfully close to actually advertising it well except for one huge, gaping, enormous flaw: It talks about Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 as if they are the same product.
    very true...there should be a definitive Surface Pro 2 logo at the end...they should also mention the term 'Pro' more with the examples.
    10-08-2013 08:55 AM
  20. SwimSwim's Avatar
    The Surface Frames ad comes painfully close to actually advertising it well except for one huge, gaping, enormous flaw: It talks about Surface 2 and Surface Pro 2 as if they are the same product.
    I noticed the same. It was a great ad, aside from the fact it could potentially be very misleading.
    10-08-2013 10:08 AM
  21. WillysJeepMan's Avatar
    Never underestimate Microsoft's ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
    tgp and SwimSwim like this.
    10-08-2013 11:34 AM
  22. Blacklac's Avatar
    But, not in HD!. Only the Fire and some TV's and DVR's can do that. So, Amazon's got you there if you are a Prime subscriber.
    Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying, but any device with Flash can stream Amazon Prime in HD. The Blackberry Playbook I've had for a few years could do it out of the box and even mirror it to any HDMI TV. Granted, I cancelled my Prime membership. Being able to only watch certain season's of series was a deal breaker. Perhaps Amazon restricted Prime now on certain devices, I dont know...
    10-08-2013 11:47 AM
  23. SwimSwim's Avatar
    Maybe I'm not understanding what you're saying, but any device with Flash can stream Amazon Prime in HD. The Blackberry Playbook I've had for a few years could do it out of the box and even mirror it to any HDMI TV. Granted, I cancelled my Prime membership. Being able to only watch certain season's of series was a deal breaker. Perhaps Amazon restricted Prime now on certain devices, I dont know...
    Not a restriction so much as Amazon is still working on building up their content library. What is a restriction is how Prime videos can only be downloaded offline to their Kindle Fire devices, and how the Prime ebook borrowing thing only works on Kindles.
    10-08-2013 08:16 PM
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