Are develoeprs shooting themselves in the foot?

HeyCori

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Mar 1, 2011
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As of last May Microsoft has sold 100 million Windows 8 licenses, easily eclipsing their Windows Phone install base. Even if only half those licenses are on active PCs then that's still more than Windows Phone. And yet, developer support for Windows Phone easily outpaces W8/RT. Does anyone else think that's strange? I know some developers will sight lack of consumer interest and general poor sales of Windows 8 tablets. However, after already achieving tens of millions of active users, isn't it time for developers to take a little bit of the blame? The consumers are there, and with the inclusion of Bay Trail, Snapdragon 800 and the Tegra 4, the hardware is there too. It seems to me that the biggest factor is a developers disinterest, more so than just sales and hardware.

Although, while I lack the skills to be a developer, I'm of the mindset of making as much money as possible. So from my perspective, I would support any platform where I could suspect a significant return. And it seems like, with there already being tens of millions of users, developers could build up interest but are instead waiting for someone else to do it.
 

gsquared

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Once RT gets some enterprise apps in its collection and wider adoption in the enterprise space you will see these developers begin writing RT apps. Small software houses just dont have the resources to put into what they would consider to be a risky venture.

Also, if you are only viewing from a US market perspective it may be scewed. MSFT is more of a global company than their competitors.
 

mparker

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Does anyone else think that's strange?

No. It's not enough that there are lots of win 8 systems out there that can run WinRT apps. Nearly all of them (all non-Windows RT systems) can also run windows 7 apps as well; meanwhile all those Windows 7, Vista, and XP systems can't run WinRT apps. So if we develop a WinRT version of our app it won't get is very many additional sales, but we'll have a lot more development and maintenance overhead with nothing to show for it. So as a developer, my best bet is to focus on my legacy apps for the time being. We are playing with WinRT development, but it is a very back burner (when we have free time) effort.

It also doesn't help that WinRT sucks pretty hard. At some point Microsoft will get serious about porting Office to WinRT and will make it usable for serious apps, but it isn't anywhere near there yet. Right now WinRT reminds me of Windows 286.

What will make WinRT compelling for developers is for sales of Windows RT tablets to take off. Those platforms can't be served by Windows 7 apps. But that outcome seems increasingly unlikely. So the next best alternative is for Microsoft to unify the WinRT and WP8 APIs, since there are a lot more WP8 devices than Windows RT devices.

It would also help of WinRT were backported to Windows 7 and Vista, though they would still to solve the suckiness of the WinRT API.
 
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