Is Microsoft abandoning small developers?

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I have always been a strong supporter of Microsoft and of Windows. Since 2010 (the first release of the Windows Phone) I have been active in developing Apps for the Windows Stores (both Desktop/Tablet and Phone).
For five years I have struggled with changing approaches (often contradictory) and development strategies, libraries that often seemed to mutate instead of evolving and preview SDKs.
With Windows 7, Windows RT and Windows 8 at least the developers had the chance of accessing the development tools some time before the release of the OS, and of modifying and testing their Apps so as to have them ready for the OS launch.
Yes, this was difficult and sometimes frustrating, but at least it treated all developers equally?
Since Windows 10 has come to the horizon, the approach seems to have changed. If you are one of the BIG developers, whose Apps are also on the other major platforms (Android, IOS etc.) you get early releases of the development tools and support from Microsoft.
If you are, as I am, a poor one-man development team with only a few (less than a dozen) apps in the Windows Store, what you get this time is nothing. The libraries for development were released at the same time as the OS, and I could not have my Apps ready for thelaunch of the OS. Microsoft says that the Apps that work on Windows 8.1 will also work on Windows 10, but believe me, this is not the case. I have had numerous complaints from users that found features of Apps on which they were relying did not work anymore, and I have had to go in emergency mode in order to fix it.
This has taken time from the conversion of Apps to Windows 10, but in any case too many of the features that developers rely on are still missing and/or very poorly documented. In particular I must mention OneDrive and the Ad Toolkit. For this latter, I have Windows 10 Apps released to the Store that simply cannot display the ads they are supposed to display.
I have a few questions entered in the MSDN forums, but the answers are scares and most often refer me to articles for a different version of Windows than Windows 10. To cap it all, at present I cannot even deploy apps to a Windows 10 Mobile phone for testing.
Microsoft seems to be determined to make life impossible for the small or sole developer, forgetting that 90% of the apps in the store come from people like me?
A special mention must also be made for all the samples that are supposed to guide the developers in their development. They are certainly written by interns, and not by developers with any experience of the real world.
To conclude this (small) complaint, I have had to fight for five years through a myriad of changes, many contradictory, through lack of information and extremely poor documentation, and while I have mostly succeeded, I have also started to port some of my apps to IOS (not Android, that environment is even worse for developers).
I have always refused to develop for other Oss, but Microsoft may succeed in forcing me to change my mind.


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Nov 5, 2015
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I have always been a strong supporter of Microsoft and of Windows.

As a developer, I wonder why you would make an "emotional" investment like this, rather than going where you think you'll both have better support, and potentially make more money.

I'm not going to tell you whether Microsoft has abandoned its devs. I am mearly going to give you my own throught process.

I HATE Apple, I really do. I hate their phones, I hate their PC's. In the enterprise, their PC's make me want to punch a hole through my monitor, and their phones are non-customizable I know better than you "user" that are all locked down. I use a Note 4 for my phone, and I love my Windows 10 PC's.

I'm going to be developing for iOS first... despite the fact I dislike Apple? Why? Because there are a lot of iPhone users that don't mind giving you money for your App. Will be working on a desktop version as well... (please god, let me be Steam Greenlit!") and porting to Android. Windows Phone is an "eeeeeeeeh, maybe, if I have time" kinda thing. not as many users, don't see the cash flow possibilities with Windows Phone.

So there you have it, I'm developing first for a platform I hate. Should you do this? Only you can answer that, but you need to look at your own effort vs reward calculations and come to the conclusion yourself.


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Nov 12, 2012
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This really is a meta topic that is beyond the scope of Ask a Question, where we seek to solve time critical issues that affect device function.

OP, if you wish an in depth discussion of this topic I would urge you to join the site and gain the benefit of a Reply button so you may start a dialog.

As it is, I'm moving this thread to a more appropriate area.

Best of Luck.


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Oct 17, 2015
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This reminds me about the once profilic developer that is the one which developed Game Dev Tycoon. It was a hit and it was Windows Store first, back in the Windows 8 (pre 8.1) days, Greenheart Studios, wasn't it.

Despite for being very successful, I have heard from the dev (indie obviously) complaining that Microsoft dropping interests in his works right after he has his app published in the store. He continued to make great successes in Steam eventually, because Windows 7 was a big thing back then. But this story speaks volumes about how Microsoft treats us indie dev.

I think Microsoft can and will keep treating us like trash. Why? All the good devs are apparently in Apple AppStore already. They want to woe those devs in with all the bridges. About .NET/WinRT devs? Eh, they are going to stay in the Windows Store anyway, why bother?

Saddening, actually.


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Aug 9, 2015
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It has been a struggle to develop for Metro (yeah I said it, sue me!) over the years, and yes there have been drastic changes, reboots and pretty much every day something new to learn. However, I think now that Windows 10 is finally here we will see the much desired evolution of APIs rather than the constant depreciation of them. I will only develop for Windows because of Visual Studio, it is the best IDE in the world, I've tried xcode, I've tried eclipse, I've tried mono something.., I've tried androids app studio thing etc, hell I've even tried PhoneGap in dreamweaver a few years back. Nothing even comes close to the power of Visual Studio and every year it just keeps getting better and better. I develop apps and software as a hobby in my spare time, I develop enterprise software at work, so what I need out of developing apps is to enjoy doing it. Yes I want to get rich one day by making a killer app but I won't develop for Android or iPhone to get rich if I can't enjoy the process of creating something. Yes I could use something like Xamarin and have a much better chance of actually making money but I would rather make something I enjoy making and enjoy using for the platform I use myself. I have a lot of hope for Windows 10 and I believe that within a couple of years that 1 billion devices mark will be hit, and that is surely a market worth targetting.

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