- Jan 10, 2013
In 2015 Microsoft will add new APIs to the Modern UI for the development of apps optimized for keyboard and mouse. So, in future most of the apps, including productivity apps, will be Modern apps distributed through the store.
One thing is the shell, other thing are the apps. Apps optimized for touch can run in the awful windowed shell of Windows 7. Apps optimized for keyboard and mouse could run in the beautiful Modern UI shell without any chrome.
Well at some point we are just splitting hairs, but when I mentioned Modern UI apps I made a point to say "as it is currently."
MS is already bringing flat design to desktop apps (Visual Studio 2013, Office 2013, etc.). If that UI look along with being sold in the Windows Store is what you are calling "Modern UI" then I tend to agree with you.
However, when I was saying "Modern UI development won't be replacing desktop development", what I really mean is WinRT won't be replacing desktop program development any time soon. I feel that way because WinRT is really just a limited (by design) subset off the existing frameworks and APIs used in desktop development. It's based on things like .Net, XAML, DirectX etc. just like desktop runtimes, but it's more locked down and with a subset of features in order to keep it light and more secure. If MS adds all of the desktop level functionality back in to WinRT they will have recreated/duplicated their existing desktop development frameworks and they will no longer have a runtime appropriate for low power devices. WinRT might be new, but the technology isn't any more advanced than the current MS desktop frameworks. They share the same core frameworks. There is no reason for one to replace the other. I'm sure they will continue to share new features (as appropriate) and design elements as time goes on. It's really not much different than "Windows 10" which is actually a family of OSes optimized for different requirements.
How does forcing full-screen tablet app experience help desktop users? Why this dogmatic attempt to force the tablet paradigm on a friggen desktop PC?
The "full screen tablet app experience" has been optional in Windows 8 from day one (with the exception of the Start Screen). The traditional desktop apps that come with Windows 7 are still present in Windows 8 along with any third party desktop apps you want to install. Windows Media Player, desktop IE, desktop Skype, desktop photo viewer, etc. are all still there. The full screen touch apps have been added so that Windows 8 can also be used on touch devices. They do not take anything away from the desktop.
If MS had removed all the desktop programs and replaced them with the touch apps then your description of "forcing tablet apps on desktop users" would make sense. However, that really isn't the case is it? You don't have to use them if they don't fit the workflow of your device.
The Modern UI functionality was obviously added so that Windows could be used on a wide range of devices and not limited to only laptops and desktops. It also allows for hybrid devices which would not be possible if MS split the functionality into separate OSes (like Apple's iOS/OSX). For some reason a lot of people do mental gymnastics to characterize additional and optional functionality as a "limitation" even though the original options are still there.
The only exception is the Start Screen, but that is an element that is shared by both touch and keyboard/mouse users so it is bound to have some compromises.