03-12-2015 05:35 PM
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  1. EBUK's Avatar
    I want to be, but I'm not convinced that developers are going to develop universal apps.

    Facebook, SnapChat, banking apps, etc - the apps that form part of the 'app gap' - surely on the desktop we just use a web browser rather than installing apps for these sorts of things, so where is the motivation to develop them as universal apps?

    Am I missing something?
    01-24-2015 08:08 AM
  2. harihar akhil's Avatar
    Certainly you don't miss anything. Even when apps like outlook are available in windows PC I don't use them but I use them on my browser
    paulxxwall likes this.
    01-24-2015 08:33 AM
  3. TheCudder's Avatar
    There is no way to convince them to. It's really dependent upon the Windows tablet space to help with that, it has to do well. In order for Windows Phone & Windows PC's to reap the benefits of universal apps --- basically Windows Phones aren't going to attract many new users, and increased users with Windows PC's won't attract Dev's, it's got to be the tablet space that wins. Microsoft and it's OEM's really have to push the envelope with the "One device" ideology and offer MORE than what iOS and Android currently offers, and they need to showcase that with Windows 10 and innovative hardware designs. OEM's, Intel & Microsoft all need each other more than ever. It would really be beneficial to launch a x64 phablet + accessories to really kind of get the ball rolling on the "possibilities" front.

    Good things so far...
    • Streaming games from XBOX, but I'm betting we won't see that until 2016 at the earliest.
    • Cortana on the deskop, phone & tablet.
    • The new Spartan browser
    prasath1234 likes this.
    01-24-2015 08:36 AM
  4. Blkacesvf41's Avatar
    Certainly you don't miss anything. Even when apps like outlook are available in windows PC I don't use them but I use them on my browser
    If you're talking mobile, this line of thinking is shortsighted. Most apps offer features that the traditional browser can't match. Take a bank's mobile app as an example. Yes, you can use your browser and do your banking. But can you snap a picture of a check and make a deposit like you can right now with either your phone or tablet?
    chris722 likes this.
    01-24-2015 08:53 AM
  5. tiziano27's Avatar
    Apps have a number of benefits:
    *Faster than websites, improving the user experience.
    *Easier to launch from the start menu, the user doesn't have to write an address.
    *Developers can claim real state in your start menu with a live tile, showing attractive new content or useful information.
    *Discoverable in the app store, a new way to promote your content.
    *Touch friendly for tablets and convertibles.
    *Access to the notification center.
    *Can run in the background.
    *State and settings can be shared with mobile apps, to give a continuous experience.
    *Apps can use the payment system of the Windows Store.
    *It's easier to convince the user to login.
    *Offline use, cached content.

    The drawbacks of apps:
    *The app would be specific for Windows, increasing the cost of development.
    *It's easier to make a profit with ads in a web browser. Microsoft has to improve its ad network.
    *Apps don't work well with hyperlinking and search engines.

    Microsoft has to increase the benefits of apps for developers and minimize the drawbacks. Although, there are already enough benefits to motivate the development of apps for the PC.

    They have to push hard to get Windows 7 and 8 users to upgrade as fast as possible.
    Last edited by tiziano27; 01-24-2015 at 10:36 AM.
    01-24-2015 10:24 AM
  6. leo74's Avatar
    As a Developer, I am quite excited about the possibility of Universal Apps. Being able to develop core code once and use it for a PC/tablet and a phone environment will make my life a whole lot easier. Granted, I am not the classical "consumer" developer and develop mostly for the corporate environment (with ver few exceptions I do for fun), so my point of view is a bit different, but the ability to give my users the possibility to access their business applications from any device without having to write them twice is massive for me.
    I think developers need to rethink how they approach this. Let's face it, many apps for phones and tablets are nothing but polished web wrappers, so in this sector, there will be little incentive for unified apps. But as soon as you start creating real functionality in an application, being able to create code for one platform and distribute to many device categories is huge.
    01-24-2015 11:41 AM
  7. KevinM1's Avatar
    It's important to realize that Universal Apps doesn't mean all apps will be universal. Using the example someone above gave of a banking app, my bank's website is superior to the app they have. The only thing the app does well is check deposits through photos, and that's not something I can imagine doing on a desktop or laptop anyway.
    Blkacesvf41 likes this.
    01-24-2015 12:05 PM
  8. EBUK's Avatar
    I realise that not all apps are universal. I don't imagine for one moment that Premiere Pro would ever become a universal app, for example!

    MSFT has to attract the iOS and Android developers so that they will port their apps over. Will the promise of Universal Apps be so irresistible that these developers will feel compelled to join the WIndows party? I doubt it. They will only come if there is money to be made, and that means market share.

    Without apps, there is no market share; without market share there are no apps. Will Universal apps break that catch 22 situation.

    That's where I remain to be convinced.

    PS I love Windows phone, and do not foresee myself moving back to Android, or migrating to iPhones anytime in the immediate future.
    Blkacesvf41 and TheCudder like this.
    01-24-2015 12:35 PM
  9. chris722's Avatar
    I want to be, but I'm not convinced that developers are going to develop universal apps.

    Facebook, SnapChat, banking apps, etc - the apps that form part of the 'app gap' - surely on the desktop we just use a web browser rather than installing apps for these sorts of things, so where is the motivation to develop them as universal apps?

    Am I missing something?
    No one wants to use websites on mobile if they don't have to.

    I think HTML 5 was supposed to close the gap between the browser and the application but that has yet to happen.
    01-24-2015 12:52 PM
  10. KevinM1's Avatar
    No one wants to use websites on mobile if they don't have to.

    I think HTML 5 was supposed to close the gap between the browser and the application but that has yet to happen.
    It's a little more complicated than HTML 5. I mean, Windows 8 Metro apps can use HTML 5 to render views. I'd say a bigger problem is inconsistent touch input handling with the whole HTML/JavaScript stack. I'm not sure how it's handled, but it's certainly not as fluid or accurate as native.

    The other issue revolves around usage. HTML 5 is for websites. While one can make reactive sites that reshape themselves based on the size of the browser window, you're still running a program (website) within another program (browser). And the website can't talk to your device due to the way JavaScript is intentionally restricted (which is a good thing... I remember when malicious JS could alter/remove your browser chrome/buttons). And depending on the website in question, the bulk of it is finished processing once a page is rendered to the screen (PHP sites are usually single server process, fire and forget affairs, for example).

    So, yeah, a lot goes into making the decision "App, or reactive site?" There are pros and cons to both.
    01-26-2015 05:11 PM
  11. rhapdog's Avatar
    MSFT has to attract the iOS and Android developers so that they will port their apps over. Will the promise of Universal Apps be so irresistible that these developers will feel compelled to join the WIndows party? I doubt it. They will only come if there is money to be made, and that means market share.

    Without apps, there is no market share; without market share there are no apps. Will Universal apps break that catch 22 situation.

    That's where I remain to be convinced.
    This was a huge point that was talked about in the even held on the 21st of January.

    There are 1.5 Billion Windows Desktop users. 75+% of those are Windows 7 and up. That's well over a billion eligible for the free upgrade to Windows 10. Even a big majority of XP users are expected to finally upgrade, as this is the one many of them have been waiting for. I know a couple of corporations with thousands of PCs just waiting for 10 to upgrade their antiquated XP boxes into brand new Windows 10 boxes.

    A very large majority is expected to make the jump after it is available. That's going to be a lot of people on Windows 10. Developing apps for Windows 10 should be a no brainer. Market share will be HUGE for it already. Since the market share is already there, the app, which is universal, will be translated to Windows 10 for phones and tablets as well.

    Why make an app for Windows 10 as opposed to a desktop app to run across all Windows platforms? (Not just talking web wrappers here.) Because:
    1. it will be a very small minority of users that don't upgrade,
    2. market share is huge,
    3. a universal store browsed by over a billion people,
    4. those billion+ people will likely have multiple devices, and may end up switching multiple devices to Win10 in order to take advantage of having the same apps they already use at work and be able to put them on their tablets and phones.

    It's a brilliant vision. It will either work, or it won't. At this point, there is no way of knowing for sure, however the economics and the principles here are quite sound. If I were to bet money for or against it and risk losing my own personal money, I'd bet in favor of it, because I think it is just that likely that it will work.

    If I weren't already retired from developing, I'd be jumping at the chance to get in on this. I just really don't feel like jumping back into the game this late in life. I've got too much else to do, like raise my family. I'm 50 already, and keeping up with new technology every 6 months just isn't as much fun as keeping up with my 2 little girls that I get to raise.
    01-26-2015 07:53 PM
  12. spaulagain's Avatar
    Also keep in mind, MS is working on making develops able to build a Universal app in Visual Studio and deploy it to iOS and Android as well as the Windows devices.

    Basically as a developer, you can choose your backend technology, write it once. Then just write the UI layer for Windows, Android, and iOS to port to each platform. They've been working with Xamarin to achieve this.

    My dad and I have a client we have started working on a Universal app for. We're both blown away how capable this platform is now, let alone where it's going to be a year from now.

    It won't be instant magic, but it will be pretty effective over the next few years IMO. Especially because the platform allows such a great mix of technologies. You can build an HTML5/JS UI stack on top of C# backend or use XAML.
    rhapdog likes this.
    01-26-2015 08:02 PM
  13. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    I think the key is getting more Windows tablets sold. The typical desktop/notebook Windows user is going to use programs, not apps. I have a bunch of Windows 8.1 apps installed, but I rarely bother with them. Once I'm in the desktop, that's where I tend to stay, and I don't see how an app is better than a program for use on a desktop/notebook. Apps seem limited, compared to programs.

    However, if I were using a tablet with a touchscreen, much like on a smartphone, rather than a keyboard/mouse, I'm sure I'd use apps much more frequently.
    tgp, rhapdog, JohnStrk and 1 others like this.
    01-26-2015 08:40 PM
  14. spaulagain's Avatar
    I think the key is getting more Windows tablets sold. The typical desktop/notebook Windows user is going to use programs, not apps. I have a bunch of Windows 8.1 apps installed, but I rarely bother with them. Once I'm in the desktop, that's where I tend to stay, and I don't see how an app is better than a program for use on a desktop/notebook. Apps seem limited, compared to programs.

    However, if I were using a tablet with a touchscreen, much like on a smartphone, rather than a keyboard/mouse, I'm sure I'd use apps much more frequently.
    Apps are only limited because devs haven't built better and the APIs weren't very good. But MS is making that all better, especially with Windows 10. And now they will be windowed in W10, so none of those issues. Universal apps are replacing exe files in the long term.

    Universal apps aren't some "touch only" environment. They are going to be the new norm.
    01-26-2015 08:54 PM
  15. rhapdog's Avatar
    Very true about apps, from both your points of view. I have a laptop. 15.6" with full keyboard and 10key pad, touchpad, mouse, etc. It's touchscreen enabled. I flip the keyboard under it and put it in stand mode quite often, because it is more relaxing to surf, browse, and play games like solitaire or whatever buy using the touchscreen interface only.

    I use the Windows Facebook app a lot instead of the browser. With the new touch friendly office apps, I'm looking forward to switching to those as well. The last office I bought was 2010, but I'm setting money aside to buy myself a copy for my laptop of the new touch friendly office (probably the 2016 to be released this year.)

    The reason the apps haven't been as powerful is simply because the devs haven't made them that way. No dev in their right mind is going to make an app that will only run on Windows 8/8.1 Metro interface/Modern App, when Windows 7 has the biggest market share.

    AutoCad can be developed into a very powerful universal app. Screens that are touch AND pen ready will be ideal for such applications. When the big marketshare of Windows is suddenly Windows 10, and the development tools are there, we're going to see greater things I'm sure.

    Think about it. An architect, after working on a project, picks up his tablet to head out to see his client. Then he is able to pull up the file from OneDrive and make changes on the fly in front of his client, and he doesn't have to go back to the office to do it. It's going to open up a whole new world for tablets as well. Especially higher end tablets.
    01-26-2015 09:16 PM
  16. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    Very true about apps, from both your points of view. I have a laptop. 15.6" with full keyboard and 10key pad, touchpad, mouse, etc. It's touchscreen enabled. I flip the keyboard under it and put it in stand mode quite often, because it is more relaxing to surf, browse, and play games like solitaire or whatever buy using the touchscreen interface only.

    I use the Windows Facebook app a lot instead of the browser. With the new touch friendly office apps, I'm looking forward to switching to those as well. The last office I bought was 2010, but I'm setting money aside to buy myself a copy for my laptop of the new touch friendly office (probably the 2016 to be released this year.)

    The reason the apps haven't been as powerful is simply because the devs haven't made them that way. No dev in their right mind is going to make an app that will only run on Windows 8/8.1 Metro interface/Modern App, when Windows 7 has the biggest market share.

    AutoCad can be developed into a very powerful universal app. Screens that are touch AND pen ready will be ideal for such applications. When the big marketshare of Windows is suddenly Windows 10, and the development tools are there, we're going to see greater things I'm sure.

    Think about it. An architect, after working on a project, picks up his tablet to head out to see his client. Then he is able to pull up the file from OneDrive and make changes on the fly in front of his client, and he doesn't have to go back to the office to do it. It's going to open up a whole new world for tablets as well. Especially higher end tablets.

    I have an Office 365 subscription. I've tried the Metro OneNote app, and it lacks so much functionality compared to the desktop OneNote program. I gave up on Metro OneNote due to the lack of features. The OneNote program is awesome.
    01-26-2015 09:28 PM
  17. spaulagain's Avatar
    ^^Good example of a powerful app in the Universal environment is Live Interior 3D Pro. It's an OSX application that the makers built a Windows 8 app for. 3D modeling app for interiors, etc. It's an app that convinced me you can do anything in the WinRT environment.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    01-26-2015 09:30 PM
  18. spaulagain's Avatar
    I have an Office 365 subscription. I've tried the Metro OneNote app, and it lacks so much functionality compared to the desktop OneNote program. I gave up on Metro OneNote due to the lack of features. The OneNote program is awesome.
    Again, that's just lazy development. Yes, even from MS. You can build full featured apps in the environment. It's just the demand hasn't been there, so few devs have bothered.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    01-26-2015 09:32 PM
  19. tgp's Avatar
    What about Microsoft's 30% cut of revenue? Will that have to drop before Store apps take off?

    And as Laura said, quality is indeed a problem currently. So far I have yet to see an app that is better than it's equivalent in either the browser or a legacy program.
    01-26-2015 09:33 PM
  20. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    ^^Good example of a powerful app in the Universal environment is Live Interior 3D Pro. It's an OSX application that the makers built a Windows 8 app for. 3D modeling app for interiors, etc. It's an app that convinced me you can do anything in the WinRT environment.

    Do you know of any examples so far that are aimed at general consumers, rather than professionals in specific careers?
    01-26-2015 09:34 PM
  21. spaulagain's Avatar
    What about Microsoft's 30% cut of revenue? Will that have to drop before Store apps take off?

    And as Laura said, quality is indeed a problem currently. So far I have yet to see an app that is better than it's equivalent in either the browser or a legacy program.
    30% cut doesn't seem to be an issue for all the iOS and Android developers. Oh, and not all applications are paid for at the app, many are subscription items that having nothing to do with MS taking a cut. Because the apps are free, the access isn't.

    As for quality, it's definitely possible. If people can develop the amazing apps (better than web versions) in the ****ty iOS development environment, then they can definitely do this in the Universal environment.

    Keep in mind, the Universal app environment is completely native to the old legacy apps. It's all .NET. Devs can use the same C# backend, etc.

    Again, its just a matter of demand/need. Windows 8 had a bad reputation, users couldn't even use those WinRT apps in the standard windowed environment which steered many users away from it. It was a new environment as far as APIs, and they were quite limiting initially. I would not use the past lack of success as a measure for future success in the environment.

    And if the WinRT environment is soo bad or dead, then why is MS putting 100% of there resources behind. Why dis they just go through and rewrite all there apps, including Office in the environment?

    Is this all just a waste of time? Should Microsoft just crawl up and die? Because that's exactly what will happen if this doesn't work.
    01-26-2015 09:58 PM
  22. spaulagain's Avatar
    Do you know of any examples so far that are aimed at general consumers, rather than professionals in specific careers?
    That is a consumer app. It's super easy to use, you don't have to be some AutoCAD genius or professional interior designer to use it. It's that simple yet powerful.

    And why the hell do professional apps not count? They are the reason Windows is so successful, seems there would be a **** ton of value with professional apps in that environment as well.

    I really don't get why this such a road block for you guys. My Dad is 20+ year enterprise application developer. Goes back to FoxPro and all those goodies.

    He's been very excited about building in this environment. He realizes how amazing it is to really be able to write once, and release to all those platforms.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    01-26-2015 10:02 PM
  23. rhapdog's Avatar
    I have an Office 365 subscription. I've tried the Metro OneNote app, and it lacks so much functionality compared to the desktop OneNote program. I gave up on Metro OneNote due to the lack of features. The OneNote program is awesome.
    Yes, lacks features now. It's about to be the full deal. Desktop and Metro will become one and the same. It will be the full office apps, but "touch friendly". Can't wait. Not there yet, but it is coming.
    spaulagain and portalfocus like this.
    01-26-2015 10:04 PM
  24. Laura Knotek's Avatar
    That is a consumer app. It's super easy to use, you don't have to be some AutoCAD genius or professional interior designer to use it. It's that simple yet powerful.

    And why the hell do professional apps not count? They are the reason Windows is so successful, seems there would be a **** ton of value with professional apps in that environment as well.

    I really don't get why this such a road block for you guys. My Dad is 20+ year enterprise application developer. Goes back to FoxPro and all those goodies.

    He's been very excited about building in this environment. He realizes how amazing it is to really be able to write once, and release to all those platforms.

    I understand what you're saying. I just don't think the typical consumer would have much use for an app for house design. Building a house or remodeling a house isn't something most consumers do on a regular basis.

    No, I'm not dismissing enterprise users. I subscribe to this, and several other enterprise newsletters.
    screenshot-232-.png
    I'm just thinking more about what I'd use at home, not at work.
    01-26-2015 10:06 PM
  25. tgp's Avatar
    30% cut doesn't seem to be an issue for all the iOS and Android developers. Oh, and not all applications are paid for at the app, many are subscription items that having nothing to do with MS taking a cut. Because the apps are free, the access isn't.
    iOS and Android have an immensely larger user base at the moment. That of course will change with W10 and the universal apps that come along with it, but are PC users going to switch to Store apps anytime soon? Even if they do, back in July 2014 Satya Nadella reported that Windows has a 14% market share across all devices. Microsoft CEO: 'Until we really change culturally, no renewal happens' Even if every user of every Windows device, whether it's a desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, uses Store apps, it's still a relatively low user base. That's assuming that PC users will use apps to the extent of mobile users, which won't happen for awhile at least, maybe never.

    As for quality, it's definitely possible. If people can develop the amazing apps (better than web versions) in the ****ty iOS development environment, then they can definitely do this in the Universal environment.
    It will be possible, sure. But it's certainly not reality.
    01-26-2015 10:16 PM
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