Will Developers, Corporates and Government upgrade to Windows 8?

by Frank 19. September 2011 18:05

Why would developers model their applications around the new Windows 8 platform? Wouldn’t it be much smarter for Windows developers to plan a future based on a browser platform and HTML5 (if and when the HTML5 spec is finalised and agreed?). Why sign up for more cost and more pain?

Why would any large corporate or government agency plan a future based on the Windows 8 platform? Wouldn’t it be much smarter for customers to stick with the proven XP or Windows 7 OS and make the decision to move slowly and orderly to a future web based application environment?

What is Microsoft’s value proposition with Windows 8? Why should corporates and big government stick with Windows? Why should they upgrade to Windows 8? Just because it is faster to load (and we have heard that before) or prettier is hardly enough.

It will cost corporates and government all around the world billions of dollars to upgrade to Windows 8. Has Microsoft looked at the stock market lately or the health (or otherwise) of economies all around the world? Does it think the US government or Greek government or Italian or Irish governments will be increasing their massive debts to buy and roll-out Windows 8?

With state and local government all over America laying off government workers how can they possibly justify allocating scarce funds to Microsoft instead of employees?

How about big corporates like Bank of America (about to lay off some 30,000 staff)? What about the 25 million unemployed people in the USA; where will they get the money to upgrade to Windows 8? Where is the Return On Investment (ROI)? What do the powerful US unions think about Windows 8 instead of jobs?

Maybe the fact that Microsoft is hedging its bets with HTML5 and JavaScript tells you a lot – maybe they aren’t too confident about the future of Windows either. Maybe Microsoft fully expects a paradigm shift to web-based applications and away from Windows?

Vista may well have been the straw that broke the camel’s back but the GFC will certainly be the major catalyst for decisions against Windows 8.


Information Management

Windows 8 Comments after Microsoft Conference in Anaheim

by Frank 19. September 2011 00:35

As expected, there are definitely some interesting things happening with the next version of windows.  One of the first things they addressed was the concern about the next version being slower and bloated.  They showed some stats of the same device running Windows 7 and then upgraded to Windows 8.  When it was running Windows 7 it was using 32 processes and over 400 MB of memory just after booting up.  When Windows 8 was installed, the processes went down to 29 and the memory down to 280 MB.

Overall, I like the way it looks.  They are trying to imitate apple, but also trying to address a lot of the shortcomings developers currently have with iOS devices.

Microsoft have said that any application that works on Windows 7 will still run on Windows 8.  However, for future development, Microsoft is moving from .NET to a new API called WinRT.  This is basically an API that is built into windows 8, so no more Frameworks to install.  I’m not sure how similar the calls will be between the two, but I’m guessing it would be considerable work to migrate.  Also, if we want to stick with VB, C#, or C++, we would have to change from using WinForms to the new XAML UI language, which basically allows you to scale for the different form factors.

However, they also are supporting App development using HTML5 and javascript which can integrate with the WinRT API on Windows 8.  I think this would be the wisest development language, as it would be consistent with Apple, Google, etc.

So we are back to the beginning. All our early Windows applications were programmed strictly to the Windows API . Then Microsoft came up with .NET and moved stuff outside of the API. Made it more complex, more difficult and expensive to program, support and maintain. Plus, lots of organizations refused to implement and roll-out and maintain the .NET Framework. Let’s not forget all the weird security and compatibility problems caused by .NET, yet another security layer for Windows networks and another headache for network administrators.

From our viewpoint, dropping the requirement for the .NET Framework can only be a good thing. However, this new Windows 8 architecture means we will have to rewrite a whole bunch of code in  our existing .NET applications. Multiple that effort by hundreds of thousands (the number of Windows .NET developers all around the world) or even millions and you have billions of dollars earmarked for code redesign/rewrite, not new features or new products. Money we wouldn’t have to spend if all of our applications were web based instead of being .NET and Windows based. Hindsight is a wonderful thing.

We applaud Microsoft for investing in a better version of Windows but wonder if it ever considers the massive costs it inflicts on its partners and customers?


Information Technology

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