Windows 8 Reveal has Developers Concerned

Dennis Faas's picture

Some third-party developers have expressed concern with what they see as a lack of direction on the part of Microsoft in designing Windows 8. Many feel it's not clear how applications will be developed for the upcoming operating system.

Current Windows software developers are most concerned with a new web standards-based development platform Microsoft says it will deploy for Windows 8. Rumors suggest that the main focus will be on HTML 5 and JavaScript because these languages are platform independent, meaning that it can run on virtually any hardware or operating system.

"The new [programming and development] strategy will enable developers to build native Windows apps based on the next version of the HTML specification.

It's a ploy that promises to attract a vast community of developers to the new [Windows 8 operating system], and opens up a host of possibilities for development across other Microsoft platforms, including Windows-based tablets." (Source:

Role for Silverlight, .Net Framework Unclear

When Microsoft showed off Windows 8 at several recent events, it made little mention of current Windows development platforms, including Microsoft's Silverlight and the .Net framework, both of which are widely used by developers.

With this in mind, many Silverlight and .Net specialists worry their skills will become obsolete once Windows 8 launches.

Al Hilwa is an analyst with IDC. He too believes Microsoft has "not clarified where .Net fits in the Windows 8 world," adding: "I think developers are justified in feeling that there needs to be more clear strategic guidance on this." (Source:

Early demonstrations of Windows 8 were seen last week, at the D8 conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, hosted by the Wall Street Journal.

Microsoft corporate VP Julie Larson-Green was on hand to show it off, and made a big deal of the system's Live Tiles interface, something borrowed directly from the Windows Phone 7 mobile operating system.

According to Larson-Green, Live Tiles will be used to quickly call up and switch between various applications. (Source:

Experts: No Need to Fret -- Yet

"It is too soon to draw any conclusions," noted Rob Sanfilippo, a Directions on Microsoft analyst. Because Microsoft is under enormous pressure to release a platform for tablet computers, it's possible the company simply released some details before others.

As for Microsoft, company representative Pete Brown indicated Sanfilippo may be correct.

"We're all being quiet right now because we can't comment on this," Brown said. "It's not because we don't care, aren't listening, have given up, or are agreeing or disagreeing with you on something."

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