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Microsoft Windows Cellphones

Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8? 345

Posted by Soulskill
from the yes-no-maybe dept.
Un pobre guey writes "Should you develop apps for Windows 8? Well, the hype and flogging are apparently in full swing. From the article: 'To be clear, Windows Phone 8 is not a slam dunk. Some, such as IDC, believe Windows Phone will eclipse iOS by 2016. Others, though, believe the trajectories of Android and iOS can't be slowed in the next few years. Nonetheless, I think a bet on Windows Phone 8 is justifiable, even wise, since anyone who purchases a new Windows Phone 8 device likely will want to load it with the latest and greatest apps.'" Another reader points out that the full Windows Phone 8 SDK was leaked online recently, which led to some interesting discoveries: "For starters, it appears that the API is very much like the full WinRT API, but it has no JavaScript support. There is also no support for creating and working with Silverlight/XNA style. This is a bit surprising because I and most developers were under the impression that Microsoft would support the migration of Silverlight apps to HTML5 and JavaScript, but there isn't even support for JavaScript to access the phone's services. The best you can hope for is using the JavaScript support in IE10."
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Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8?

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  • by ausrob (864993) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:15AM (#40838237)
    Perhaps... but I can't help feeling that Windows Phone (as a platform) is still very much a second-class citizen. For one thing, the Windows Phone 8 SDK is still not available (excluding the leaked copy) and we're only months away from Windows 8 (RTM) and a little later, (October??) the Windows Phone 8 handsets and Tablets come out. We haven't even seen a beta or RC of the SDK..

    Worse still, given the amount of rework which devs will need to undertake to port their existing Windows Phone 7 apps to Windows Phone 8 (for the use of the WinRT API, for example). This is a baffling move, and given the history of the Windows Mobile line.... it's getting to be a bit rich.

    Also, I disagree that the market place is mature. There's not nearly a large enough user base to make that statement, and hearing that Windows Phone 7 handsets won't support an upgrade to Windows Phone 8 may hurt.
  • by CuteSteveJobs (1343851) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:49AM (#40838485)
    Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8? I am reminded again of Betteridge's Law of Headlines which states "Any headline which ends in a question mark can be answered by the word 'no'".

    I am a Windows developer but if I'm going to develop smartphone apps it'll be for whoever offers me the biggest market: Android and the iPhone. Microsoft has a perfectly decent desktop OS, but instead of finding ways to reinvigorate the desktop using innovative technology (the way Jobs would have) they are chasing the smartphone market in a way that spooks desktop developers such as myself. I find myself not thinking "Windows for Smartphone" and now not even "Windows for desktop" but "Android for Tablet". Microsoft needs to stop copying other people's ideas, but just because it's immoral but because it's a lousy business strategy: It didn't work for Bing, Zune or anything else they've copied lately. If Microsoft don't do a reality test here they're heading for an even bigger disaster as they scuttle their flagship platform.

    Or in 2 words: Betteridge's Law.
  • by moniker127 (1290002) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:07AM (#40838569)
    I suppose I just don't get excited by phones anymore. Either IOS or Droid does everything that you could really need from a phone. I'm not saying that its perfect, but it seems like we've got to the point where its good enough for 99.99999999% of the situations that will arise.
  • by EdIII (1114411) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:44AM (#40838777)

    Mod this up.

    Most apps are crap that barely works, and that includes iOS and Android. Crap like that usually does not fly on a PC or a Mac.

    The ones that are coded somewhat well, are barely even worth 99c. People are getting wise to that and don't want to spend a ton of money on something that gives them very little return.

    If a developer really wants money then they need to deliver a truly working app with a lot of useful features. Angry Birds makes money because it is not only written well with few bugs, but is also an engaging game with more than just a few levels.

    Make something really good and you will get paid.

  • by phantomfive (622387) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:29AM (#40839039) Journal

    I don't know why developers never took to the platform -- there isn't a reason they shouldn't support it, and whether WP8 will change their minds remains to be seen.

    I can think of two simple reasons:
    1) There aren't many users.
    2) Since WP7 didn't support C/C++ code, you can't just port your app and write a new GUI (like you can for iPhone and Android), you have to write the whole thing from scratch. Is that worth the effort? Probably not, because of 1.

  • Re:Market Share (Score:5, Interesting)

    by WaffleMonster (969671) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:46AM (#40839173)

    What does that have to do with the fact that Android and iOS are vastly more popular than current generation Windows Phone for both users and developers? By breaking backwards compatibility with WP7 apps MS makes it easier to switch to a more popular OS.

    Where are people getting this idea? Microsoft is automatically recompiling all WP7 apps to work with WP8 devices. No developer changes, submissions or work of any kind required. ALL WP7 apps will be fully compatible with WP8 on day 1.

  • by jsse (254124) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:24AM (#40839407) Homepage Journal
    One of my clients whose company is a Android/iPhone developer was approached by Microsoft, asking them to port their applications to Windows Phone 7. They got like 2 grands for each app ported, even fart apps. This company still own the apps ported, and get all the money they receive from selling these apps, if any. Microsoft aren't buy these app, they just purely reward them for porting.

    So if you asked me whether developers should support Windows Phone 8....Sure, with a fee.
  • by llZENll (545605) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @04:19AM (#40839671)

    Having few users isn't that big of an issue. For example my games on Mac far outsell my windows games because of two simple reasons: far less competition from competitors, and less piracy. Even though the Mac market is 1/10th the size. You can charge more and face less competition on wp8. The #1 dead in the water issue is not supporting c++ for me. There is no way in hell I'm porting my code base and games to some proprietary ms language that will be abandoned in a few years. Wp8 would have to hold over 50% of the market for me to make that leap.

  • Re:Market Share (Score:4, Interesting)

    by devent (1627873) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @04:41AM (#40839753) Homepage

    The only problems Linux on Desktop have are: a) no big OEM support (Dell, Hp, Asus,) b) no commercial games. The only problems of hardware and adoption are the result of a) and b). If the big OEMs would support Linux on all their hardware and offer Linux on all their hardware as a pre-installed choice, almost all hardware problems would disappear. And if b) was solved and you could just go to Mediamarkt, Saturn or Bestbuy and buy some games, there would be no market anymore for Windows.

    From the technological aspect Linux desktops are working very well. I'm using for 3 years Linux on my computers and laptops now without major problems. KDE is rock solid, so is Gnome2. Some people even like Gnome3.

    There is even now a big market for problem b). Just see how well the Humble Game Package [wikipedia.org] have done. Sure there wasn't as many as Windows users, but Linux users were on par with MacOS users.

  • by Conspire (102879) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @06:27AM (#40840227) Homepage
    Microsoft has a history of failure in the phone market, period. Look at any forecast, and Microsoft is not expected to get a decent size of the global handset market. They continue to pump the money in thinking money solves everything. I don't think they can get back market share, there is just too much momentum for APPL and Android in the space. The entire Nokia deal is just plan silly. I don't even know anyone that uses a Nokia smartphone (although still know lots that have the 20$ backup cheap nokia symbian phone). Everyone I know has a smartphone, everyone. And not one Nokia. The only place I've ever seen them is on store shelves and at trade shows, I can't even remember seeing an actual end user with one in their hand in public. Windows mobile 8 will continue that path, while APPL and Android eat up the marketplace.

    The reasons are simple, just ask yourself "do I want Microsoft on my phone?". Yes, there is the answer. No. Nobody does. Microsoft became "uncool" long long ago. Nobody wants an uncool phone.

    Microsoft missed the one boat that could have maybe just maybe gave them a fast start in the marketplace, they could have purchased RIM. They could of done away with the old timer brand "windows" for a smartphone, and used "Blackberry". Fact is, when people think about Windows they think about an antiquated PC, not some latest and greatest gotta have it smartphone. Add to the fact that Windows has very little, if any, brand loyalty. People don't feel connected to Windows as something that is a good brand. They think of it as the commodity PC, exactly the monopoly that Microsoft built, and profited from since inception.

    The veeps at MS need someone cool to step through the door and get through their thick skulls that "Microsoft, Windows, Windows Mobile, Office" will never be "cool" brands. The brand will always be kind of like "Hormel" in the food space. Even if they did everything right and created the best smartphone OS out there, the masses don't want to be carrying a "Hormel Phone"

  • by Eirenarch (1099517) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @07:07AM (#40840405)

    It would make sense if it was like this. The Build conference had sessions on everything (JS/C#/C++) and explicitly made clear that all of these were first class citizens even in its slogan ("Use what you know..."). The HTML5 shitstorm started when MS first showed the new Metro land in WIndows 8 where they only mentioned HTML5 and JS so some people assumed that this was going to be the only way to develop Metro style apps which is of course wrong. The fire is fueled by people who wish that web tech would become the only way to develop apps on any platform. They constantly point this way of developing for Win8 despite the fact that it is on par with the other two ways. In fact the other 2 ways are slightly better. WinRT uses C# naming conventions and JS cannot create reusable WinRT components (only use them) while C++ and C# can.

    While Silverlight as a framework is somewhat dead C# + XAML development is pretty much Silverlight in spirit. Your existing Silverlight apps will need to be rewritten but your Silverlight skills transfer pretty good. Silverlight developers can be quite happy about Win8 dev platform but companies that have invested in public facing Silverlight apps have a lot to worry about.

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