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Windows Phone 8 Having Trouble Attracting Developers 268

Posted by Soulskill
from the have-you-tried-bacon dept.
colinneagle writes "Microsoft has promised that cross-platform development across the 8s – from Windows 8 on a desktop to Windows Phone 8 – will be a simple matter, but that's still not enough to get some developers moving on Windows Phone 8 support. The Windows Phone platform has made a remarkable recovery since its reset with version 7. Since then, WP7 has grown to 100,000 apps. But that pales in comparison to the 675,000 in Google Play and 700,000 in the Apple App Store. Granted, there's a ton of redundancy – how many weather or newsfeed apps does one person need? – but it points to availability and developer support. A report from VentureBeat points out what should be obvious: that while developers like Windows 8, they aren't as excited about Windows Phone 8 software because they have already made huge investments in other platforms and don't want to support another platform. A survey by IDC and Appcelerator found 78% of Android developers were 'very interested' in programming for Android smartphones, a slight drop from the 83% in a prior survey. Interest in the iPhone and iPad remained undiminished, with 89% and 88% interest, respectively."
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Windows Phone 8 Having Trouble Attracting Developers

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  • by gtirloni (1531285) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:42PM (#41820833)
    Once carriers start pushing W8 phones everywhere and users get to actually interact with those devices then developer interest will follow.

    It's the cost of not being the cheapest or the first to market.
    • by Synerg1y (2169962)

      I can't seem to find anything on google either way, are win 7 market apps backwards compatible with windows 8?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:59PM (#41821103)

      Or too much churn in the platform.

      You should use 2.10 no wait 2.11 no wait 3.1 no wait 3.10 no wait for 4 its going to be out of the park wait thats 5 or is it 6 or the soon to come 6.1.

      Oh screw all that use .Net CFW (which does not work on anything bellow 6).

      Oh screw all that use 7 oh wait 8...

      And very little of what you write will compile on winxp/vista/7/8 and if it does all the apis work 'slightly' differently.

    • by timeOday (582209)
      Define first to market [wikipedia.org].
      • by Dog-Cow (21281)

        Windows CE is irrelevant because it's not the same platform as Windows Phone.

        • by timeOday (582209)
          Well, yeah, that's the problem. Too many false starts. But Microsoft was by no means late to the mobile market.
    • by eexaa (1252378) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:50PM (#41821769) Homepage

      well, even before carriers and developers they should begin thinking about attracting actual users.

  • Well, Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:43PM (#41820845)

    Those of us who've seen what happens when we invest time and money in Microsoft's other pet project platforms aren't about to jump on Windows Phone 8.

    • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Chaos Incarnate (772793) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:49PM (#41820941) Homepage
      Agreed. Like Windows Phone 7.
      • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

        by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:54PM (#41821021) Journal

        Windows mobile 6.

        • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Shoten (260439) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:13PM (#41821261)

          Windows CE.

        • by 517714 (762276)
          Windows Mobile was a better platform in many regards than Windows Phone 7. 95% of the programs I had for the earliest WM hardware and software ran fine on WM 6.5 (a span of nearly a decade), and they cost a fraction of the apps for Android, iOS or WP7. Microsoft is right to drop legacy support periodically, but they shouldn't have done it between 6 and 7 and again between 7 and 8.
          • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

            by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:25PM (#41822429) Journal

            Windows Mobile was a better platform in many regards than Windows Phone 7. 95% of the programs I had for the earliest WM hardware and software ran fine on WM 6.5 (a span of nearly a decade), and they cost a fraction of the apps for Android, iOS or WP7. Microsoft is right to drop legacy support periodically, but they shouldn't have done it between 6 and 7 and again between 7 and 8.

            I agree with your last sentence, but the problem with windows mobile wasn't the apps, it was the framework. It was maddening to have to reboot two or three times a day, squint at walking menus, and deal with "some unnamed application has done something bad and will now be excoriated" popups. The final straw for me was when the audio driver would periodically get wedged, which meant the phone would not ring. I was regularly on call, and a phone that refuses to ring is a career liability.

      • Oh come on, what about plays for sure?

    • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:02PM (#41821137)

      Our potential dev project for Windows Phone 8 is roadblocked at the moment since the SDK requires Windows 8 installed (and pro for the emulators). Obviously, none of us have Windows 8 installed on our computers at the moment - I'm very happy with Win7 personally, and leery of 8 from the previews - so getting the SDK up and running is pretty much impossible at this point.

      I totally agree with your point, since all the prototyping we did for our Windows Phone 8 project was in Visual Studio 2010, targeting Windows Phone 7.5, on Win7 machines. None of that is actually useful right now. Surprise, surprise.

      I guess this is true for any potential development house right now. If they want to develop for Windows Phone 8, they have to invest in a windows 8 computer and phone. I know everyone at BUILD got those for free, but that doesn't really help everyone else.

      • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:4, Informative)

        by firex726 (1188453) <[moc.oohay] [ta] [627xerif]> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:32PM (#41821515)

        I think that's where MS is going wrong on their whole setup, trying to push Devs onto the latest an greatest.

        Whereas Apple and Google basically have you pay a small fee and you can get the SDK and app listed in their store. MS OTOH is telling Devs they need to buy a new untested OS to develop for their platform, in addition to everything else.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Arashi256 (1804688)
          Yeah? How many iOS apps can I develop on my Windows 7 box?
          • by Dog-Cow (21281)

            As many as you'd like. You'll have to purchase your own 3rd party development environment of choice, however.

      • by 21mhz (443080)

        I totally agree with your point, since all the prototyping we did for our Windows Phone 8 project was in Visual Studio 2010, targeting Windows Phone 7.5, on Win7 machines. None of that is actually useful right now. Surprise, surprise.

        Weren't you supposed to be able to run your WP 7.5 applications on Windows Phone 8 practically unchanged?

      • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dudpixel (1429789) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @10:46PM (#41826657)

        What? you want to develop for windows phone 8 but you don't want to shell out $39 for windows 8? not even on 1 machine?

        I see the problem, and it isn't just microsoft at fault.

        And you say that "obviously none of us have windows 8" except that the date is oct 31 and windows 8 was released on oct 26. There is nothing obvious about it at all except that you want to be successful on windows 8 without paying $39 to get started.

        • by EvilIdler (21087)

          It's not the money for most. The OS is still rather new, and companies don't jump at new systems right at launch. It can take years - they're still migrating from XP to 7!

          • by dudpixel (1429789)

            I'm not talking about companies in general.

            The post I replied to specifically mentioned developing an app for windows 8. If you're developing apps for windows 8, you should buy it. That's all there is to it.

            Even if you didn't use it for development, you'd still need it for testing. So the complaint that microsoft forces you to buy windows 8 in order to develop apps for it is just stupid IMO.

    • Re:Well, Yeah (Score:4, Insightful)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:10PM (#41821221) Journal

      Those of us who've seen what happens when we invest time and money in Microsoft's other pet project platforms aren't about to jump on Windows Phone 8.

      It will be interesting to see if the way that software is tightly coupled with hardware(hardware that is generally replaced at an alarming rate) in 'mobile' makes this more of an issue than usual.

      It certainly isn't news that Microsoft goes through development fads about as fast as it can dream up acronyms for them; but, with desktop and server cases, it has usually been possible to keep the offspring of a now-deprecated fad limping along for years after it is officially killed. And, while it is hardly the most glamorous part of the technology industry, a lot of people pay the mortgage by handling various aspects of keeping ghastly legacy crap that happens to be vital to something or other up and running. And, while Microsoft never seems very happy about it, they generally have caved to demand for legacy support on the desktop and server side.

      With phones, though, you can't exactly order a stack of WP8 devices from Verizon and then downgrade them to WM6 to support your line-of-business whatever. You are essentially stuck with whatever version is shipping at the moment, with the possibility that some of your older devices might get updates, maybe. That isn't an environment where you can be nearly as comfortable that you will be able to just-make-it-work even after your chosen platform has officially been killed.

      • It might actually make it less of an issue.

        It all depends on the reason Microsoft goes through development fads.

        Possible Reason 1:
        Microsoft has traditionally gone through development fads to push people to upgrade. Their revenue stream before depended on people upgrading versions of software.

        Possible Reason 2:
        Microsoft just has a bunch of software designers or managers that like to push out the latest fad and have no internal discipline.

        If it is 1, then hopefully the Microsoft business people see the change

    • Those of us who've seen what happens when we invest time and money in Microsoft's other pet project platforms aren't about to jump on Windows Phone 8.

      Fair enough... but you're not the only type of agent in the market: There's programmers fresh out of college who can't find regular work and decide instead to download an SDK and make something, and don't know any better.

    • Pretty much. The only way I'd make WP8 apps is if MS paid me up front to do so.

  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:46PM (#41820889)
    Gone are the days when your company supported Microsoft's latest or else .

    Today, there is no or else. Microsoft is just another player in a large market.
    • by roc97007 (608802)

      Well, especially in the phone and tablet markets. I think they could still say "or else" pertaining to the desktop, although it would be feebler than in the past.

    • by Penguinisto (415985) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:06PM (#41821179) Journal

      I'm afraid that it still depends on what market we're talking about.

      In mobile and tablets, you're absolutely correct. MSFT is a bit player at best here, and you'd get more marketshare by supporting RIM.

      In server-side software, maybe, depending on what your product does.

      On workstations, you're still stuck with supporting them if you want more than 10-15% of the total market. I don't think that's going to change much for awhile still, at least not unless/until Windows 8 completely pisses off enough people to knock Microsoft's marketshare on desk/laptops down enough (and even then most will just go back to Windows 7, just like Vista users knocking back to XP).

    • Gone are the days when your company supported Microsoft's latest or else .

      Corporate IT just called. They want to have a word with you about that comment in one of the meeting rooms on that empty and unused floor with no security cameras. Microsoft may not have that kind of pull for smart phones, but when it comes to Windows and Office, you bet your sweet ass it's supported "or else".

      • by jedidiah (1196)

        Even with the monopoly, supporting the "latest" is not really a requirement. If anything, it's corporate IT that's pulling Microsoft back and forcing it to support older "legacy" software.

        In companies, change is managed and occasionally resisted. The resistance aspect is especially true if there's extra money involved.

      • by Yaur (1069446)
        Except it isn't support "the latest" or else... its support XP or else and 10 years from now its likely to be the same deal with windows 7, not widows 8.
  • Herp? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kelemvor4 (1980226) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:48PM (#41820911)
    It's no surprise. Generally, companies sell "apps" to make money. As of August, Microsoft and other small fry mobile OS's combined represented a whopping 0.6% of mobile device OS's. What's more, that number has declined by almost 50% from a year ago. Why spend time and money developing for a platform that appears to be dying. Developers will probably wait to see if the current rev MS os can turn that trend around before spending more time and money on the platform.

    Source: Gartner [gartner.com]
    • Re:Herp? (Score:5, Funny)

      by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:57PM (#41821069) Journal

      It's no surprise. Generally, companies sell "apps" to make money. As of August, Microsoft and other small fry mobile OS's combined represented a whopping 0.6% of mobile device OS's. What's more, that number has declined by almost 50% from a year ago. Why spend time and money developing for a platform that appears to be dying. Developers will probably wait to see if the current rev MS os can turn that trend around before spending more time and money on the platform.

      Source: Gartner [gartner.com]

      Well, they're all looking at it wrong. When Windows 8 phones are released they're going to dominate the market. Developers would be wise to get on board early.

      ....nah, I don't believe it either.

      • If ZTE cranks out W8 phones in China, they could dominate that market in which the momentum could spill over to the North and South American market too.

        Never underestimate the power of *cheap*!

        • by roc97007 (608802)

          If ZTE cranks out W8 phones in China, they could dominate that market in which the momentum could spill over to the North and South American market too.

          Never underestimate the power of *cheap*!

          Lessee.... Windows.... Cheap.... Windows... Cheap... I don't see those two words going together.

        • Re:Herp? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by tftp (111690) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @05:54PM (#41824119) Homepage

          Never underestimate the power of *cheap*!

          Android is as cheap as it ever going to be ($zero.) Is MS going to pay OEMs for using their Win8?

          Windows RT is going to cost an estimated $85 per copy to your average OEM. A Windows 8 Professional license on x86 will be considerably more. [link [zdnet.com]]

          I can buy a whole tablet now for $99 or even less, and - imagine that - the hardware is included in the price!

          Google can release Android for free because it is not the product, it's the grease in the data mining machine that Google runs. The daily bread does not come from Android OEMs, it comes from billions of ad clicks and other services. But MS cannot do that, they are a software house and they can't give their software away. As result they will not be able to compete. I cannot imagine why they even entered this market - this is a race to the bottom, and the software is already comfortably sitting at that bottom.

          If I were MS I would be porting MS own products to Android and iOS. That's where MS's wares are viable. MS Office for Android - the true office - would be a killer application. Days of Windows are numbered, and while Windows will bring many more millions of dollars in revenue, its end is visible. Tablets are running on free software already. What's the point of even going there?

          • I'm just saying that there are billions of people who don't -yet- own a smartphone. Most of these people are living in emerging markets. Specifically the BRIC nations. You and I don't belong in that group. Yet, it's a vast untapped market that could soon explode in numbers to the smart phone market.

            Microsoft lost many mobile phone battles, but they could still win the war however little that chance may seem from our (Slashdot's) vantage point.

            • Re:Herp? (Score:4, Informative)

              by ozmanjusri (601766) <(aussie_bob) (at) (hotmail.com)> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @07:05PM (#41824987) Journal

              it's a vast untapped market that could soon explode in numbers to the smart phone market.

              You and Microsoft are about a year too late.

              The latest research on global smartphone shipments shows that 42 million smartphones were shipped in China in the second quarter, versus 25 million in the United States. Chinese smartphone sales tripled last year, according to Canalys.

                Chinese vendors ZTE, Lenovo and Huawei all saw their smartphone sales increase by more than 100% in China last year. (Lenovo’s smartphone sales in China were up 2,665%.)

              With Apple in fifth place in the Chinese smartphone market, Android is the country’s dominant operating system. Canalys says 81% of the smartphones shipped in China last quarter were Android phones.

              http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/20120803/devices/smartphone-sales-surge-china/ [rcrwireless.com]

              • by roc97007 (608802)

                Yeah, that's the problem. Microsoft's business plan requires the software be a premium product that everyone has to adopt, which is how the OS marketplace had always worked for them. In this case, however, three things are working against them: One, they're last to market in this marketplace. Two, the perception that the competing products are more mature and useful. Three, the competition, having a different business plan, offers for free the component for which Microsoft's business plan requires that

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      No. Companies practically give away apps so that they can steal/exploit users' personal information and use that to make money. This is the 21st century business model.

  • Developers (Score:5, Interesting)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:48PM (#41820913)

    The correct response to this kind of press is to say "We have developers! Tons of developers! They're falling out of the sky, honest!" The smart phone market long ago stopped being about features and now turns on the number of apps. All the phones have GPS, megapixel cameras, touch screen interface, etc. In terms of hardware features, they're largely the same. So they have to differentiate themselves on the basis of apps. And what kinds of apps are popular? Games.

    People loooove screwing off at work with Angry Birds and Farmville. So the smart phone market is not that much different from the game console market in that regard: Sales of hardware are based on how many new and exciting games are available for that platform. Now yes, it is in reality not that simple -- the app market isn't just games, but the idea is the same: The number of popular apps is strongly correlated to the number of units shipping. So regardless of how many developers the platform has, Microsoft needs to be out there screaming "Developers! We have them! Oh yes, developers, developers, developers!" Preferrably without monkey man on stage saying it, but even a dancing fat guy is better than nothing.

    That's the only strategy that will work if Microsoft doesn't want another dead on arrival platform launch. Sorta like, say, the Dreamcast.

    • by roc97007 (608802)

      > The smart phone market long ago stopped being about features and now turns on the number of apps.

      And this is as it should be. It's the inevitable transition from "what it is" to "what can I do with it".

    • by Shoten (260439)

      The smart phone market long ago stopped being about features and now turns on the number of apps.

      Smartphones have stopped being basic embedded devices and are full-fledged platforms. The apps *are* the features, and thus the number of apps directly affects the features. Nobody who is even the least bit savvy runs just the applications built into a phone, or even just apps that replace existing features that are built in. The most popular apps are usually either games, or things that provide some unique and clever functionality that nobody else had thought of yet, like Shazam.

    • by gman003 (1693318)

      You know, when you phrase it like that, you make it sound like Nintendo could release a best-selling smartphone...

  • Made $4 with WP7 (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:49PM (#41820927)

    After three months of effort writing a free app for Windows Phone 7, so far I have made a total of $4 from Microsoft's advertising system. This is from the top-rated app in its category. Needless to say, I won't be writing any apps for Windows Phone 8 unless I'm being paid to do so.

    • by roc97007 (608802) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:59PM (#41821109) Journal

      $$Profit!!$$

    • Well, that's kind of useless without a comparision to the amount a top rated app in apple's app store or google play makes. I'm guessing more than $4, but I don't know I've never clicked a mobile add before. I never understood why anyone would click an add. None of them are relivant to me.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:50PM (#41820953)

    Windows 8 has been a PR disaster for a while now and it has the reek of failure all over it. Microsoft is really good at a lot of things but selling their damn products to the average consumer isn't one of them.

    Now that I've had a bit of experience with 8 I like some things but the point is I shouldn't be discovering stuff like this at arms reach, they have to start making things sexy if they want to attract users, which in turn attracts developers.

  • No surprise here (Score:5, Insightful)

    by JDG1980 (2438906) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:51PM (#41820963)

    ""Microsoft has promised that cross-platform development across the 8s â" from Windows 8 on a desktop to Windows Phone 8 â" will be a simple matter, but that's still not enough to get some developers moving on Windows Phone 8 support."

    Bah. Microsoft can't just declare Year Zero and expect everyone to drop everything and follow them. If you are targeting desktop/laptop users, you'd have to be crazy to write for Metro at this point, when the overwhelming majority of your users are still on Windows 7 or even Windows XP. If you want to pitch your software to mobile users, then you can get a much larger audience by targeting iOS and/or Android.

    In other words, writing for Metro will give you access to three platforms... all of which have virtually nonexistent market share at this point. And Microsoft has shown on several occasions in the past that they're willing to pull the plug on various developer technologies if they're falling behind, or just if the business strategy has changed. Ballmer and company can't see this because they are in love with their products, themselves, and the sounds of their own voices. But from the point of view of an independent developer, jumping into the Windows 8 pool now doesn't pay off – the most rational move is simply to wait and see what happens.

    I suspect that Microsoft's actual response to this will be to bribe certain developers to port particular desirable applications to Metro. To an extent this may have already happened.

    • Re:No surprise here (Score:5, Informative)

      by Animats (122034) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:01PM (#41821123) Homepage

      And Microsoft has shown on several occasions in the past that they're willing to pull the plug on various developer technologies if they're falling behind, or just if the business strategy has changed.

      Ah, yes. Softimage, PlaysForSure, Silverlight, Zune... On each, the plug was pulled suddenly; they weren't slowly phased out.

      I wouldn't be at all surprised if Microsoft backs off from desktop Metro. Enterprise customers hate it and want it to just go away.

  • by pointyhat (2649443) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:51PM (#41820967)
    Apart from about 100 apps per platform, the rest are crap universally between android, IOS and winphone. Why is "only" 100,000 apps a problem? the stats are absolutely meaningless.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by tuppe666 (904118)

      Apart from about 100 apps per platform, the rest are crap universally between android, IOS and winphone. Why is "only" 100,000 apps a problem? the stats are absolutely meaningless.

      Windows simply doesn't have top tier Applications either. If you were comparing top 100 applications I would care more...but I don't. I personally believe choice matters. I have even changed my main Apps browser; music player; Video player several times. I own 80+ applications, and belong to 4 Application Stores, and I'm not a heavy user. The bottom line is though your like ly to get a higher number of top tier applications on a platform with the greatest number of Applications...the reality is very few top

    • by gstoddart (321705) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:32PM (#41821523) Homepage

      The flippant answer is that I absolutely need 7 different fart pianos. Some have different pitches, and some make squishier sounds. I'm composing my masterpiece of farts. ;-)

      The more serious answer is that if people perceive there's not as much software available for Win 8 phones, they're not going to buy one. If nobody is going to buy one, WTF would a developer invest his time into writing apps for it? I'd be surprised if anything more than tiny fraction of all mobiles in win 8 yet.

      The reality is, Microsoft is coming to the game two years after everybody, proclaiming they have the best game in town, and the wondering why they only hear crickets in return.

    • by narcc (412956)

      I don't get it either. 100k Apps seems adequate to me -- especially for a new platform.

      I don't know where the 100k figure comes from though. According to Business Insider [businessinsider.com] they had close to 10k apps at launch, though the store was growing by about 500 apps per day. (They've got about 180 days to go at that rate to make the 100k mark)

      Of course, most of the apps are still garbage -- on every platform. It would be nice to see multiple, competing, app stores on various platforms to help weed out the crap.

  • by Spy Handler (822350) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:55PM (#41821047) Homepage Journal

    for Windows 8, I am beta testing it now.

    Oh and Frist Post

  • by erik umenhofer (782) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @02:56PM (#41821061) Homepage

    I know this is an on-going flame war, but with Expression Software and Visual Studio 2010/2012, Microsoft has some of the best tools out there for building mobile applications. Throw in testing tools, and you are at the top of the class. After using the tools and marketplace for 2 years now, I can say a couple things.

    *The marketplace has come a long way. It is getting better every day. It used to be a real chore to use year or so ago. It is a lot more streamlined and clean.

    *The bad press recently around marketplace submissions is a crap shoot. I've experienced similar things, but also I've experienced quick easy submissions. It honestly depends on the tester. If things seem to be going bad, there is always a manager you can contact to get things going.

    *Lets be honest too. The iOS and Android marketplaces are FILLED with pure crap applications. I'm not saying that the Windows store is any better, but comparing numbers isn't fair because, most of those apps are useless and are never downloaded.

    *If you know Java or Obj-C, not many people are willing or paid to jump into C#. I'm definitely not interested in learning a new language at this point in my career.

    * Lastly, I think the main problem is traditional Microsoft fear/hatred. I have talked to more "hip" iOS teams that make cooler apps for android and iOS. They showed zero desire to even make an effort to make any apps for Windows Phone. The attitude I saw a lot was just pure bandwagon hatred. "Meh"

    • by Shoten (260439)

      I don't think the problem is the lack of hip factor.

      Question:
      What's the motto of a developer who focuses on "hip factor" above market size?

      Answer:
      "Would you like fries with that?"

      There are many problems facing a developer writing for Windows Phone 8. Windows CE/Phone 6/Phone 6.5/Phone 7 have always had poor uptake and very upset users. I used to work for HP, and before they bought Palm, every HP smartphone ran Windows Phone, and that's all that was issued to people. To a man, everyone *hated* them with

  • A survey by IDC and Appcelerator found 78% of Android developers were 'very interested' in programming for Android smartphones

    Wait, what?

    • The other 22% have actually made android apps, and don't want to any more because of device fragmentation and poor sales.

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:11PM (#41821231)

    VB6, Winforms, dying Silverlight, J# ... Nothing quite says, "I don't give a shit about my developer base or their customers" like dropping a platform and not even making a token attempt to provide an upgrade path that doesn't include the word, "rewrite" even when doing so would be technically trivial.

    Any wonder that nobody is much interested in committing to a platform that will change the next time some genius at Microsoft decides to change the world again? Used to be that you'd at least get a decade out of a platform. Those were the days.

    Hey Microsoft, ARE YOU LISTENING? Oh, wait. The start button that thousands of developers on the forums wanted to retain is gone too. I guess that means, "No."

    Hi Mr. Linux!

    • by zaxbowow (1590757) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @05:38PM (#41823889)
      VB6 dead? My VB6 apps, with my updates to support registry and file virtualization, run flawlessly under Windows 8. Silverlight dead? Silverlight 5 was only released a few months ago, and supports out-of-browser AND in-browser COM automation. Good luck approaching that functionality with any other technology. Silverlight powers WP7 and some pretty awesome websites. If I wanted to start a new website that was more impressive than anything, was a mature technology with lots of examples and free open source libs available, and ran on PCs and Macs (99% of the market?), I'd use it in a heartbeat. Deserted developers? MY ASS. Microsoft supports developers and legacy code better than any technology company. Period.
  • Developers developers developers...

  • I might consider, but going to a proprietary platform with limited apps is not going to do it for me. Microsoft needs to give us something no one else has.
  • Their own fault (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hsmith (818216) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:30PM (#41821497)
    I wanted to port our App a month ago.

    Nope, no access to the SDK, besides the lucky few MS chose to grant access to.

    If you want developers to build for it, you have to provide them the tools.
  • There was some apocryphal story about Microsoft developers seen with the ubiquitous Apple iPod headphones would be have choice words (and probably no chairs) thrown at them by Steve Ballmar. Not sure if that was true. I wonder if Microsoft has mandated the use of Win 8 phones (or zune) as the corporate standard?

    If not, why not?

  • by Kynde (324134) <kyndeNO@SPAMiki.fi> on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:45PM (#41821695)

    Windows Phone 8 Having Trouble Attracting Developers

    I didn't rtfa, hell, I even skipped the summary. This is just about the most breaking and surprising news story I've seen all year.

  • by TejWC (758299) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:45PM (#41821707)

    Even if MS made the best phone OS ever created, it would still be hard to get many developers interested. The "mindshare" of developers is all in Android and iOS. Even 2 years ago, if you were at a mobile developer's conference, nobody would care about what you had to say unless it had something to do with Android or iOS. That is one of the reasons why nobody cared about MeeGo or WebOS even though they were both open source.

  • by WaffleMonster (969671) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:49PM (#41821757)

    I think it is correct to call out the promise of portability between windows 8ish platforms as irrelevant because currrently there are no apps or user base for any of it.

    However the core advantage for WP8 is not compatibility with windows but compatibility with existing C/C++ codebases used across all platforms. WP8 allows native code and offers a much more capable and complete API.

    WP8 makes it easier to port codebases from other systems as they no longer need to be totally rewritten to some other language that will run atop a .NET CLR.

    Android has fragmentation and security issues which makes it a pain to develop for without dealing with platform garbage.

    iphone locks you into carriers, no choice of hardware vendors, form factors or ability to install apps without authorization from a central authority.

    If MS gets the development environment and security picture right out of the box which at the 30k ft level it seems they have with jails and choosers as trusted go-betweens to protected or shared resources I could see it being a useful platform.

    Some of the things they have like deep integration with voice recognition into applications to ask applications questions from a voice interface and deep VoIP integration seem very cool to me.

    What I fear will happen is that MS will not open up their platform and allow third party apps to be installed external to the appstore or they will in some other way thru privacy violations and "to the cloud" make the platform sufficiently unappealing to me that I will not bother writing anything for it.

    For exmple WP7 has no way for me to locally sync contacts without uploading them to some microsoft server.

    There is no way to connect to the appstore and forbid Microsoft from wiping my phone or finding my location because these levers are controlled by a web site hosted by Microsoft not by levers in the device itself.

    I can't even use the GPS without it leaking data over my data plan that I pay for to croudsource their a tower/wifi skyhook type system.

    I can't use wifi without it sending NLA type crap to MS servers I have no way of turning off.

    I hate this kind of bullshit shit.. it is a large part of the reason I am not using windows phone. I just want a device that will do what I want it to do and not the endless streams of vendor bullshit that seems to be baked into all modern mobile platforms.

    At the very least I demand a permissionless environment so I can distribute apps myself if I choose to.

    Finally I demand a SDK that does not require me to have windows 8 to develop wp8 apps. In my opinion Windows 8 sucks ass and I refuse to waste my time with it.

  • by strangeattraction (1058568) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:49PM (#41821759)
    What is the chance I can make an energy efficient application for mobile technology if I had to make it cross platform. I will argue that my cost go up for each OS I support. My guess is 3 is one too many, so M$ is doomed at this point. Supportig iOS and Android is economical since they already have market share. Risking a third will only kill your profitability. It is up to M$ to provide the incentive by either paying for great apps, providing a market were margins are higher or giving away their devices so that developers can have enough customers to make money. As much as I have had a l dislike/hate relationship with M$ in the past I will be sad to see them go. I only hope that Apple will continue on their current path and become the company to replace my dislike/hate relationship with M$. I can only hope.
  • by zanderz (813270) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:50PM (#41821777)
    How many developers could there be in only a few hours? http://www.zdnet.com/microsoft-delivers-windows-phone-8-software-development-kit-7000006631/ [zdnet.com]
  • by gr8_phk (621180) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @03:55PM (#41821843)

    cross-platform development across the 8s – from Windows 8 on a desktop to Windows Phone 8 – will be a simple matter

    People developing mobile apps don't care about ease of going between those platforms. They care about covering all the mobile devices which means you need to help with them to run across: iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Given the momentum the others have, who is going to make the effort to port apps to WP8? There are still nice apps that haven't crossed the iOS/Android chasm and you want to add another big leap? Dream on.

    How much work would it have been to port the dalvik VM to Windows Phone to enable existing android apps? Now THAT would be doing developers a favor.

  • "A survey by IDC and Appcelerator found 78% of Android developers were 'very interested' in programming for Android smartphones" I don't know, but I'd expect the near totality of Android developers to be interested in programming for Android, unless I am missing something? Maybe 22% of them are forced to program for it?
  • by erp_consultant (2614861) on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:07PM (#41822103)

    I'm not a Microsoft developer but haven't we been down this path before with the above technologies? I recall a heavy emphasis on silverlight only to mothball it not long after. if I'm going to write Apps for someone I want some stability and recent history shows that Microsoft has not provided that to their developers.

  • You really thing that a third and different mobile platform would have attracted any developer?
    Ah!
  • Once devs see a way to monetize their efforts they will adopt the platform. Heck, Apple created an army of Objective C developers once the appstore took off.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 30, 2012 @04:46PM (#41822869)

    I am sorry but the freaking SDK for windows Phone 8 was released today. Today!!! Are you saying they shoudl have been attracting developers when the SDK was released a few hours ago. This has got to be one of the stupidest articles I have ever seen posted on /. and that is saying something.

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