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Microsoft Windows

Devs Flay Microsoft For Withholding Windows 8.1 RTM 413

Posted by Soulskill
from the build-your-apps-against-the-code-you-imagine-we'll-ship dept.
CWmike writes "Windows app developers are taking Microsoft to task for the company's decision to withhold Windows 8.1 until mid-October. Traditionally, Microsoft offers an RTM to developers several weeks before the code reaches the general public. On Tuesday, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached RTM, subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17, saying it was not finished. Antoine Leblond, a Microsoft spokesman, said in a blog post, 'In the past, the release to manufacturing milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use. However, it's clear that times have changed.' Developers raged against the decision in comments on another Microsoft blog post, one that told programmers to write and test their apps against Windows 8.1 Preview, the public sneak peak that debuted two months ago. One commenter, 'brianjsw,' said, 'In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before [general availability]. The fact that Microsoft no longer seems to understand this truly frightens me.'"
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Devs Flay Microsoft For Withholding Windows 8.1 RTM

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:12PM (#44692943)

    Now we don't even test anymore - the customers can test.

    Go team retard!

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:21PM (#44692989)

    so Microsoft wants only the agile and extreme to survive, while the slackers get left behind. makes sense to me.

    Sounds more to me like Microsoft is making consumers be beta testers for all of the 3rd party software out there, and putting a much higher support burden on the independent software developers since they can't test their software on the released OS until the public does.

  • by masterofthumbs (2881445) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:26PM (#44693013)

    So when it gets released and pushed out over Windows Update, the average user's install won't break because some little driver has an issue with how Windows 8.1 does things. Having the RTM out early also allows OEMs to make sure they are picking hardware that will work best with Windows 8.1 and have 8.1 machines ready for to be sold when 8.1 drops. By not having an RTM, Microsoft is telling everyone to go screw themselves and that they'll have to figure out if stuff works on Release Day.

  • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:27PM (#44693027)

    Can you please explain why developers need the early access? Is Windows 8.1 not backwards compatible? If it's not available to devs prior to GA will the users end up spending several months being able to do nothing but play solitaire? What is the significance of a third-party piece of software being GA on the exact day as the OS it targets?

    Backwards compatible is not always backwards compatible, I haven't written MS software in ages but plenty of things behave differently with new releases and SP's - sometimes bugs that your software has been written to work around have been "fixed", which then makes your workaround fail... Maybe your software doesn't use any of those bits, or maybe it makes your software crash upon startup. The only way to know is to run it against the same release that consumers are getting.

  • Oh hell no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:30PM (#44693043) Homepage Journal

    On Tuesday, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached RTM, subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17, saying it was not finished.

    What the fuck. No. Words mean things, and "release to manufacturing" means that the software is ready for Releasing To Manufacturing. It doesn't mean "beta 15", or "we think this might be ready", or "release candidate". It means that it's ready to ship and that this is what will be going out the door on launch day.

    Google's infinite betas are a bit of mild industry humor, but "beta" doesn't have an inherent definition. You can stretch it to justify almost anything. But "RTM", "release candidate", and others have very specific, unambiguous meanings. If it's not finished, it's not RTM no matter who the hell says it is.

  • Issue is overblown (Score:2, Insightful)

    by readingaccount (2909349) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:32PM (#44693055)

    The APIs were in the CTP. If nothing changed it shouldn't be as scary as the story indicates. Though it does make for good MS bashing, which is why it's here.

  • by iggymanz (596061) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:32PM (#44693059)

    that's fine too, they'll keep buying Microsoft since that's what's pre-loaded on almost everything sold. suckers. Remember Ballmer and MS only "in trouble" because their ever growing profits and income are growing quite as fast as they'd like. they aren't hurting at all

  • The devs can use Windows 8.1 preview

    I think the point of the article is that developers feel likely to end up burned by any substantial differences between Windows 8.1 preview and Windows 8.1 RTM. When a difference between preview and RTM causes an application not to work, it may end up with unjustified 1-star ratings (or whatever the equivalent on Windows Store is).

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:38PM (#44693101) Homepage Journal
    If a behavior difference between preview and release causes an application that worked under preview to fail under release, the owners have to deal with increased support issues resulting from this failure. Support costs money.
  • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:45PM (#44693145)

    What it means is that the developers should calm down because MS didn't actually make any significant changes. They're just dropping in a new default wallpaper and turning off a few features everyone hates to make it more 'user friendly'.

  • Re:Oh hell no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex.project-retrograde@com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:46PM (#44693153)

    Yep. Came here to say this too... but also:

    subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does

    Well, guess we don't need MSDN subscriptions anymore then now that they're fucking useless.

  • Dont Care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stanlyb (1839382) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:46PM (#44693159)
    Simply put, you, the developer, are out of picture. MS, simply, don't, care, about, you, anymore. Period.
  • by slack_justyb (862874) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:54PM (#44693223)

    I call BS. In some pink fluffy world where unicorns do prance, doth Microsoft hold steady between preview release and RTM. Preview is just that, a preview of some ideas that they may or may not keep come RTM. So developing on preview is always a gamble because the technology that was there but not mature in preview, may have just been pulled in order to make RTM timeframe.

    Microsoft holding the golden bits back is just another peg in their hostilities towards developers and pretty much renders a good bit of MSDN memberships useless, not all grant you, but I know a lot of people who hold MSDN membership just so they can be ahead of the curve. Holding back is just plain silly but strangely makes sense for some company that continues to gear away from the old "Desktop Think".

    I'm not judging you, it's a common thing to think preview = RTM, but historically that's just not been the case. Microsoft is prone to fiddle between the two time slots, and your program is hosed if it tickles the fancy for someone, to add some extra BOOL parameter to a method to make it work for some vendor in testing.

    Preview is not equal to RTM and trying to develop software you intend to sell to someone(s) for large sums based on preview, is just begging for support tickets to flow in like the breaking of the Teton Dam. When you hear a bunch of MCSDs gather round talking about that guy, that's the guy their talking about. Don't be that guy.

  • by denmarkw00t (892627) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:12PM (#44693307) Homepage Journal

    Turning off a few "features" that devs haven't hopefully designed around in their apps. It's important to keep the people who are the backbone of your OS's ecosystem in the loop - no devs = no users.

  • by tuppe666 (904118) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:18PM (#44693335)

    Remember Ballmer and MS only "in trouble" because their ever growing profits and income are growing quite as fast as they'd like. they aren't hurting at all

    Nobody is suggesting that M$ is in any financial Difficulty. The "in trouble" is 5 quarters of PC sales down. The "in trouble" is missing the boat on massive computing shifts like mobile and cloud. The "in trouble" is its partners are walking away form Windows and announcing greater Android and Chrome products. The "in trouble" is its trying to be a services and devices company...and failing at both. The "in trouble" is those competitors it could crush with spare change or be having or being a monopoly, now have Billions of their own they are struggling to spend. The "in trouble" is suddenly both its cash cows of Windows and OS have competitive replacements at little or no cost.. The "in trouble" is its brand smells of failure. The "in trouble" is everything it had depends on its "windows" monopoly, and suddenly that is looking to be a legacy windows monopoly/Microsoft Office Insurance monopoly, and suddenly those are not not as relevant, and becoming less relevant.

    Ballmer is not "in trouble" he is out the door, stabbed in the front by Bill no less, and its not because Microsoft is "in trouble" financially its just all that future computing cash looks to be flowing to other companies who aren't "in trouble"

  • by tepples (727027) <tepples@gmaiBLUEl.com minus berry> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:22PM (#44693363) Homepage Journal

    8.1 will bring back the look and feel older people where missing

    How so? I've read that 8.1 just brings back a visible button in the lower left to open the Start screen. It still has the same problem that the Start screen entirely covers up the applications you were using on the desktop, breaking subconscious continuity, unlike the Windows 7 Start menu or the Classic Shell Start menu that sits in the lower-left corner and leaves what you were working on visible.

  • by BitZtream (692029) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:28PM (#44693393)

    Microsoft believes that 8.1 is so much like 8.0 that it won't need testing. They've stated this multiple times before.

    Considering that they do actually do extensive testing and dogfooding, its probably reasonably safe.

    It also means they are telling you that they didn't make any real changes and are charging you for the service pack they refuse to create for 8.0.

  • Or maybe, just maybe, the dirty little secret MSFT doesn't want you to know is really the fact that Windows 8.1 is just Windows 8 with a switch flipped that will let you go to the desktop and some more "apps apps apps, have we mentioned we have an appstore with apps?" in your face metro bullshit. Like making a "Start Goatse" as I call it where you click the start button trying to escape and it hauls your ass right back to metro...have they mentioned they have touch and apps?

    Or maybe the engineers at MSFT are doing this on purpose, its been widely known that ballmer is fricking HATED by many at the company and doing what they can to make sure "Ballmer's Folly" flops as bad as Win 8? Really wouldn't be out of the question. At the end it won't matter though as i can tell you little shops like mine have stopped carrying Win 8x anything as I have watched people gladly pay for a more expensive refurb with Win 7 than be forced to take Windows 8, its a giant DO NOT WANT as far as consumers are concerned and after I was stuck fixing that mess a few times i can say honestly? Don't blame 'em.

    It takes a HELL of a lot more than simply slapping Start8 to kill the abomination that is "Oh hai I'm a cellphone LULZ" Metro, specifically it took a half a dozen deep level registry hacks AND hunting down a generic synaptics touchpad driver to kill those $%#^%# swipe gestures bullshit, and even then it looks like a poor man's Win 7 copy. I'm predicting it'll bomb and suck and be the punchline of jokes, just like Win 8. They can polish their asses off but all they are gonna have is a shiny turd NOT a diamond!

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:23AM (#44693683)

    If you hadn't noticed, MSFT requires you to create an XBOX account to play certain games and music in 8.1.

  • Insightful, really mods? Got news for ya pal and its that NOBODY IS BUYING WIN 8! In fact I can get a refurb Win 7 machine sold in a few hours, i had a Win 8 machine sit SEVEN MONTHS before it sold, how did I sell it? Put Win 7 on it!

    MSFT is screwed on two fronts, 1.- After the MHz Wars switched to the Core War PCs quickly became waaaaaay overpowered compared to the jobs that folks had to do, so that 5 year old C2D laptop, or Phenom I X3 desktop? it has more cycles to spare than Joe Average knows what to do with. 2.- When it does come time to get something new a lot of people are either having the machine they have fixed or are buying a Win 7 system because Win 8 is a DO NOT WANT, its Vista all over again with people using downgrade rights (I've had to deal with downgrades so often that I now charge extra if I have to call for a key) or buying OEM or getting a refurb unit, whatever it takes the vast majority will do because they hate Windows 8!

    Dude its not even just the little guys like me, its gotten so bad for the OEMs that Lenovo and Acer are selling their PCs "pre hacked" [computerworld.com] with a third party shell already bolted on so the machine looks and acts like....Windows 7! That is fricking bad when the #1 OEM on the planet has to hack the shell just to get anybody to buy a PC with Windows 8 on it, I mean how piss poor do you have to be for sales to have the OEMs go out and buy a third party shell and bolt that shit on there just to move some units?

    So try looking at those figures again before you say MSFT has the customers locked in, because between Android, ChromeOS, OSX, iOS, and Win 7 frankly there is a lot of choices for those that think Win 8 is a turd and judging by the adoption rates a hell of a lot more are ignoring or actively avoiding Win 8 than are buying.

  • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:41AM (#44693771) Homepage

    It also means they are telling you that they didn't make any real changes and are charging you for the service pack they refuse to create for 8.0.

    8.1, or SP1 if you prefer, is a free download.

  • by bryanbrunton (262081) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:19AM (#44693921)

    This post is a public plea for someone within Microsoft to come forward with documentation on the rationale behind the recent apparent loss of all reason and common sense by the company.

    Please, please come forward now!

    The actions of this company make no sense to us. We are bewildered by the illogically behavior of Microsoft's direction.

    Everyone knows that to ruin the useability of Windows by the utter donkey skit that is the Metro Interface makes no sense. There must be some greater reason behind these mysterious decisions that Microsoft has recently under taken.

    So give us an internal memo or two! There must have been voices of intelligence within Microsoft who argued against the self-destructive path that it has recently undertaken.

    Let us know why Microsoft is committing public suicide.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:21AM (#44693927)

    Metro apps written for 8.0 won't be "glitchy".

    That you know of. No-one can tell since no-one can test.

    Once 8.1 is released, developers can test and release their new version of apps using the new APIs.

    First of all, that means mostly no apps that make use of 8.1 specific features on launch.

    Secondly, it's not about the new API's, it's about ensuring that older stuff is bug free. I've never met an OS patch yet that didn't impact some subset of applications.

  • by Urkki (668283) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:45AM (#44693995)

    We would, but seeing as you haven't left the Holy Sepulchre at the Church of Microsoft, we'd have to yell really loud.

    Whoa he doesnt like Google and we all know the only people that dont like Google are people who love Microsoft! How could any rational person *not* like Google?!

    Does someone still like Google? Use their stuff, sure, lesser of evils etc, but like them... Seriously?

  • by Joce640k (829181) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @05:05AM (#44694609) Homepage

    People are so institutionalized that they can't even operate a PC without a start menu! T

    Of course they can....but the start menu was put into Windows for a reason. That reason hasn't gone away so why should the start menu be removed?

  • by gstoddart (321705) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @08:34AM (#44695327) Homepage

    OEM's have always been installing third party software in an attempt to improve upon Windows and differentiate themselves from each other.

    I'm more of the opinion they do it to get paid some distribution money from the third party crap. Much like I don't think Oracle is trying to improve Java or Windows when they try to install that Ask.com shit toolbar.

    Nobody is doing it to improve anything but their bottom line, and they're willing to install shitware to do it.

    I won't even buy an OEM install because it's got so much crap on it -- my mother in law and my wife's laptops took so much time to disable all of the shit it wasn't funny. What should be on paper a decent machine with nice specs is full of shit that slows it down and makes it unusable, because there's no memory left.

    More on topic, if Microsoft isn't going to get this to developers before they get it to the public, they're going to have the same problem they've been having ... in addition to nobody actually wanting Windows 8, there won't be any apps for it.

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