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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 iggymanz (596061) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:11PM (#44692939)

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

    • by hawguy (1600213) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:21PM (#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 iggymanz (596061) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:32PM (#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

        • by tuppe666 (904118) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:18PM (#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 Mashiki (184564)

            Nobody is suggesting that M$ is in any financial Difficulty. The "in trouble" is 5 quarters of PC sales down.

            Well, look at the state of the industry? If you game on a PC, do you need to upgrade it? Most of the time people are going 2-3 years now. That heavily attributed to consoles stagnating the market. If you do basic things on it, like email and word processing, do you really need more than a dual core for that? There isn't any drive in the market, in turn it's hit it's peak.

            • by cheekyboy (598084) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @05:43AM (#44694879) Homepage Journal

              and 1 core per virus scanner
              and 1 core per IE tab
              and 1 core per zynga game

        • 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 gbjbaanb (229885)

            IIRC Lenovo are selling machine pre-downgraded to Windows 7. Lenovo are also the only PC manufacturer who saw an increase in sales recently.

            I don't think the 2 are non-coincidental.

      • by Russ1642 (1087959) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:45PM (#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'.

        • by denmarkw00t (892627) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:12PM (#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 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:58PM (#44693249)

        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.

        You're exaggerating the burden. What are the odds that any single independent developer has managed to sell their app to all three people who own Windows 8?

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by BitZtream (692029)

        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.

        • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:41PM (#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.

          • Shouldn't have posted that. Better to let them wallow in their own ignorance rather than correct them with information which is very, very easy to find on the net. They've already made up their mind because if they really wanted to know the truth, they would have found out by now.

          • Will it be available to folks who don't have/use a Microsoft Account like every past service pack? Chances are its being deployed in the "Windows Store" and not Windows Update like it should be.
      • Saving money. Baller (not ballmer)
      • 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 exomondo (1725132)

        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.

        Which is pretty much how it's done with Android and that seems to work well enough. On the other hand their old strategy was to do it more similar to iOS and OSX which seem to throw out a new beta every 2 weeks, which works well for them too.

      • by leonbev (111395)

        It sounds like Microsoft wants a three to six month jump on their competition for Windows 8.1 "Modern UI" apps.

        Seems stupid to me, considering that most users aren't really buying into "Modern UI" anyway. I would want people filling their app store with as many launch day titles as possible to build legitimacy to the platform.

    • The devs can use Windows 8.1 preview and Visual Studio 2013 preview to make their apps.

      • 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 recoiledsnake (879048) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:32PM (#44693415)

          RTM means release to manufacturing, i.e to the OEMs to test on beta hardware and with beta drivers.

          Take Google, which just drops the new version of the Android SDK over the wall along with the hardware running the new version of the Android OS. I didn't notice any outrage there, perhaps because they don't allow comments on their blog posts(or they don't have blog posts). Or perhaps because if Google does it, it's okay.

          This is just a low-effort manufactured story quoting blog comments, by the cookie cutter Computerworld "journalists" who can't even spell "sneak peak[sic]" and submitted by them to Slashdot to troll for pageviews. Another Slashdot low.

          The author of this "article"? A certain Gregg Keizer, who is most well known for inteviewing a fake CEO(who was actually a computerworld writer himself) who faked Windows 7 benchmarks to spread FUD against Windows 7, which Slashdot predictably lapped up at the time. (now, Windows 7 is the best OS ever according to Slashdot though)

          http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9158258/Most_Windows_7_PCs_max_out_memory [computerworld.com]

          http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/why-we-dont-trust-devil-mountain-software-and-neither-should-you/31024 [zdnet.com]

          ComputerWorld reporter Gregg Keizer last week quoted a company source as boasting, “Outside of Microsoft, I don't think anyone knows more about Windows performance than us.”. ..
            ComputerWorld reporter Gregg Keizer has frequently been first on the scene with details when DMS has released a new study. We found at least a dozen stories under his by-line at ComputerWorld based on reports from XPNet, many including quotes from DMS Chief Technology Officer Barth. As we note later in this report, our reporting strongly suggests that “Craig Barth” does not exist and is in fact a pseudonym for InfoWorld contributing editor Kennedy since the late 1990s

          Yet Slashdot continues to fall victim to this junk on multiple stories every week, the jokes on us. However, it's apparent that readership is dropping, as people with half a brain continue to quit, the moderation becomes even more brutal towards any comment that is not hating on Microsoft(see GP comment modded down, perhaps by Computerworld sockpuppets for calling out CWMike), and people lose interest in submitted stories to a dead place, resulting in Computerworld and HotHardware's MojoKid blogspam taking over the front page as they have a vested interest to submit stories and write flamebait headlines and summaries as they know Slashdot laps it up, and this causes more people to leave.. The problem seems to be taking care of itself.

          • by mystikkman (1487801) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:00PM (#44693559)

            Take Google, which just drops the new version of the Android SDK over the wall along with the hardware running the new version of the Android OS. I didn't notice any outrage there, perhaps because they don't allow comments on their blog posts(or they don't have blog posts). Or perhaps because if Google does it, it's okay.

            The funny thing is that Google doesn't even release a beta or RC version for Android like MS did with the 8.1 preview. Where's the Slashdot story and outrage?

            The Slashdot story "Linux Vendors Push For Open-Source In Hybrid Datacenter Clouds" has just 19 comments after 4 hours. Now most of Slashdot comments consist of lame karmawhores like tuppe666, tepples, MightyMartian and bmo competing with each other to post the most puerile anti-MS drivel and modding each other up in the echochamber and shouting down anyone who points out their over the top hate and idiocy. Sad, really, atleast earlier insightful comments used to get modded up, now they have no chance.

          • Take Google, which just drops the new version of the Android SDK over the wall along with the hardware running the new version of the Android OS. I didn't notice any outrage there

            Google can do this because on release a very small number of normal users, plus some contingent of the most technically hard core are the only ones who are going to be running that version of the OS for a while.

            The day 8.1 goes out many millions of fairly non-technical people will be running it. If your software is glitchy at that

            • First, we are talking about Metro apps. Second, Windows 8 apps are fully supported without any changes in 8.1

              We're talking about new versions of Metro apps that can optionally use the new APIs in 8.1

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

              Given the number and usage of Metro apps, this isn't that big of a number. Second, the 8.1 preview has the necessary APIs required to develop and test, so this isn't like the Android situation.

              Once 8.1 is released, developers can test and release their new version of

              • by SuperKendall (25149) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:21AM (#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 gmhowell (26755) <gmhowell@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:52PM (#44693823) Homepage Journal

            However, it's apparent that readership is dropping, as people with half a brain continue to quit,

            Bullshit, I'm still here.

    • by jd2112 (1535857)

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

      On the other hand Microsoft had developer preview versions of Vista for ages and yet countless applications and hardware drivers weren't ready for it's much delayed release.

    • Is it your OS? No. It is Microsoft's OS. They have never offered a fair field for ISVs. Be glad they still let their users run your app at all.
    • by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @02:32AM (#44694383) Journal

      Windows Dev: Gives us the RTM MS or else!

      MS: Or else?

      Windows Dev: Or.... or... I will continue to buy into your mono-culture by not learning any portable languages or tool chains and only develop for your product to the greater glory of your holiness.

      MS: I might have stepped in something, lick clean my shoe and try to hide your excitement.

      Windows Dev: Yes glorious master.

      MS knows EXACTLY how to treat its 3rd party developers. Like shit and the 3rd party developers will lap it up hoping that one day they will be bought out. Or *shiver* partnered. Which is code for getting it so hard up the ass your tonsils hurt.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:12PM (#44692943)

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

    Go team retard!

    • by http (589131)
      Why shouldn't 3rd party devs do this? MS has been doing it for forever.
  • by Neo-Rio-101 (700494) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:17PM (#44692981)

    No more Ballmer, no more Developers, Developers, Developers?

  • by dgharmon (2564621) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:22PM (#44692991) Homepage
    Withold access to the new APIs until their own stuff is out-the-door. Then third party developers will have to spend months playing catch-up ...
  • Oh hell no (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Just Some Guy (3352) <kirk+slashdot@strauser.com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:30PM (#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.

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

      by VortexCortex (1117377) <VortexCortex@@@project-retrograde...com> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:46PM (#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.

      • by MrDoh! (71235)
        Appears so, or Technet subs, oh, wait...
    • 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.

      ... and yet, at the same time, if you pick up a brand new PS3 or XBox game on the release date and shove it in your console, the first thing it does is download an update. People have come to not only understand day-1 patches, but almost expect them. And yes, that sucks for developers, because while you and your customers may be fine with a day-1 patch of your software as the price of install, you still need to write that patch on a stable code base.

  • 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.

    • Rarely are APIs stable between preview and RTM. Unless Microsoft has also done a 180 turn for stablilty between the two points, which from the article doesn't sound like the case, I wouldn't bet on APIs being stable between the two.
  • by linebackn (131821) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:39PM (#44693105)

    Keep in mind that Windows "8.1" is really just a service pack for Windows 8. Only the marketing department ran amok and decided to bump the version number to make it look like this "rapid release" shit.

    It is hilarious watching all the betaz folks getting all crazy excited over a damn service pack.

    • by Wingman 5 (551897)

      I would not call anything that bumps the kernel a minor revision number [wikipedia.org] "just a service pack".

    • It doesn't matter how it's named. Some devs that are complaining are not "betaz folks" as you dismiss them. Some of them merely want to make sure that RTM doesn't break anything. You know why? Because they are they ones who have to deal with it. Maybe RTM doesn't really change much. However, all they have is MS saying so. Anyone who's installed a Service Pack from any vendor should know better than take their word. Given how normal MS service packs break things, it's being prudent. But to me what M
  • Dont Care (Score:5, Insightful)

    by stanlyb (1839382) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @09:46PM (#44693159)
    Simply put, you, the developer, are out of picture. MS, simply, don't, care, about, you, anymore. Period.
    • by Teresita (982888) <badinage1@netzero dot n e t> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:00PM (#44693255) Homepage
      Microsoft got burned by all those developers bad mouthing Win8 for months before it came out, which killed sales, and they won't let that happen again. It's a Google conspiracy, you see. Because Win8 is actually a great OS. Who doesn't want to sit in the office all day swiping tiles until their arm breaks off? It's good for your triceps.
      • by AHuxley (892839)
        Exactly, Windows 8 starts up fast on a SSD, the productivity and games run well with new the fast new gpu and cpus, the computer shuts down fast too.
        8.1 will bring back the look and feel older people where missing and everybody will be happy.
        • by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:22PM (#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 mcl630 (1839996)

          Because startup and shut down speed are the most important aspects of an OS? FYI, Windows 7 starts up quite fast with an SSD too, and faster GPUs and CPUs will help no matter what OS you run.

    • by Kaenneth (82978)

      Missing Ballmer already?

    • Simply put, you, the developer, are out of picture. MS, simply, don't, care, about, you, anymore. Period.

      Are you sure you added the required amount of commas?

      I shall fix it for you:

      Simply, put, you, the, developer, are, out, of, picture. MS, simply, don't, care, about, you, anymore. Period.

  • 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

    if the code isnt finished, it's beta software at best.

    MICROSOFT, YOU ARE SELLING BETA SOFTWARE.

  • 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.

    I don't understand. RTM is the golden master which is finished.

  • Do they have the cash?

    I'm just thinking that it would be a fitting end to a decades long rivalry.

  • Hell, at this point, they're so far along they're wearing golf cleats and standing in a puddle of salty vinegar.

  • by bryanbrunton (262081) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @12:19AM (#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.

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