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Windows Microsoft Programming

Free Desktop Software Development Dead In Windows 8 462

benfrog writes "Microsoft has decided to restrict Visual Studio 11 Express, the free-to-use version of its integrated development environment, to producing only Metro-style applications. Those who would like to produce conventional desktop applications or command line -based applications are stuck with Visual Studio 2010 or buying the full version. Microsoft announced the Visual Studio 11 lineup last week."
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Free Desktop Software Development Dead In Windows 8

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  • by deniable ( 76198 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:06PM (#40117407)
    This isn't a dumb decision at all. It's the consequence of a dumb decision. VS Express was put out to get people to switch to .NET development. Now that they're trying to shift from .NET to WinRT or whatever it's called this week, the tools aren't needed any more but the WinRT versions are. Look further down the stack and this change makes sense in a Microsoft way.
  • by PurpleAlien ( 797797 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:09PM (#40117423) Homepage
    There is no reason you have to release your code under the GPL if you use the Qt libraries. Qt is licensed under the LGPL.
  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by King InuYasha ( 1159129 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:11PM (#40117445) Homepage

    Windows 8 WDK won't include one. Neither will the Windows 8 SDK.

  • by CAKAS ( 2646219 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:18PM (#40117495)
    Visual Studio has been paid product for most its lifetime. The few recent versions had the free "express" edition mostly suited towards students and new programmers. No one that actually does serious development work uses it - it's just there to try things out, just like demo versions of games. Yet, they still offer free version to make Metro apps - again useful for new programmers. But if you do serious work, you will get the full version, just like you always have.
  • by hargrand ( 1301911 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:20PM (#40117519)

    The Qt SDK has an option to be used with LGPL v 2.1 [] which will allow developers to release proprietary executables without being required to release their source code. Source release is only required if the developers make changes to the Qt SDK itself, which usually shouldn't be an issue. There's also a commercial license [] available if even this is too onerous.

  • by FranTaylor ( 164577 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:21PM (#40117529)

    Qt for Windows builds with mingw, so YES it is possible to build Windows desktop apps for free.

  • by hydrofix ( 1253498 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:21PM (#40117531)

    You are forced to release your software as GPL if you use the QT sdk tough.

    No you aren't []. Get your facts straight.

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by JDG1980 ( 2438906 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:22PM (#40117535)

    Visual Studio is hardly the only development IDE on Windows.

    What open-source C/C++ compilers for Windows support the full range of APIs? Last I checked, MinGW had no support for Direct2D and DirectWrite, which are hardly obscure or brand-new. And MinGW also does not support structured exception handling.

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:3, Informative)

    by CAKAS ( 2646219 ) on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:25PM (#40117575)
    MSDN documentation is free to access to everyone. There are also tons of programming books to learn coding from. They are all better than just learning from documentation.

    Borland isn't gone either - They're CodeGear now.
  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:32PM (#40117627)

    Too many windows fanboys/paid flacs have Slashdot accounts these days and mod anything that has legit criticism of MS products down...I've been watching this happen for the past little while here...and I would not be suprised if many of the IP address of those moding down post that are critical of MS come from Microsoft campuses or those employed by MS.

    Not quite; note the time of the article and the time of the first post. Yes, even beating out the first post trolls. Here, let me repeat that just to make sure it doesn't get lost in other sentences:

    That post beat out the first post trolls.

    We've had an infestation of not-at-all-subtle paid Microsoft shills with ready-made posts like that in here for a while, desperate to astroturf wherever they can. The mods are going to downvote them to oblivion, simple as that. It's just that there's no "-1 Spam" or "-1 Shill" mod, so "-1 Troll" is the closest we've got.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 25, 2012 @11:56PM (#40117793)

    Just download the MS SDK. It's been free for years and includes the compiler et al. It's only the pretty IDEs that are a problem.

    Not anymore: []

    "The Windows SDK no longer ships with a complete command-line build environment. The Windows SDK now requires a compiler and build environment to be installed separately."

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sc4Freak ( 1479423 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:07AM (#40117851)

    The Windows SDK won't ship with MSVC, but Visual Studio Express 11 still does. Visual Studio Express 11 still includes the full compiler toolkits and you're free to use those however you want as you could with the Windows SDK. But the IDE itself will only support creation of Metro-style projects.

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:21AM (#40117929) Journal

    You know that among modern OSes, Windows is unusual in that it doesn't come with a compiler as a standard feature.

    It's not quite so - it does come with compilers, just not with a C++ compiler. It does come with .NET (since Vista), and .NET runtime includes both C# and VB compilers, for the sake of runtime codegen (System.CodeDom).

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:2, Informative)

    by CAKAS ( 2646219 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:29AM (#40117981)
    I don't really like using Xcode. I'm now using Mac, so that's pretty much what I have for OS X development, but it still sucks compared to my Visual Studio development times. Likewise, Qt Creator and Eclipse are far away from Visual Studio.

    And what is $500 for any software development house? In western countries that is 1/8 of what single worker costs you to per month. And don't forget that Microsoft still has program that offers these tools free for students.
  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:5, Informative)

    by peppepz ( 1311345 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @12:42AM (#40118063)

    You know what this story actually tells?

    1) That you haven't read the article. Not only is Microsoft dropping the free edition of Visual Studio, they're also dropping the compiler from Windows SDK, therefore forcing you to buy the paid version of Visual Studio or, some people are suggesting here, rip the compiler out of the "free" Metro version of Visual Studio (I'm assuming that they found some guarantee by Microsoft that they will always make this hack possible both technically and legally).
    2) That you haven't ever used an open source IDE, as there are some which are perfectly competitive with Visual Studio (Netbeans, QT creator).

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 26, 2012 @02:04AM (#40118503)

    Hey shill fuckwit, there has always been a compiler included in the Windows SDK. Read the Fucking Article, you phonyass microsoftie-wannabe.

    And yes I am old enough to remember this going back to Windows 3.0.

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by donaldm ( 919619 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @02:14AM (#40118565)

    Don't forget that Nokia owns Qt (and Qt creator, etc), and they are now basically beholden to Microsoft. It is currently is a semi-symbiotic relationship, but there is plenty of past evidence to suggest that Nokia will eventually be forced to bend their knee to Microsoft.

    True, however from the web site.

    Qt Creator is available under GPL v3, LGPL v2 and a commercial license. i am quite sure even Microsoft would have a difficult time of forcing Nokia to stop making Qt freely available since the GPL does have teeth if the occasion arrises.

  • by flimflammer ( 956759 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @02:35AM (#40118663)

    But a lot of them do target XP, which is no longer supported in either version.

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:3, Informative)

    by PurpleAlien ( 797797 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @02:45AM (#40118701) Homepage
    It's actually not just a matter of the IDE alone. For me it's the combination of the IDE and Qt itself. People often forget Qt is not just a GUI toolkit - it provides a wealth of classes to implement really nice integrated applications.

    Let me give one example to clarify this: suppose you want to write an application which needs to interact with web content, say, a map (Google Maps or OpenStreetMaps for instance). You want GUI controls on the C++ side which interact with markers on the map, you want to interact with the JavaScript in the map from your C++ code and pass data back and forth (like this: []). You want to integrate web content in your desktop application - It's all there.

    Same if you want to use video, xml, link with a (embedded) database like SQlite, use GL content, use web services, gestures, (and many more: []), QtQuick for certain user interface (here: []), the signal/slot paradigm, the excellent documentation, etc. it's all there without having to go look for third pary libraries - plus it's all cross platform. You can take the same code, compile on Windows and move to Linux or Mac and it usually is just a matter of importing the project into Creator on the target platform and recompile it. All this is just fun to do with QtCreator because it is so well integrated and QtCreator is fine tuned for this.

    When looking purely at the IDE, I guess both have their advantages and disadvantages - but the ease and speed with which Qt and Creator allow for the development of cross platform applications and the overall speed of Creator make it come out ahead of VS.
  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by kthreadd ( 1558445 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @03:35AM (#40118897)

    Actually, Apple stopped shipping GCC a long time ago. /usr/bin/gcc is just a compatibility-wrapper on top of LLVM which translates command line options for GCC to the equivalents in LLVM.

  • Re:Wait, what now? (Score:4, Informative)

    by rb12345 ( 1170423 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @07:46AM (#40119779)

    Apparently, the SDK has always had a basic compiler included.

    As for alternatives, that's probably what will happen; people without MSDN access will just use GCC or Clang instead. However, given that the open source alternatives are far better supported under Linux or OS X, why write software for Windows? We're more likely to get new software projects targeting Linux, OS X or the mobile equivalents (Android/iOS) and ignoring Windows entirely. Alternatively, we get more web apps hosted on Linux servers that do not care about the type of client used. Either way, Microsoft and Windows users end up losing out on native software.

  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Saturday May 26, 2012 @09:02AM (#40120179)

    Basically, they are frightened by Apple's relative success in mobile computing devices. They previously had a strategy around tablet computing, and Windows 7 represented them addressing all the obvious tweaks to be applied to the desktop environment for tablet use case. That market still hasn't taken off, so they assume Metro and ARM are required.

    Of course, I think WP7 lackluster performance in the phone space demonstrates that perceived value of Windows on ARM is not particularly compelling. They might still think that the large form factor tablets might be more competitive, but I don't see any reason to believe it. In tablet space, MS best hope is probably Medfield and Brazos based devices, bringing the massive set of MS compatibile applications.

    Forcing Metro on Desktop users to the extent possible is probably also a strategy to effectively throw the desktop usability under the bus to force people to get used to the interface. The hope being if users end up using Metro UI every day, it would grow on them or at least they would tolerate and understand it, and consistency between Windows Phone and Windows desktop gives the phone product a boost.

The other line moves faster.