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Microsoft Windows Cellphones

Should Developers Support Windows Phone 8? 345

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

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  • by Locutus ( 9039 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:14AM (#40838227)
    will anyone hear it?

    Ok, so will there really be much of a market when most fanbois will be getting x86 Windows 8 devices and skipping on Metro? Without any support on the desktop/laptop side what does Windows Phone 8 have going for it to attract developers? Single digit market share for many years should be expected with WP8 while Android and iOS split the market and continue to grow.

    Just like WP6.5 and WP7, it won't matter how many hundreds of millions or even billions in marketing Microsoft spends, without the ability to eliminate Android from the market WP8 gets no love outside of Redmond WA. IMO

  • by epyT-R ( 613989 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:18AM (#40838271)

    face it, the days of people spending $20 on stupid beer drinking and fart apps are long over.. this is why most mobile devs saying stuff like this are butthurt.. people won't pay for crap anymore. they will however pay for substantial apps that are reliable at the required task....on any platform.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:22AM (#40838301)

    In my opinion, Windows Phone 8 would be great choice to support. Windows Phone 7 has shown that the market place is mature and most importantly, users of WP devices are filling to pay for apps. This is in big contrast to Android where most users will just try to get either your app for free, or only download free apps.

    On top of that Windows Phone 7/8 supports the fantastic developer tools that is Visual Studio. There is no better IDE around and I really wish I would have it on my OS X.

    Another MS Shill trolling. MS fanbois do realize that MS makes more money from Android right now than they do from Windows phone. I won't even dignify the visual studio remark.

    Next time make it more obvious you signed up just to make a pro MS comment!!!

  • Will it sell? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:26AM (#40838327)

    Will it sell? So far their phones haven't sold in any volume, even Samsungs Bada OS has sold double that.
    Will you gain a skill useful elsewhere? I doubt this platform will be used anywhere else, their platforms are very fragmented at this point.
    Will it succeed in a niche? Erm, well no, can't think of a niche for it.

    I noted the cost ($10k) MS was charging XBox games developers to certify every app and patch and I reckon if you ever make a successful app, they'll milk all the profits out in certification fees and fees to be included in the app store.

    I see FP is in love with Visual Studio, but you're probably better off getting up to speed with Eclipse at this point.

  • No. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ajlitt ( 19055 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:33AM (#40838393)
  • by LordLimecat ( 1103839 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:53AM (#40838505)

    Yet another slashdotter with a whopping 2 posts to their name, a 7-digit UID, no karma to speak of, who managed to land on the site right as this article was posting to drop some praise for MS. Hey look, you got the achievement "posted a comment" today, but Im sure this is an honest opinion, right? Just happened to be a positive comment about MS 60 seconds after an article on MS was submitted?

    You all really do think we're stupid, huh? That we wont notice the EXACT SAME THING [slashdot.org] happening over and over?

    Why didnt you manage to work any subtle jabs towards competitors in? Oh wait, you did, well done.

  • Re:Market Share (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @12:57AM (#40838515)

    Good riddance. If you're so poorly educated that you think that the US has a free market, then we definitely don't need you around. The US has crony capitalism instead of a free market, otherwise it should be trivial to buy a computer without having either OSX or Windows installed and the laws would require MS to give full refunds conveniently for those not wishing to use their products.

    Linux is better now than it ever was, provided you choose a sane distro.

  • Dead OS walking (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:17AM (#40838623)

    Windows Phone 8 isn't even out yet and it's already irrelevant.

    No one wants it:

    End users don't want it because the launch phones are uninspiring and lag the competition in both specs and style. Besides, it's Windows. Who chooses Windows if they have an affordable alternative with all the apps they need?

    Developers don't want it because it lacks users and so far the platform looks less capable than either iOS or Android. It's also not a sure thing in the marketplace long-term, MS has already made developers for their mobile platform redevelop everything TWICE, so any development investment has a good chance of being wasted. Backwards compatibility used to be one of Microsoft's big things, but not on mobile.

    Corporates don't want it because it doesn't yet have the central management facilities that iOS, Android and especially BlackBerry have. Its basically a brand new OS for mobile and corporates take time to make decisions and switch. Meanwhile, Android and iOS are taking over and show no signs of stopping.

    Also, after Windows 8 comes out for desktops, Metro is going to be the least popular user interface style on the planet after it catastrophises everyone's Windows desktop experience. This does not make for a popular phone OS.

    In short: Windows Phone 8 is dead already, it's just Steve Ballmer is too desperate to keep his job to notice.

  • by dutchwhizzman ( 817898 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:17AM (#40838625)
    There is no "news for nerds" value in his astroturfing, so he doesn't deserve getting a front page post, nor does he deserve a break.
  • by bmo ( 77928 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:20AM (#40838649)


    In order for a "me too" product to succeed in a marketplace full of similar products and establish itself as the new leader, it has to be twice as good as the current market leader.

    None of Microsoft's "me too" products over the last 10 years have done this. Not even the xbox which comes in a distant second to the Wii as of June 30. Should anyone dispute that, because I know there are a lot of fanboys here:

    Worldwide Sales Figures
    Wii -- 96.56 million as of 30 June 2012[8]
    Xbox 360 -- 67.2 million as of 31 March 2012[52]
    PlayStation 3 -- 63.9 million as of 31 March 2012[53]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Console_wars [wikipedia.org]

    All the previous Microsoft phone OSes have been market disasters, taking single-digit slices of the market pie. Mostly because they sucked outright.

    Is WP 8 twice as good as Android or iOS or even Symbian? No. It's just another "me too" smartphone OS barely even with the others. Is the smartphone hardware from Nokia twice as good as the hardware from Apple or Samsung? The days of Nokia producing a superior product compared to its competitors are long gone.

    The only way for a fair-to-middling product to succeed in a market already dominated by others is to "choke off the oxygen" of one of the competitors. But while this strategy may have been successful in the past, Microsoft doesn't seem to be able to cut off anyone's oxygen these days except when they teamkill one of their partners in the head.

    So why does Ballmer and Microsoft think it deserves the top spot?

    And anyone who puts a question in the headline deserves a ripened pine cone up the ass.


  • by Nursie ( 632944 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:34AM (#40838725)

    Android doesn't really have fragmentation issues. Older apps run mostly fine on newer phones, and google supplies a compat library for newer apps to run on older phones.

    What Android has is choice. Win Phone 7 didn't have that (specs set by MS). i don't know if Windows Phone 8 will or not. but it doesn't really matter because -

    MS are not cool.

    They're like your dad trying to dance at a nightclub. Even if he gets it right, he's still your dad and it's still highly embarassing.

  • by Loopy ( 41728 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:37AM (#40838741) Journal

    Is what phone/OS a developer supports supposed to be up to some groupthink decision based on some "prevailing wisdom?"

    I may be picking a few nits but this seems to be a thinly veiled form of Begging The Question considering the obvious bias in the submission.

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:41AM (#40838763)

    I really thought Microsoft had a chance with WP7. I said repeatedly they could at least show a strong third place, possibly even take over Android's position.

    This was based on WP7 being really well designed, Nokia hardware being really good, and Microsoft pouring a ton of money into having a really competitive app market.

    But Microsoft has screwed this all up. WP7 developers have to re-work how they develop. Hardware that should have formed the base of a wave today, will not even support WP8 tomorrow!

    Microsoft is still pouring a ton on money into app development but as far as introducing platforms, it's like they are starting from scratch AGAIN and WP7 never happened. They were late before, now they are WAY too late.

    Perhaps they can still pull back. Perhaps Surface will do really well and drag WP8 along behind it. But they have a massive uphill climb now, that they made worse by digging down a mile or so to start with.

    Good luck Microsoft, and I say that because Apple and the market in general need strong competition... but the odds look long and I hope you realize that.

  • Infrastructure? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by jandersen ( 462034 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:45AM (#40838783)

    Smart phones may be cool and all, but the infrastructure is missing - the network coverage is simply not good enough and what there is, is not too reliable. It may be good enough for those that mostly use messaging, but when your business depends on you being accessible and on the move, it is no good. You can't have a conversation if you lose signal every few minutes.

    The thing is, once you get past the wow-factor of the iPhone et al, what you have is basically a clumsy mobile phone and a computer that is too small and slow, with an unreliable internet connection; and you are sqeezed to pay for everything you try to do, more or less. I can't see that as a lasting businesss model - the benefits are too small for the price.

  • by jbolden ( 176878 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:47AM (#40838795) Homepage

    The problem is... there aren't that many of you. .NET is a terrific compiler and a good technology stack. By any reasonable measures vastly richer than the stack for the web. Yet year after year after year more and more software migrates to the web and web based technologies. The rich exciting market for new native applications is happening in XCode for iOS. There market is scuttled. It may very well have happened in the move from COM to .NET but it has already happened.

    No one else offers ubiquitous computing with full functioning business productivity software available on every device a person owns. No one else is even trying. I don't know whether Microsoft will be successful in their Windows 8 strategy or not. But I wouldn't accuse them of copying. Their vision is bold.

  • by Sir_Sri ( 199544 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @01:59AM (#40838863)

    The key seems to be their integration strategy moving forward. You can't really avoid Metro in windows 8, there's a desktop there, but it's decidedly second fiddle to metro.

    By this time next year I expect they're planning to have a full range of integrated products. Windows 8 desktop, tablet, phone, windows 8 phone or tablet connecting your PC or Xbox as something, a mechanism to better manage programs on windows 8 etc.

    Ultimately supporting windows phone 8 is going to just be supporting windows 8. You may need a recompile and some work to port to ARM, but basically the core of programming should be the same between the two. So there's not a whole lot of reason not to support windows phone when you're writing an application for windows 8 (which is where the real money in software is anyway) you may as well set it up so it can handle a small screen size at the same time.

  • by Stiletto ( 12066 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:12AM (#40838935)

    Suppose you've already got a game where most of the core code is written in C++ and uses OpenGL. Right there, you're hitting iOS and Android (assuming a minimal amount of Objective-C &Java simply for integrating into the platform).

    Now you've got a decision: work on some cool, valuable features for the next version of the Android/iOS game, or completely re-write it using the Microsoftie languages, technologies, and UI idioms they force you to use, and have to maintain two code bases. I know which one I'd choose

    Windows Phone is not going to get any real developer love until they give in and stop forcing their technology stack on us.

    Microsoft, while you're bootstrapping your platform and trying to attract developers, wouldn't it make sense to make porting easier?

  • Re:Dead OS walking (Score:5, Insightful)

    by marm ( 144733 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @02:37AM (#40839093)

    Its entirely possible that the mixture of mouse, keyboard, voice, touch, stylus with all the different forms of breaking off screens and keyboards is such an amazing computing experience that it becomes the future. Obviously disaster is more likely, but the vision here is rather bold and exciting.

    Sure the vision of Metro is good, but the implementation of it on Windows 8 desktop, with the constant jarring between the familiar desktop and the Metro launcher/start menu, is going to send desktop Windows users mad. For most people the desktop Windows 8 Metro start menu is going to be the first time they've seen the Metro style, and so far it doesn't look like it works well there, not with the keyboard and mouse that most will be using it with.

    My suspicion is that it will engender such a dislike for Metro that it will actually put people off Metro altogether - the exact opposite of what Microsoft are hoping will happen, and not good for WP8.

  • Simple Answer: No (Score:1, Insightful)

    by unixhero ( 1276774 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @03:25AM (#40839415)
    It's a trap
  • by Miamicanes ( 730264 ) on Wednesday August 01, 2012 @09:46AM (#40841615)

    The sad thing is, if Windows Phone devices were at least as open as Windows Mobile was on real phones like the PPC6700 (ie, not open source, but no bootloader locks or other impediments to having fun), it would probably be a viable contender, if only because Android has been out now for ~3-4 years, fatigue over locked-down hardware and the stupid kernel-ABI problem that breaks every fscking non-opensource driver on phones every time Google releases a new version is setting in, and claims about its "openness" are starting to feel more like cruel teasing.

    Unfortunately, Windows Phone is a Microsoft Cargo Cult. Microsoft makes design decisions blindly mimicking Apple, with no apparent understanding of why Apple did it and/or the practical consequences of doing so. It's a phone with random, conflicting agendas that serves none of them well. Imagine how Android would have stagnated during its first 2 years if XDA-Developers.com hadn't existed to push the envelope and give it features it didn't officially have yet. It's like Microsoft studied everything that Android owners hate about Android, then made a point of doing the same things even more forcefully. It's like a repeat of pre-Nexus One Android. Windows Phone devices are sold with underpowered hardware that doesn't have enough flash or ram to survive even a single major OS upgrade, and Microsoft tries to sell devices that are basically paperweights after 3-9 months because they refuse to even go through the MOTIONS of giving them enough headroom to grow and evolve for at least a year or two.

    Nobody sane is going to knowingly buy a phone that has no short-term future. When somebody buys a new phone, they don't give a damn if the PLATFORM will be around for years. They care about the specific piece of hardware they're holding in their hands. If that device has no future and has a visible EOL before it's even a month old, the platform itself might as well shrivel up and die, because nobody is going to view it as anything besides a waste of time. It's like Microsoft learned ABSOLUTELY NOTHING from the OVERNIGHT (literally) loss of 97% of their Windows Mobile user base to Android the moment they announced that Windows Mobile was officially dead, and their final phone officially had no future because it had 4 buttons with the wrong symbols printed on them instead of the three officially-approved ones. Apparently, they were deluded enough to think people would keep buying an EOL'ed phone whose future was officially declared to be nonexistent.

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