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Devs Flay Microsoft For Withholding Windows 8.1 RTM 413

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 Mabhatter ( 126906 ) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:30PM (#44693047)

    If I'm a Dev, I would be trying to use the FIXED features as much as possible, especially for desktops. So if I was working on a win 8.1 app, I just got nicked at the last minute. So when my customer upgrades at 12:01am I got no chance to get a patch in place. Behavior like that is Microsoft throwing their devs under the bus (of pissed off customers) for no good reason at all.

    I think Apple still gives Devs a few days between releasing "Gold" to them and the package for general release. That way they have lead time to load up the App Store for release day.

  • by linebackn ( 131821 ) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @10:39PM (#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 recoiledsnake ( 879048 ) on Tuesday August 27, 2013 @11:32PM (#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) [] []

    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 nateman1352 ( 971364 ) on Wednesday August 28, 2013 @01:24AM (#44693941)

    As someone who has written and maintained complex commercial Windows software recently I can say that since Windows Vista the backwards compatibility story with Windows is not nearly as good as it used to be. Pretty much every new version of Windows since then has brought some serious changes in behavior.

    With Vista the big breaking change was of course UAC which I'm sure everyone here knows about.

    Windows 7 on the surface did not introduce a large amount of breaking changes when compared to Windows Vista. Probably the biggest breaking change was the need to use a new GUID [] in your application manifest if you didn't want your customers to be annoyed by the "Program Compatibility Assistant."

    However, Win7 was the first version where 64 bit OS installations really took off. Depending on the application, making an existing 32 bit Windows application work on a 64 bit OS can be a lot of work. I'm not talking about recompiling to 64 bit here either. There are a fair number of breaking changes with regard to COM objects, esp. if you are mixing .NET and native code anywhere.

    Win8 brings us Metro/Modern apps which most Windows developers have been ignoring because of lack of backwards compatibility with Win7 and a strict sandbox that makes it almost impossible to write anything other than silly casual games (Cut the Rope/Angry Birds) or an "app" that does nothing more than access a website which you could access with your web browser anyway ("Facebook app"/"Netflix app".)

    For the people who write applications (not "apps") Windows 8 has a couple things that make life difficult as well. One of the big ones is how difficult it is to perform an automated installation of .NET 3.5 []. For those doing driver development, the addition of connected standby to Win8 has really complicated life as well.

    All this adds up ever since Vista we have always had to make changes to our software to support a new OS release, wierdly enough binary compatibility between OS releases on Windows is actually becoming comparable to a typical Linux distribution. With the release cadence of Windows becoming quicker ongoing support and maintenance for commercial Windows software is quickly becoming as expensive as commercial Linux software support.

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