buzzy: Steven Universe from the show of the same name with a big smile (Default)
In Windows 8, Microsoft has put a lot of emphasis on Metro and its two-color ginormous tiles. It looks like if things continue on this path, eventually the desktop will be completely gone and everything will run on Metro. The first hint is Microsoft's announcement that the Express editions of Visual Studio, used to create Windows programs, will only create Metro apps. After a huge backlash (or as Microsoft put it, "after hearing objections from developers"), they decided to let hobbyist coders develop regular applications for other versions of Windows. Regular applications have a lower barrier to entering the market (as cheap as free), versus Metro apps having a cost of $49 for individuals and $99 for companies. (The individual is cheaper because you can only submit Metro apps on it. The company price lets you submit regular desktop apps to the store.) To send a desktop app in, you also have to have a "Hardware/Desktop Dashboard Company Account", which costs more money, though I don't know how much. Of course you also have to have a code signing certificate and your only choice of provider is the most expensive provider, Verisign. The general idea behind the store is to reduce malware, by having everything tested by Microsoft prior to release. This sounds great, in theory, but with the barriers erected, only rich developers (or poor ones with a patron) will have easily available apps. Since the store is prominently shown on the Start Screen by default (which you have to look at when logging into Windows 8), I'm guessing the simple-minded people will look for software in there instead of the Internet. There are also a limited number of countries that are allowed to submit apps. They are slowly adding countries, but I keep reading complaints from developers in various countries wondering when they'll be allowed to submit apps. Only people shelling out the big bucks for Software Assurance and using the Enterprise edition will be able to use in-house developed Metro apps. Companies that avoid Software Assurance and run the Pro version will have to use desktop software (which is luckily an option for now) or private cloud for in-house software. If endgame is having all applications go through Microsoft's vetting process and everything having to be Metro, there will not be very many applications available, and what is available will probably be expensive. Without applications available, who will need Windows? How quickly they forget, "Developers developers developers".
All this crap has stalled my C# project, since as a .NET project, I can't guarantee it'll work unless I target several potentially incompatible versions of the .NET Framework. I use features that at a minimum require the 3.5 Framework (installed in Windows 7/Server 2008 R2, installable all the way down to XP), but I would have to also target the 4.5 Framework to work on Windows 8/Server 2012 out of the box. (Meanwhile the VB6 runtime works without difficulty even on 32- and 64-bit Windows 8.) This is too bad because I got pretty far, even including some fancy system scanning code that fills in fields within the program with whatever information Windows already knows. (The program keeps track of various information on computers, allowing me to track hardware, software, and work done, kind of like the software a service desk would run, though targeted to very specific usage [i.e., me]. The idea was that I would develop software that's useful for me while learning C# at the same time. Everything about the progress of the program from inception to now should be tagged "c-sharp" on LJ and DW.) I guess I can move everything to PHP (and thus HTML5 and JavaScript) and MySQL and run it from any OS I want...even Windows with Metro.


buzzy: Steven Universe from the show of the same name with a big smile (Default)

January 2016

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