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Microsoft wants you to be able to run any app in all three ecosystems

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) currently curates three environments -- Xbox, Windows 8, and Windows Phone 8 -- all of which have different development libraries and require a lot of work to port from one to another.

But Microsoft hopes that with the Xbox One and Windows/Windows Phone 8.1 releases, these platforms can be brought together to the extent that a developer can make single app that can run on all three devices.  That's the vision new Windows Chief Terry Myerson -- formerly the head of the Windows Phone unit -- is pushing as Microsoft reorganizes following the acquisition of phonemaker Nokia Oyj. (HEX:NOK1V) and the pending departure of CEO Steve Ballmer.

At the a Financial Analysts meeting, he remarked:

The first of those [beliefs] is that we really should have one silicon interface for all of our devices," he said. "We should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices. [We want] to facilitate the creation of a common – a familiar – experience across all of those devices, but a fundamentally tailored and unique experience for each device.  [We] should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices.

Of course it may be impossible to escape some sorts of optimizations for more serious apps; after all Windows Phone is a very different screen size, while Xbox has extra media and gaming hardware resources.

Windows 8 tablet
Critcs complain about Microsoft's lack of a unified tablet/phone Windows Store.

Some are surprised that given Microsoft's push of various apps including the Office Suite to the cloud that it still lacks a single unified app store for its tablets and smartphones.  Apple, Inc. (AAPL) already has such an app store.  Microsoft might be able to follow a similar model to Apple in order to deal with the screen size problem -- allowing phone apps to run on the tablet, in upscaled form -- while making higher definition apps tablet/PC exclusive.

It's important to understand that at this point it's just talk -- we have no idea when Microsoft's unified environment will actually be ready for the market.  But Microsoft already has a unified interface (the Modern UI, aka "Metro UI") across all of its upcoming devices, so we're not that far off.  Microsoft's many developers should prepare themselves for this shift.

Sources: Microsoft, NeoWin



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What will come of this?
By retrospooty on 9/20/2013 5:03:42 PM , Rating: 1

3 completely different devices types (really 4) with 1 gutwrenchingly horrible interface (tiles)

Or a new direction ?




RE: What will come of this?
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 5:20:44 PM , Rating: 5
I don't think this has anything to do with the interface, and more about the underlying platform SDK. A common set of APIs. Write once, deploy to all. Nothing dictates that each has to use the same interface, or how the apps will be displayed to the user.


RE: What will come of this?
By retrospooty on 9/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: What will come of this?
By damianrobertjones on 9/20/13, Rating: -1
RE: What will come of this?
By retrospooty on 9/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: What will come of this?
By YearOfTheDingo on 9/20/2013 10:30:58 PM , Rating: 4
Write-once, run-anywhere is a pipe dream. The biggest challenge to getting a software program to run somewhere isn't architecture difference or incompatibility or whatever. The biggest challenge is getting people to want to use your software. If they think it sucks, then it ain't going to run anywhere. You're not the only developer in the world. There're many others out there doing the same thing as you. If they choose to focus on a single platform, their solution is going to be better than yours.


RE: What will come of this?
By name99 on 9/21/2013 12:41:41 AM , Rating: 2
A million times yes.
We have been through this already a dozen times, and it has always played out the same way.


RE: What will come of this?
By Flunk on 9/23/2013 10:22:20 AM , Rating: 2
I disagree, in today's "post PC" market people want to be able to work on one device, then put it down and pick up on another.

I think we're going to see a lot more cross-platform connectivity and if we can write the same based code with different interfaces for each it's going to save a lot of money and development time.

Different apps on different devices is an idea from another age. People want everything, everywhere, every time and as obnoxious as that is to program we need to support it with appropriate interfaces.


RE: What will come of this?
By Scrogneugneu on 9/21/2013 11:41:30 PM , Rating: 2
The interface or the SDK is not the problem. The platforms are the problem.

The usage patterns for a XBox, a PC and a Phone are very different, and I don't really think a single application would make sense on all 3 platforms at once. And even if there could be some specific examples, the vast majority will not fit the bill.

The amount of work required to create new, unified APIs is incredible, and getting developers to follow and use this new API is even harder.


RE: What will come of this?
By damianrobertjones on 9/20/13, Rating: 0
RE: What will come of this?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/20/2013 6:31:55 PM , Rating: 1
What part of "media center" screams being good for productivity and general PC use to you?

Nobody really likes Metro. Not on phones, not on tablets, and sure as shit not on desktops.


RE: What will come of this?
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 6:36:38 PM , Rating: 3
I think now you're just bashing it just to bash. Metro may be pretty unpopular in desktop and even many laptop environments, but I've heard almost nothing but compliments about the interface when used on the phone and tablets. It's really the two places that it really shines.


RE: What will come of this?
By Mint on 9/21/2013 12:35:20 PM , Rating: 2
The sad thing is that they could have implemented it well on the desktop, too, in any number of ways.

Tiles are objectively superior to icons. If an app wants to, it can display more info to the user without cluttering the system tray. I personally find the start page to be a very quick one-click launcher for almost all my desktop apps.

But MS should have kept the option to keep the start menu.

They should have had an option to use your existing start menu to intelligently auto-populate the start page.

They should have made a transparent start page the default, to mitigate the "seperate worlds" impression (Win 8.1 partially achieves this by using your desktop background).

Most importantly, they should have made a real tutorial.


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/20/2013 7:01:35 PM , Rating: 4
Sorry but I must be a nobody. Love it on phone, tablet, and have no problems on desktop.

I'm sorry you don't like integration. I don't play with my phone, tablet, or desktop. For me it's about productivity and integration. I buy a desktop enter my ms account, set it up and done. Buy a new phone and ONLY enter my ms account on set up and done. I have all calendar, contacts, photos, office docs, my whole desktop searchable. Buy a new tablet enter my ms account on set up and the same thing. No tweaking installing 3rd party apps. Just buy new device and it all works on set up. Maybe this is why windows 8 app store library is smaller. It already works.

I use my windows 8 devices for work and productivity. I'm not productive trying to install, tweak or download to make it work and go thru it all over again just because I buy a new device. If you like to play with your devices I don't care what you use, it's personal preference and that it.

Windows 8 integrates it's devices across more platforms easier than any other especially for productivity. I just buy a new device and done, to work I go.


RE: What will come of this?
By Mint on 9/21/2013 1:12:33 PM , Rating: 1
The poor productivity argument has never made any sense to me.

You go the start page, click once to launch the desktop app you want, and you're out. What is so unproductive about that?

Everywhere else in life and in computers a large 2D surface is more productive than a linear list. Bulletin board vs todo list, bookshelf vs filing cabinet, options page vs heavily nested menus, etc.

It's not a productivity issue. It's a comfort issue. Either that or people are using the metro version of software when they don't have to.


RE: What will come of this?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/22/2013 12:01:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
The poor productivity argument has never made any sense to me.


Have you actually sat down and tried to think about it? It doesn't seem like you have challenged yourself on this. You think it's "fine", therefore it simply must be.

The info is all there for you to Google. Pretty much every usability expert, people who evaluate software environments for a living, has given Windows 8 a poor grade. That's being kind, frankly Windows 8 has been crucified and eviscerated by professionals and experts alike.

Now maybe that sounds like a poor appeal-to-authority argument. But I'm just tired of endlessly explaining to other people, ad nausea, everything wrong with Windows 8 when they obviously refuse to see it. The whole world sees it, why can't you people?


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/22/2013 1:11:52 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
Have you actually sat down and tried to think about it? It doesn't seem like you have challenged yourself on this. You think it's "fine", therefore it simply must be.


Let's reflect on your own advise here. If you want to listen to the experts you would be using an iPhone and iPod right now. How come you didn't listen to Tony and almost every expert when the iPhone or pad came out.

I've already explained part of the productivity, metro UI, and start button in other reply's on this thread to you or others. If you choose to ignore It must have been to challenging for you.

As I have said before what technology does windows 7 have that 8 doesn't. 8 has all relevant and more making it more advanced than 7. Maybe you miss clicking the mouse button because the charms or mouse pointer to the sides steals those clicks away from you. Don't worry you get one back by clicking desktop where you are most at home. (but I'm sorry to say even that mouse click my be taken away from you with 8.1).

With all the "logic" you are using you should be using apple. Or maybe you are just trying to sound intelligent by rewording Tony arguments.


RE: What will come of this?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/22/2013 1:29:50 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
If you want to listen to the experts you would be using an iPhone and iPod right now. How come you didn't listen to Tony and almost every expert when the iPhone or pad came out.


Uhh that doesn't make sense. You're being too silly to even take seriously. I should be using Apple stuff and I'm using Tony's "arguments"..umm okay lol. Childish.

quote:
As I have said before what technology does windows 7 have that 8 doesn't. 8 has all relevant and more making it more advanced than 7.


Who's talking about what's more advanced?

You people really make me laugh. Windows 8 has been one of the biggest disasters at Microsoft. But in your minds, everything is just fine with it.

Charms bar? The Charms bar, and other hidden controls, are one of the worst ideas ever brought to Windows. You must be clinically retarded if you've convinced yourself otherwise.


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/22/2013 3:28:13 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Uhh that doesn't make sense. You're being too silly to even take seriously. I should be using Apple stuff and I'm using Tony's "arguments"..umm okay lol. Childish.
quote>

It really is difficult to have any conversation with you when it goes right over your head


RE: What will come of this?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/22/2013 3:49:20 PM , Rating: 2
It didn't go "over my head" it was just irrelevant and thus, dismissed. Frankly it was trolling.

If you want to troll and call me Tony, go waste another persons time.


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/22/13, Rating: 0
RE: What will come of this?
By Reclaimer77 on 9/22/2013 4:08:22 PM , Rating: 2
You know what man, you are over EVERYONE's head. I'll give you that...

Like the OTHER posters asked when you brought it up, wtf does Android have to do with this? That was 'over' their heads too!


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/22/2013 4:14:28 PM , Rating: 1
I know you're an Android user. Fine nothing wrong with it. I was trying to use simple association to try and help you understand. I apologize if that method doesn't work for you.


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/22/2013 4:32:14 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Like the OTHER posters asked when you brought it up, wtf does Android have to do with this? That was 'over' their heads too!


You mean singular poster? I wouldn't have to repeat myself if you could just read the response.

I've made my point, and yes I was trolling a little for you. I was looking for good discussion on this but it didn't work.


RE: What will come of this?
By domboy on 9/23/2013 9:14:21 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Charms bar? The Charms bar, and other hidden controls, are one of the worst ideas ever brought to Windows.


I have to agree. I've owned a Surface RT since February, and I while I think it's a great device, I really think that the above quote is what is wrong with modern ui. It's very much like the desktop with the taskbar set to auto-hide, which I also really dislike. Every other OS I've used has some sort of task or status bar that is always visible so you can check the status of thing on it at a quick glance. Having to swipe to check the time or the network status and so on just makes no sense. Linux, Android, and even OSX feel more "windows-like" than modern ui. It may be the future, but it seriously needs change before that can happen. Shucks, just making the taskbar visible would go a long way to fixing modern ui (now I understand that some apps should still go completely full screen, Netflix, games, etc).


RE: What will come of this?
By Nagorak on 9/21/2013 12:49:35 AM , Rating: 3
There's nothing wrong with the interface on tablets and phones, or even, for that matter, on a HTPC. The issue is forcing it onto desktop machines. You'll note that Apple has one OS for tablets and phones, and another for PCs. The same is true of Google with Android and Chrome.

Microsoft is screwing up by forcing a mobile OS onto devices that should not be running it.


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/21/2013 1:49:49 AM , Rating: 3
How is it a mobile os? Use desktop, that's why it's still there. As for no start button how is it so different from right clicking bottom of metro screen, there's the start button. If people are so stuck on a start button that is what metro is. Pin any program you want there or your desktop. Everything else works.

I don't understand how Android fan boys rip on the fact they don't have a cute start button. You all have 900,000 + apps and your lost without that one start button. Do what you brag about with Android and just download the dam app for your start button and drop this argument already.

nagorak this is not directed at you personally just a few other fan boys.


RE: What will come of this?
By Cheesew1z69 on 9/21/2013 10:40:06 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't understand how Android fan boys rip on the fact they don't have a cute start button.
Um.. no.


RE: What will come of this?
By Piiman on 9/21/2013 1:22:51 PM , Rating: 2
"How is it a mobile os? Use desktop, that's why it's still there."

For how long though?


RE: What will come of this?
By Piiman on 9/21/2013 1:24:40 PM , Rating: 2
What does Android have to do with anything? Android isn't making me put a phone UI on my PC.


RE: What will come of this?
By rsmech on 9/21/2013 4:12:16 PM , Rating: 2
It has everything to do with it. I have no problems with Android. Windows 8 is not a phone UI, you just don't know how to use it. If you don't like it just think of it as an extra feature. By all means use desktop that's what it's there for. If you can do a little customizing on an Android device I don't see were the complaints are about customizing window.

Go to the app store like any of the others or just install like you did on your old desktop.

It's the same as before just more. If you don't like the feature the wonderful thing is you don't have to use it. It's really that simple.


RE: What will come of this?
By Da W on 9/21/2013 9:41:08 AM , Rating: 2
I do.
My 2 years old daugther too. She prefers my syrface to her mom's iPad.


RE: What will come of this?
By Da W on 9/21/2013 9:43:49 AM , Rating: 2
And does that mean that Android or Chrome is better for office productivity? Or even KB/mouse gaming? Seems like people are buying those out of pure hatred toward MS.


RE: What will come of this?
By DiscoWade on 9/20/2013 7:01:47 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, no.

(1) Windows Media Center does not have tiles.
(2) WMC is designed specifically for a remote control.
(3) WMC doesn't have square edges or all capital letters on anything, even in W8 WMC.
(4) WMC scrolls up and down, not left and right.


RE: What will come of this?
By inighthawki on 9/20/2013 7:10:22 PM , Rating: 2
WMC was an early version of Metro. Zune built upon this for it's interface, and then soon after it became more standardized with Windows Phone.


RE: What will come of this?
By Piiman on 9/21/2013 1:26:18 PM , Rating: 3
All I can do is LOL at that.


RE: What will come of this?
By OoklaTheMok on 9/23/2013 8:55:43 AM , Rating: 2
You may not like it, but he is correct. The Metro design language has been incorporated into a few products before Windows Phone, such as in WMC and Zune most notably. At its core, it is a typographic interface and tiles were added later.


RE: What will come of this?
By retrospooty on 9/20/2013 8:51:44 PM , Rating: 2
Me? Come on, the internet has been on fire with people hating it for the past year. You may like it, but lets not act like its just me.

MCE was designed for use with a remote. Clue #1 its not right for any KB/mouse setup


RE: What will come of this?
By name99 on 9/21/2013 12:39:13 AM , Rating: 2
As Talleyrand said of the Bourbons:
"They have learned nothing, and forgotten nothing."


RE: What will come of this?
By damianrobertjones on 9/23/2013 5:46:26 AM , Rating: 2
"1 gutwrenchingly horrible interface"

That's just YOUR opinion. Others actually like the interface and millions have previously used it while it was Windows media Center


RE: What will come of this?
By OoklaTheMok on 9/23/2013 9:09:18 AM , Rating: 2
What I always thought was odd, was that WMC didn't get a makeover in W8. A new version would have been perfect in W8 and its interface would have been cohesive with the rest of the platform.

It was unfortunate that WMC had not garnered much support outside the base of diehard users. Most people knew nothing about it. It was like a hidden gem, but there were very few content partners developing for WMC. Though I do sort of understand why they want to move away from WMC, and it is because it competes, to a certain degree, with Xbox being the center of home entertainment. What has kept me from using my Xbox in this way, is the sh!tty Netflix app, and the fact I can only watch all of Hulu on a computer, not a device.

Long live WMC...


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