Developers aren't very excited about Windows 8

One of the first things consumers look at when checking out a new mobile device is the variety of apps available for the platform, and if early response is any indication, Microsoft is having a hard time attracting developers to Windows 8's new Modern-UI environment.

This represents a big challenge to Microsoft, since its Windows RT devices - the ARM-based tablets designed to compete with the iPad and Android devices - need new-generation apps, as they cannot run legacy Windows software. Without those apps, it's just a tablet with Office and a web browser. And unfortunately for Microsoft, it seems that just 33% of developers are 'very interested' in developing apps for Windows 8, according to a survey by IDC and Appcelerator.

And if you're wondering why, it's definitely not because of Microsoft's lack of trying to get them interested; the company has been hosting 'dev camps' to help developers from all over the world get started developing for the new platform, and next week they're hosting the Build conference at their Redmond campus. Still, it looks like the majority of them are waiting for others to take the plunge.

Len Kawell, co-founder of iOS developer Pepper Networks, says that it'll probably be next year before they give Windows 8 a shot. Until then, they're waiting to see how other developers (and consumers) embrace Microsoft's new platform. The good news for Microsoft is that a few developers are taking the plunge, and that their hypothetical success will probably make the platform more attractive. One of those developers is AllRecipes.com.

AllRecipes Vice President Bill Reller says that Windows 8 is a great fit for their advertising-based business model, and that Live Tiles are perfect for showcasing their featured recipes.

Regardless, Microsoft still has a ways to go when it comes to convincing developers to hop on the Windows 8 bandwagon, and we're sure that they realize how crucial this effort is. Still, as analyst Wes Miller points out, the important thing is that Windows RT offers quality, and not necessarily quantity.

Counting apps, he says, is like comparing "horsepower on a car... The typical consumer doesn't really care. More important is: Does it get done what I want to get done?" For now, all Microsoft can do is hope, and do everything it can to get developers and consumers to embrace Windows 8.

Source: Seattle Times | Image via AllRecipes

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I think their biggest problem was not attracting the Windows Phone developer community by making them pay a second subscription for Windows 8. I'm personally put off by that and won't take the plunge unless my mobile apps do well first. I don't see a point developing for another platform if the first doesn't succeed. Well, that's just me though

cliftonj said,
I think their biggest problem was not attracting the Windows Phone developer community by making them pay a second subscription for Windows 8. I'm personally put off by that and won't take the plunge unless my mobile apps do well first. I don't see a point developing for another platform if the first doesn't succeed. Well, that's just me though

actually their biggest problem is charging at all. they should wave the WP fee which is 100 dollars. win 8 fee is just 49. win 8 is a much bigger market so why make the wp developers pay so much for a tiny 3% market.

Ha ha what a retard article.. Look who they asked for opinion Len Kawell, co-founder of iOS developer Pepper Networks ? Good job.. How about asking android developers too ? It's like asking do you like mango's in a fest where orange lovers have come ha ha

cooljeba said,
Ha ha what a retard article.. Look who they asked for opinion Len Kawell, co-founder of iOS developer Pepper Networks ? Good job.. How about asking android developers too ? It's like asking do you like mango's in a fest where orange lovers have come ha ha

excellent point.

I think it will do ok. If it starts to stall, MS will pump tons of money into it. I think they NEED this to work. Now if they want to cater to Enterprise then need the apps. If they want the average consumer..they need the games.

neonspark said,

congratulations on showing your ignorance lol.

Not for WP8. Being a mobile/web developer, the desktop SDK isn't of much help.

The Store grew from 5400 to nearly 8000 in a week. Not excited? At this pace, the Store will have 100,000 apps in less than 3 months. Possibly even before January 2013.

Well, I have Skype, TeamViewer, Netflix, Calendar, Mail, OneNote... that's good for me. I'm looking forward to QuickBooks and LogMeIn Ignition Win8 app and be a happy man

"One developer holding off on a Windows 8 app is Len Kawell, chief technology officer and co-founder of Kirkland's Pepper Networks. The company just launched Timebox, a personal-history app, on Apple iOS."

WHO GIVES A **** about apps like this and these useless developers. When WINRT already is having full blown pc gaming engines like Unreal Engine 3, all this useless crap doesnt matter. This isnt dumb interface software like ios and android, its fullblown software.

And if anyone in a company says they'd wait a bit for windows 8 to grow before they develop for the platform , they should be fired instantly. There will be potentially 400 million people running windows 8 in the first year alone. To not expose yourself to that market is beyond stupidity.

And there are a bunch of big name apps and games being held for the official launch.

Microsoft already has a huge list of xbox live games and big name apps that they havent put in yet.

I love DEVELOPERS that say they will "wait until they see how DEVELOPERS react" to the new system. How about you take charge and stop waiting until everybody else does the leg work?

dtboos said,
I love DEVELOPERS that say they will "wait until they see how DEVELOPERS react" to the new system. How about you take charge and stop waiting until everybody else does the leg work?

Because those developers that take a wait and see approach wouldn't have the plethora of code examples to copy and paste from when it comes time for them to adopt.

It is a business. You need to do a cost analysis to see if it is worth it. Some see that it is better to wait it out.

dtboos said,
I love DEVELOPERS that say they will "wait until they see how DEVELOPERS react" to the new system. How about you take charge and stop waiting until everybody else does the leg work?

Please list the Devs name so we can put their feet to the fire when they suddenly "embrace" win8-and they wil because win8 will be on every laptop/tablet/desktop/hybrid/allinone device that will be sold. It will eclipse ipad in total devices sold easily. Now, who wouldn't want to develop for that? Reason, surface is not the only win8 device that's forward compatable, and its selling out all over the world.

I've seen more devs in win 8 than in any other MSFT product to date.
.net was slow to pick up. winrt has picked up really fast.

neonspark said,
I've seen more devs in win 8 than in any other MSFT product to date.
.net was slow to pick up. winrt has picked up really fast.

and still is.. for a reason ..it's crap
why do you think 98% of 3rd party software on my machine was written in c/c++ ?
I guess windows 8 will change that now won't it ?
LOL

I am Not PCyr said,

and still is.. for a reason ..it's crap
why do you think 98% of 3rd party software on my machine was written in c/c++ ?
I guess windows 8 will change that now won't it ?
LOL


you clearly don't run much software because nearly everything these days is .net based, specially in the enterprise.

neonspark said,
well it's appstore is growing faster than iOS and android did at equivalent times. so much for not interested.

yes and soon the "pundits" will have to pick something else to complain. it is growing faster than just about any device at launch.

For developers, WinRT is still a mess, in fact, the whole MS is a mess. First, the are putting Sliverlight in the Zune pathway but they also are doing the same for .NET (big mistake) and instead, they are relying in C++ and Javascript (doh!)

IMHO, Windows 8 is a bad dream, it should fail, WinDev should be reconstructed (fired) and MS will shine with a new Windows 9.

Brony said,
For developers, WinRT is still a mess, in fact, the whole MS is a mess. First, the are putting Sliverlight in the Zune pathway but they also are doing the same for .NET (big mistake) and instead, they are relying in C++ and Javascript (doh!)

IMHO, Windows 8 is a bad dream, it should fail, WinDev should be reconstructed (fired) and MS will shine with a new Windows 9.

.net is not in the same path of Silverlight you don't know what you're talking about. winRT supports javascript, c++ and the CRL languages as first class citizens. please don't spread nonsense here.

Funny you should say, because WinRT is made partly of .NET and Silverlight code

Though, it's based on Silverlight's .NET portable code - rather than full .NET. Understandable given that that framework had already been ported to ARM, and was also more compact and easier to work with, but it just screams laziness.

They still perfectly support full .NET on the desktop, and it's gotten a decent share of updates with .NET 4.5

~Johnny said,
Funny you should say, because WinRT is made partly of .NET and Silverlight code

Perhaps we should use its full name now that Microsoft has branded the WoA as WinRT.
We're talking about the Windows Runtime folks.

I don't know why intelligent developers think silverlight is dead. It's been optimized and reborn as the Windows Runtime.

I for one love the prospect of replacing COM+, DCOM, .NET COM interop and all of those legacy technologies with a nice low level runtime that has language projections into my chosen implementation language.

The Windows Runtime is positively brilliant!

deadonthefloor said,

The Windows Runtime is positively brilliant!

Meh, there's a decent amount not to like about WinRT - going for Silverlight's less feature filled and slower XAML engine over WPF's is annoying, especially when they still didn't bother to bring the font rendering upto par with the latest WPF font rendering. Animation performance is generally worse, controls are more limited, draw times tend to be slower... I really wish they' taken the time to try and port and sandbox an offshoot of desktop .NET, rather than Silverlight.
(Though I get they probably did it only because of time restraints given that Silverlight was already sandboxed and ported to ARM - oh, and Sinofsky apparently just doesn't like it)

~Johnny said,

going for Silverlight's less feature filled and slower XAML engine over WPF's is annoying, especially when they still didn't bother to bring the font rendering upto par with the latest WPF font rendering. Animation performance is generally worse, controls are more limited, draw times tend to be slower... I really wish they' taken the time to try and port and sandbox an offshoot of desktop .NET, rather than Silverlight.
(Though I get they probably did it only because of time restraints given that Silverlight was already sandboxed and ported to ARM - oh, and Sinofsky apparently just doesn't like it)

Good Points. I was speaking conceptually, not the initial implementation.

~Johnny said,

Meh, there's a decent amount not to like about WinRT - going for Silverlight's less feature filled and slower XAML engine over WPF's is annoying, especially when they still didn't bother to bring the font rendering upto par with the latest WPF font rendering. Animation performance is generally worse, controls are more limited, draw times tend to be slower... I really wish they' taken the time to try and port and sandbox an offshoot of desktop .NET, rather than Silverlight.
(Though I get they probably did it only because of time restraints given that Silverlight was already sandboxed and ported to ARM - oh, and Sinofsky apparently just doesn't like it)


actually this is 100% wrong. first of all, winRT doesn't uses the Silverlight rendering engine at all. WPF was also worse than winRT because it never used direct 2D. this means winRT routinely outperforms wpf in every metric. WPF has more powerful XAML sintax but that is just a matter of allowing winRT to catch up. WPF routinely bogs down even core i7 laptops with gaming gpus whereas winRT is smooth and silky.

let's not kid ourselves. WPF was a resource hog not suited to the mobile world. that is why it is pretty much a dead technology at this point along with Silverlight.

.net on the other hand has a future because you can port the backend and just replace the UI with winRT's XAML.

neonspark said,

winRT doesn't uses the Silverlight rendering engine at all.

It most certainly does. Microsoft didn't write a new XAML model or a new XAML rendering engine for WinRT, they used their existing cross platform solution - which was Silverlight's engine.


WPF was also worse than winRT because it never used direct 2D. this means winRT routinely outperforms wpf in every metric. WPF has more powerful XAML sintax but that is just a matter of allowing winRT to catch up. WPF routinely bogs down even core i7 laptops with gaming gpus whereas winRT is smooth and silky.

Why would WPF even need to use Direct2D? Direct2D is an API on top of DIrectX to make 2D easier for developers. WPF does all of that out of the box for the developer - everything is rendered in DirectX. It's part of the platform And as a developer who's used WPF, Silverlight and WinRT XAML intimately at this point, I can safely say WPF will give you the best performance, hands down. I'll even post some performance comparisons at some point...


I think this is a pretty inane article.

The store grew by nearly 1,000 apps in the week between the 14th and the 21st. The Store isn't even open..and it'll have about 5,000 apps on launch. It theoretically could be around the 80,000 app mark by years end.

Developers would be foolish to wait it out. Windows 8 is their chance to develop for the tablet and PC market at the same time. Two markets for the price of one.

Of course Windows 8 is unproven but it is Windows, it is certain to attract some marketshare, if only from people who thought they'd be getting the old desktop Windows.

So its a market ripe for the taking, first come first served. If you release the first great Twitter app or the first widely popular game then you can make millions. There are only a couple of thousand apps so all the more room for your own apps to shine.

Wow, so a massive 33 percent of the windows developers isn't a lot now? Especially when the remaining developers will still make programs that work on the non rt version.

Its a chicken and egg situation, but I thought if this , there are now 120000 apps on windows marketplace . Not all of the are great but at least a thousand to 5000 are good. Why don't they work with the developers of those great windows phone apps to port their apps over to windows 8/RT. I it will be easier to convince those people and from there they can build on to attract developers from other developers. .. In the meantime they need to work on getting some relevant apps like a good picture app and sell it like Apple does.

I really wish tech sites would not harp on number of apps. ITs really more about ecosystem potential. Unfortunately its all most tech sites and consumers are interested in. MS's ecosystem potential is much larger than Apple or Android. When MS brings its full weight to bear on that ecosystem it will be top notch. Number of apps does not a ecosystem make.. Its made of partners/vendors, developers, developers tools and platforms, hardware oems, etc..

Well, they are very thorough (they do do multiple hours of hands of hands on testing at the moment) and you are submitting at quite possibly the worst time possible - in regards to everyone submitting their applications in an attempt to have them on store by launch.

~Johnny said,
Well, they are very thorough (they do do multiple hours of hands of hands on testing at the moment) and you are submitting at quite possibly the worst time possible - in regards to everyone submitting their applications in an attempt to have them on store by launch.

Maybe MS already has like 50.000 or more submissions of apps, maybe even a 100k already. And that they know they'll make the mark and just calculated how long it would take to go through them all

probably not... but it would also not surprise me if they already gotten several 10s of thousands of submits.

I guess my question would be 33% out of how many developers? is this 33% of windows developers which I would imagine is quite a big number or is it 33% of those polled?

Nolan Foss said,
I guess my question would be 33% out of how many developers? is this 33% of windows developers which I would imagine is quite a big number or is it 33% of those polled?

They surveyed 3 developers.. Steven Sinofsky, that Minecraft guy, and Linus Torvalds.

Nolan Foss said,
I guess my question would be 33% out of how many developers? is this 33% of windows developers which I would imagine is quite a big number or is it 33% of those polled?

Just remember that 99% of statistics are made up lol

Device sales will bring more developers and then more apps will bring even more device sales. That's how it will go and I've already seen quite a few new devices I like, Surface, some of the things Lenovo has, the new Asus stuff is looking good etc.

If you have 90% of the big name apps/services in the store the rest of the apps are just gravy on top really. It's things like instagram or spotify etc that people look for, if those are in it doesn't really matter to them if the store has 50k or 100k total. Get the big names in and everything will grow from there.

The app store hasn't even been open for 50 days and it has over 7,000 apps in it. The only other platform that has accelerated as quickly is the iPad which had 5,000 apps after 30 days (It took MS 37 days to get 5,000 apps). Microsoft estimates that there will be 100,000 apps by February of 2013. That is less than 5 months to reach the 100,000 mark which took the iPad 16 months to do. Regardless of whether or not developers like Windows 8, there will be money to be made in the app store, and they will almost be forced to develop for it. You just can't ignore the opportunity of being listed on a store that will be on every single PC sold after October 26th, 2012.

So when the app store is accelerating at a faster pace than anything we've seen before, how are journalists possibly saying that there isn't much interest in the Windows store? It's simply not true.

When you look at where the 33% statistic was taken from, you'll notice that their major product that they sell is the Titanium SDK which is JavaScript based. You know what else is JavaScript based? The Windows SDK. Titanium is almost made obsolete when developers can just copy and paste their JavaScript code into the native SDK instead of Titanium's SDK.

Edited by Omen1393, Oct 24 2012, 4:50pm :

By all means, I don't agree with that statement. Don't get me wrong....
I am just saying that what I read in most places is just the opposite!

"Counting apps, he says, is like comparing "horsepower on a car... The typical consumer doesn't really care. "
This is bull****iest fact I read in long time!
The main argument against Win8 / WP8 is the lack of apps.....

eladbs said,
"Counting apps, he says, is like comparing "horsepower on a car... The typical consumer doesn't really care. "
This is bull****iest fact I read in long time!
The main argument against Win8 / WP8 is the lack of apps.....

It's relative. 10 horsepower, not enough. 150, fine, 100,000... probably not useful for getting to work ever day.

That said, it doesn't appear that Windows RT is quite at a reasonable level yet.

eladbs said,
"Counting apps, he says, is like comparing "horsepower on a car... The typical consumer doesn't really care. "
This is bull****iest fact I read in long time!
The main argument against Win8 / WP8 is the lack of apps.....

It's not quantity. It's the lack of the popular mobile applications. That was due to technical limitations of the WP7/7.5 tech. Those are going away. If you think the popular applications aren't going to show up on Windows 8 you're crazy. If you think those same developers aren't going to abstract their libraries properly to quickly reuse the same code on WP8... well at least you'd be consistently crazy.

eladbs said,
"Counting apps, he says, is like comparing "horsepower on a car... The typical consumer doesn't really care. "
This is bull****iest fact I read in long time!
The main argument against Win8 / WP8 is the lack of apps.....

I definitely agree with you on this. On a PC, the number of apps isn't that big of a deal, but on a tablet, it is definitely a big deal. Windows 8 tablets don't really have an appeal over an ipad or android tablet yet.

eladbs said,
"Counting apps, he says, is like comparing "horsepower on a car... The typical consumer doesn't really care. "
This is bull****iest fact I read in long time!
The main argument against Win8 / WP8 is the lack of apps.....

Agreed, because the typical consumer (a.k.a. Walmart shopper) is a moron and is incapable of much in the way of thought and regard for quality. What the consumer wants is 500,000 craplets of shitware to download...for a dollar!

Its a chicken and the egg thing. Customers are not going to be too excited about Windows 8's new UI until there are useful apps that run on it. Devs are not going to be too interested in spending money developing for it until there is a pretty good customer base. How long did it take for companies to start making software for the last generation platform, software that requires Vista or higher? Oh wait, it STILL hasn't happened!! Why would they expect people to be jumping up and down to make software that requires Windows 8?

I will say that unlike Vista which only offered better APIs and conveniences for developers. Windows 8 does unlock a new experience. I do expect a number of companies to start working in that space, just give it a year or two.

sphbecker said,
Its a chicken and the egg thing. Customers are not going to be too excited about Windows 8's new UI ...

To side track a bit just off of the first part of your post, how many people are going to work their hardest to nullify the Start screen either through hacks or third party programs which will limit the number of people who end up going to the store.

Then you have to think about business adoption. Ultimately, there will be A LOT of Win8 PCs online in a couple of years, and how many will be locked down business PCs that will likely limit or outright prevent access to the store.

It hasn't even launched yet..

Saying it doesn't have a large collection of apps is full blown "no ****" worthy..

If you are going to write, at least write something worth reading :\

All these stories are retarded. Because at the same time theres a load of devs with brains in there heads that know Win 8/RT will inevitably get many MILLIONS of users. It would be stupid not to make an app right now.

Theres lots of devs interested and making apps for Win 8 but these devs never get in the news. It's always the negative crap from idiots.

NoClipMode said,
All these stories are retarded. Because at the same time theres a load of devs with brains in there heads that know Win 8/RT will inevitably get many MILLIONS of users. It would be stupid not to make an app right now.

Theres lots of devs interested and making apps for Win 8 but these devs never get in the news. It's always the negative crap from idiots.

Yes, and no. Had I been surveyed, I would not have ticked the "very interested" box, but perhaps the "interested" one instead. This is because I have *used* WinRT to write some apps, and I have to say that the API has some lovely strong points, but is terribly lacking in comparison to WPF and Silverlight.
Due to the limitations of the API/environment, it's of somewhat lower interest to me than it would be otherwise. I strongly suspect this sentiment could be echoed by other developers surveyed.

NoClipMode said,
All these stories are retarded. Because at the same time theres a load of devs with brains in there heads that know Win 8/RT will inevitably get many MILLIONS of users. It would be stupid not to make an app right now.

Theres lots of devs interested and making apps for Win 8 but these devs never get in the news. It's always the negative crap from idiots.

That's the thing, I'm not particularly excited about Win8 but the store will make it fairly easy to reach a lot of people so I will most likely port my game to Win8

NoClipMode said,
All these stories are retarded. Because at the same time theres a load of devs with brains in there heads that know Win 8/RT will inevitably get many MILLIONS of users. It would be stupid not to make an app right now.

Theres lots of devs interested and making apps for Win 8 but these devs never get in the news. It's always the negative crap from idiots.

For tablets and Windows RT it's one thing.

But for Windows 8 on laptop or desktop, a developer has to consider if giving 20-30% of their income to Microsoft is worth it, or if they are best off continuing producing classic desktop apps, where they get all the money themselves.

Buio said,

For tablets and Windows RT it's one thing.

But for Windows 8 on laptop or desktop, a developer has to consider if giving 20-30% of their income to Microsoft is worth it, or if they are best off continuing producing classic desktop apps, where they get all the money themselves.

And that is why Microsoft kept Windows 8 and RT consistent, leaving the experience the same in both operating systems. The Windows 8 apps and ecosystem is for both Windows 8 and RT, but RT can only run those apps. Considering if you want to reach that market, you also reach the Windows 8 market too, not just RT tablet users.

That is where Apple's walled-in garden on OS X fails. The app selection is nothing like the AppStore on iOS. That is because...is it worth the investment? Hell no.

By using the same store for both Windows 8 and RT, it is worth the investment to tap into that new tablet OS market and have the advantage of reaching desktop and laptop users too.

Buio said,

But for Windows 8 on laptop or desktop, a developer has to consider if giving 20-30% of their income to Microsoft is worth it, or if they are best off continuing producing classic desktop apps, where they get all the money themselves.

20% revenue share is very affordable for what you're getting. Also, the cost goes down as your revenue goes up. Most indy developers don't have the resources to develop anything anywhere near the functionality of windows store and having MS handle that overhead for you for the minimal cost they charge is hard to beat.