Windows 8 third party app developers speak out

Windows 8 may launch a public beta version sometime in late February but the final launch of Microsoft's next PC operating system won't happen for at least several months. However a number of third party developers are already making apps that will work on Windows 8. ZDNet.com has now posted brief interviews with a number of these app creators.

These developers are making apps using a special pre-beta version of Windows 8 that Microsoft has given them as a kind of reward for making it to the second round of the First Apps Contest. Eight apps will be selected in the final round to be available in the Windows Store feature of Windows 8 when the beta versions launches.

One of the finalists in the app contest is PuzzleTouch, developed by Tim Greenfield. The puzzle game was previously released as a Silverlight based browser game and as a Windows Phone app. He states:

It has extremely realistic puzzle pieces, supports multi-touch, and lets users play dozens of diverse jigsaw puzzles of different difficulties. It also allows the user to create their own puzzles from existing photos or camera.

As far as porting the game to Windows 8, Greenfield said:

The tooling and platform available today is a developer preview version that I’m guessing was created long before it was made available last September. Needless to say, there are many of bugs in the platform and my app required a lot of hacks to make it work. Overall, the app took me approximately 2 solid weeks to port and I spent about a third of that time hunting down obscure problems that do not exist in Silverlight for the web or phone. That said, I fully expect the platform and tools to improve dramatically with the next release.

Another Windows 8 app developer that was interviewed was Patrick Godwin who created an untitled HTML5/Javascript art-based app. When asked about his experience with making apps based on Windows 8 he states:

My initial impression of the tools was quite positive. It’s a great time to get involved with WinRT, as the platform is still in its infancy, and will need a lot of developer support to build even more robust tools. I’d like to see some more buzz within the .NET/Windows Developer community about the new tools, as I think that will be the best way to bring people to the platform. It’s part of the reason WP7 was able to get 50,000 apps in a little over a year. So I ask developers to get involved, write blog posts, go to user groups. Get excited about WinRT.

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