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Developers flay Microsoft for withholding Windows 8.1 RTM

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techbeck    5,105

Computerworld - Windows app developers today took Microsoft to task for the company's decision to withhold Windows 8.1 until mid-October.

 

Traditionally, Microsoft offers an RTM, or the "release to manufacturing" build of its programs, to developers several weeks before the code reaches the general public. The early availability lets developers complete their work and testing so that their apps are available when the OS launches.

 

Today, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached the RTM milestone and been passed to computer- and tablet-making OEMs, subscribers to MSDN (Microsoft Developer Network) will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17.

 

Microsoft explained that Windows 8.1 was, in fact, not finished, and used that as the reason for keeping the update out of the hands of developers and IT professionals, another group which historically has gotten early access.

 

"While our partners are preparing these exciting new devices, we will continue to work closely with them as we put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1," said Antoine Leblond, a Microsoft spokesman, in a Tuesday blog. "In the past, the release to manufacturing (RTM) 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, one that told programmers to write and test their apps against Windows 8.1 Preview, the public sneak peak that debuted two months ago.

 

"In an world inhabited by pink unicorns and pixie dust, the advice in this post would be sufficient," said "brianjsw," one of several commenters today. "However, we live in the real world last time I looked out the window. 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."

 

Others sang the same tune.

 

"Not acceptable. We're hitting performance issues with changes made to the 'listviewbase' in Preview," said "Flexman" today. "Do we code to this laggy implementation or wait for performance testing under RTM and hope everything is fixed? How is it Microsoft can develop their apps to work on RTM code yet [independent software vendors] who are supporting your platform don't get the same benefit?"

 

Some almost pleaded for the RTM code. "I'm not saying release it today, I'm saying Windows 8.1 RTM should be released to MSDN and TechNet AT LEAST by September 15," said "slaythoven."

 

During the run-up to the public launch of Windows 8 on Oct. 26, 2012, Microsoft slapped the RTM label on the operating system on Aug. 1 and published it on MSDN and TechNet two weeks later, on Aug. 15.

 

"This is a bit of a mistake," said Wes Miller, an analyst with independent research firm Directions on Microsoft. "But there's an obvious reason why they're elected to hold back the code."

 

Miller pointed to the work-in-progress admission by Microsoft as that reason.

 

Even so, it wasn't ideal, Miller said. "If you're trying to endear yourself to enterprise developers, [Windows 8.1] is your service pack," he said, referring to the almost-defunct Microsoft practice of collecting previous bug fixes into a single download collection. "They need to be kicking tires so that they can start writing apps for their businesses."

 

While Microsoft's goal of creating a solid update was commendable, Miller said, denying developers Windows 8.1 RTM means that there will be few if any Windows 8.1-optimized apps in the Windows Store on the October launch date.

 

"It's all about the apps," Miller said, repeating his earlier position that the app ecosystem is critical to Windows 8's, and now Windows 8.1's, success. "You can't make 8.1 apps unless you have the final code."

 

"Why, out of the clear blue, have you decided to not release early to MSDN?" asked slaythoven. "Bug fixes and continual code updates aren't a good enough reason due to the fact that there's an excellent tool at delivering those bits, named Windows Update."

 

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9241943/Developers_flay_Microsoft_for_withholding_Windows_8.1_RTM

 

Doesnt make sense.  MS was devs to use the preview of 8.1 to develop apps and supposedly 8.1 went RTM, but there still is work to be done?  How can it be RTM if it is not finished.  And devs should get the final version before anyone else so they can test their apps against the finished product.  Testing on a 2 month old preview release is unacceptable.

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Geoffrey B.    1,414

being that they are done with it and it is RTM i do not see why they do not just publish it on the Windows 8 store and sell the physical copies later.

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spenser.d    1,100

Sounds like whining to me.

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vcfan    2,337

they just said RTM doesnt mean its done, so how the hell are they going to let you develop against it, if things can and will break again. then these whiners will bitch that microsoft changed things at the last minute and they have to re work their apps.

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Harrison H.    70

they just said RTM doesnt mean its done, so how the hell are they going to let you develop against it, if things can and will break again. then these whiners will bitch that microsoft changed things at the last minute and they have to re work their apps.

 

The whole point of RTM is that it is done. Sure there might be updates on launch, but RTM means complete. Nothing coming after it should break code developed against RTM.

 

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xWhiplash    351

I agree, how can something be RTM yet not releasable to developers because they are still making changes to it?  Was 8.1 rushed and not complete?  What does that say to its consumers?

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vcfan    2,337

The whole point of RTM is that it is done. Sure there might be updates on launch, but RTM means complete. Nothing coming after it should break code developed against RTM.

 

 

this is from Microsoft themselves.

 

While our partners are preparing these exciting new devices, we will continue to work closely with them as we put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1," said Antoine Leblond, a Microsoft spokesman, in a Tuesday blog. "In the past, the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use. However, it's clear that times have changed."

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Knife Party    630

is anyone surprised really?

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techbeck    5,105

RTM is a finished product.  Why release it ot OEMs if it is not finished?  This is what OEMs will be installing, giving their customers, and anything after that will be an update.  You know, like it always has been.  But according to MS, everyone will be getting an unfinished product from OEMs.  If it is good enough for OEMs, it is good enough for devs.

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xWhiplash    351

this is from Microsoft themselves.

 

 

 

While our partners are preparing these exciting new devices, we will continue to work closely with them as we put the finishing touches on Windows 8.1," said Antoine Leblond, a Microsoft spokesman, in a Tuesday blog. "In the past, the release to manufacturing (RTM) milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use. However, it's clear that times have changed."

 

That makes no sense at ALL.  How can it be ready for OEMs to INSTALL on computers they will sell, but not for developers?

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0nyX    259

Decision-making wise, Microsoft is on a roll lately.

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TPreston    5,387

Developers should have been working since the preview to fix their software so we are not waiting till 2014 for a working version

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+FloatingFatMan    13,393

So, Microsoft have decided to change the definition of RTM, even though no one else has?  Idiots.

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siah1214    1,435

Why can't devs use the preview?  Genuinely curious. 

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Javik    3,977

The new Microsoft: We spit on you, and you shut the hell up and like it, understood?!

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+FloatingFatMan    13,393

Why can't devs use the preview?  Genuinely curious. 

 

Because it's not the code being released?  As already mentioned in the OP, there are some issues that are hopefully resolved in final. We need to evaluate our code against final before we can release.  In doing this, Microsoft are delaying anyone not in bed with them from releasing updates.

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techbeck    5,105

Why can't devs use the preview?  Genuinely curious. 

 

Lots have changed from the preview and the "RTM" release and minor changes can affect how an app works.  Updates can brake an app as well.

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freak180    549

Sounds like whining to me.

Yeah by you

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vcfan    2,337

That makes no sense at ALL.  How can it be ready for OEMs to INSTALL on computers they will sell, but not for developers?

 

updates can be downloaded and installed when you first run the new pc. if you then say,well what if i dont have an internet connection. well then i guess youre not using the windows store anyways,so it doesnt matter.

 

plus,whos to say visual studio 2013, or the sdk is done and ready for release? releasing 8.1 rtm would then mean nothing to developers. microsoft specifically calls for building against the vs2013 preview and 8.1 preview to get your apps ready for 8.1.

 

people need to stop being such children. its comical. id like to know what apps these guys are making,so i will not give them my money for being so juvenile.

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Luc2k    737

 

Keep digging Microsoft! I'm sure you'll find rock bottom eventually.

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techbeck    5,105

people need to stop being such children. its comical. id like to know what apps these guys are making,so i will not give them my money for being so juvenile.

 

Absolutely.  Screw all the devs who want to test their apps on RTM to make sure things are working 100% when RTM is released to everyone else.  Far be it for devs to support their users.  For shame.

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spenser.d    1,100

RTM is a finished product.  Why release it ot OEMs if it is not finished?  This is what OEMs will be installing, giving their customers, and anything after that will be an update.  You know, like it always has been.  But according to MS, everyone will be getting an unfinished product from OEMs.  If it is good enough for OEMs, it is good enough for devs.

 

Do we need to remind people that RTM literally means Release to Manufacturing?  That doens't mean it has to be completely finished, it just needs to be in a state where manufacturers can install it on the machines they are creating and be assured that it works. That means all the infrastructure that interfaces with the hardware is done, not necessarily (especially these days) that the software end-users use has to be completely finished.  As such it can be good enough for OEMs and not good enough for devs.

 

You guys are the ones confusing what RTM really is, not Microsoft.

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vcfan    2,337

Absolutely.  Screw all the devs who want to test their apps on RTM to make sure things are working 100% when RTM is released to everyone else.  Far be it for devs to support their users.  For shame.

 

what exactly are they going to test on rtm without the final sdk?

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jakem1    1,610

I didn't think anybody with any sense bothered reading Computerworld.  Still, I guess the haters need somewhere to go.

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wv@gt    1,222

In that case, why doesn't Microsoft do a RTD (Release to Developers) or just change the name of RTM. Since, apps are not a large part of the OS, things do need to be adjusted to allow developers to test their apps. Microsoft isn't in a state where they can be loosing developers right now if they are trying to compete with the iPad

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