PDA

View Full Version : Windows 8 - Seismic shift in Windows tech?


Almo
13th June 2011, 08:21 AM
http://arstechnica.com/microsoft/news/2011/06/html5-centric-windows-8-leaves-microsoft-developers-horrified.ars

Wow. This has a lot of people freaked out!

Short version: Developing "rich" applications on Windows 8 will be done using HTML 5 and Javascript. Not .net, not Visual Studio, not Silverlight...

The_Fire
13th June 2011, 08:28 AM
What.The.****?!
Am I reading this right? My Works/Word/whatever is going to be made in HTML5 in the future?

Thats not an OS, thats a Server!

Almo
13th June 2011, 08:56 AM
What.The.****?!
Am I reading this right? My Works/Word/whatever is going to be made in HTML5 in the future?

Thats not an OS, thats a Server!

That's what it looks like so far... Strange things are afoot in MS land!

Yalius
13th June 2011, 09:01 AM
Then end of the article makes it a bit more clear. It looks like it's just some overly-nervous developers assuming that, if Win8 supports HTML5 / JS apps, it will be the only API path available. But the very last paragraph makes it a bit more clear.


But Microsoft isn't stupid. Its messaging and PR around this issue may be crazy, and the way developers have responded is rational, but the company isn't going to alienate its enormous base of developers and force them to trash everything they've ever learned. Windows 8 will offer a new API, and you're not going to have to write webpages to use it.

The company may not have made any official statement about it, but leaks are coming out, and a picture is starting to emerge. The details aren't clear yet, but next time we'll take a look at the pieces of the puzzle we have, and we'll learn why Windows 8 won't be a HTML-driven horror after all.

Almo
13th June 2011, 09:13 AM
My guess is that if they really go for HTML5/JS, the other techs won't get the support they are at the moment. It probably won't be an instant phase-out, but there might be a phase-out nonetheless.

BenBurch
13th June 2011, 09:49 AM
And the differentiation between Windows and Chrome and MacOS goes totally away if you adopt a standards-based HTML5/JS approach.

The_Fire
13th June 2011, 10:00 AM
I could see this working for a mobile OS (smartphones and tabs etc.), but for a desktop/laptop?

KoihimeNakamura
13th June 2011, 10:20 AM
Windows 8 also uses modal computing in a way. So it's going to suck regardless.

Newtons Bit
13th June 2011, 07:38 PM
Wait, what? They better not be getting rid of my .NET and XNA =[

Mister Earl
13th June 2011, 07:46 PM
"I felt a great disturbance in the dev community, as if tens of thousands of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened."

Wowbagger
13th June 2011, 10:38 PM
First of all, even before reading these articles, I know Microsoft is not going to abandon the .NET Framework nor WPF and Silverlight and all that other related stuff any time soon. For one thing, much of Windows is marketed and sold on backwards compatibility.
For another, It would kill performance on any type of demanding application. Maybe 50 years from now someone could build a fully functional version of... say, Adobe Premier Pro... using entirely Javascript and HTML. But not today. There's a reason it is still a native application.
And also: There has been a strong shift in expectations on what APIs should deliver, amongst developers. I doubt, very much, that Microsoft has had the time to address all of those expected demands of an API, though Javascripting and HTML.

Second of all: Even if the worst-case-scenario was true: If they did completely ditch .NET, I would say "Get over it!". Paradigms change all the time. Newfangled APIs are both the gift and the curse of software developers, and that is just something you are going to have to get used to.

It has always been more important to learn the fundamentals of good software design, anyway, irrespective of whatever platform you happen to implement them in. I say: Get your fundamental coding knowledge straight, and quit whining about the little platform details!
(Of course, each platform has its own quirks that will best be understood through deep experience. But, that is no excuse for moving onto to new ones.)

Alan
13th June 2011, 11:06 PM
This is an exciting time for desktop environments. GNOME 3, Unity, ChromeOS and that Windows 8 thing they showed...

Pantaz
13th June 2011, 11:58 PM
But, will it be W3C HTML5 or Microsoft HTML5?

KoihimeNakamura
14th June 2011, 12:55 AM
Nrgh. Unity and ChromeOS are things I avoid..

Also, wowbagger, there are good signs that Windows 8 will not have much backwards compatibility.

Aitch
14th June 2011, 01:18 AM
Also, wowbagger, there are good signs that Windows 8 will not have much backwards compatibility.

You can get away with that (the change from Mac-OS 9 to OS-X comes to mind, though Apple did cheat a bit by including the Classic environment thingy), but the new, non-compatible version has to be a significant improvement.

phelix
14th June 2011, 02:48 AM
"not much backwards compatibility"... aw crap...
I'm still struggling to get some programs working with windows 7. My scanner wouldn't work at all...

KoihimeNakamura
14th June 2011, 03:28 AM
I take it back. You can maybe run it on Intel chips


For some it may be an obvious thing to state, but Windows 8 (http://www.geek.com/articles/tagged/windows-8) on ARM (http://www.geek.com/articles/tagged/ARM) will be a completely blank canvas with no compatibility mode for any software running on previous x86 versions of Windows. If a developer wants an older app to run on Windows 8 ARM, they need to develop a new version specifically for the platform.
Windows 8 on x86 (http://www.geek.com/articles/tagged/x86) hardware, known as Windows 8 traditional inside Intel, will run Windows 7 and previous version’s apps, but it will be as part of a Windows 7 compatibility mode.

Darat
14th June 2011, 03:36 AM
Given the state of virtualisation these days it seems strange that you can't deal with backwards compatibility by including a virtual XP/Vista/7 environment, even include a special version for games if necessary.

phelix
14th June 2011, 03:57 AM
Given the state of virtualisation these days it seems strange that you can't deal with backwards compatibility by including a virtual XP/Vista/7 environment, even include a special version for games if necessary.

You can download them for free if you have the others, but you need to set it up with a virtual player and so on. It is a lot of work for Rayman 2 though ;) A neat little "boot as XP" command would be lovely.

Darat
14th June 2011, 04:02 AM
You can download them for free if you have the others, but you need to set it up with a virtual player and so on. It is a lot of work for Rayman 2 though ;) A neat little "boot as XP" command would be lovely.

Which is why I don't see why backwards compatibility can't be handled in that way out of the box.

a_unique_person
14th June 2011, 04:20 AM
Microsoft is trying to avoid the "XP" debacle, in which they bring out an OS that does the job and people like it so much they stick with it for ten years. Win7 will do me for another 10.

Darat
14th June 2011, 05:14 AM
Microsoft is trying to avoid the "XP" debacle, in which they bring out an OS that does the job and people like it so much they stick with it for ten years. Win7 will do me for another 10.

If they wanted that they should perhaps look at Apple's model, the subscription style upgrades and how they comparatively quickly drop support and updates for their older hardware.

Wowbagger
14th June 2011, 07:17 AM
Also, wowbagger, there are good signs that Windows 8 will not have much backwards compatibility.
I suspect any applications and games written for Win7 will run in Win8. That includes .NET, WPF, Silverlight, XNA, etc. I am sure it also includes most native Windows API applications, built with the likes of C++.

It would be insane to hear otherwise.

Older stuff, from the XP and pre-XP world, might run in a virtualized environment or something. But I don't think most of that is going away completely, any time soon.


I am also willing to bet .NET developers are, eventually, going to hear news on new features in the Framework. And, that will alleviate their fears of abandonment.

Weak Kitten
14th June 2011, 07:31 AM
*sigh* Wake me when all this Cloud stupidity has gone away. I know that's not what this article is specifically about but it sounds like one of the nudges in that silly direction.

No one has the bandwidth, speed or reliability to run all their programs on Cloud Computing. I don't want my work or play time to go to pot just because my network connection goes down of a few hours.

Wowbagger
14th June 2011, 08:16 AM
*sigh* Wake me when all this Cloud stupidity has gone away.Prepare for a long hibernation, my friend!

I know that's not what this article is specifically about but it sounds like one of the nudges in that silly direction.
The fear in the article pertains to the Windows application APIs and such. There is no mention of cloud-related stuff, at all.

I don't think HTML5/Javascript based API is even a nudge in that direction. It looks like just another presentation layer for the system.

No one has the bandwidth, speed or reliability to run all their programs on Cloud Computing. I don't want my work or play time to go to pot just because my network connection goes down of a few hours.That's not the problem with Cloud Computing. A good cloud app with transfer minimal data, and allow you to cache a lot of it on the client side. And, connections get more reliable over time, anyway.

The problem with Cloud Computing is the fact that you are giving a lot more entities a lot more of your data. I think the biggest cloud backlash will come from that direction.

Weak Kitten
14th June 2011, 09:57 AM
The problem with Cloud Computing is the fact that you are giving a lot more entities a lot more of your data. I think the biggest cloud backlash will come from that direction.

Hmm, interesting point. I was simply going on the horrible crash that happened when the aptly named Danger Inc.'s database crashed and all of their users could not access their information for weeks, many lost their information entirely. I really saw the bad side of cloud computing that day.

I guess I was just concerned that Microsoft (who bought Danger Inc. by the way) might be trying to go that direction. If all of my data is horribly lost I want it to at least be my fault and not at the whim of someone I've never met.

jsiv
14th June 2011, 03:58 PM
It sounds like an extension of the (sidebar) gadgets thing that is already part of Windows. Isn't that already a javascript/HTML thing?

aggle-rithm
14th June 2011, 04:32 PM
Mark my words: Microsoft will abandon part or all of its strategy before Windows 8 sees the light of day. This has all the earmarks of the "Windows Me" fiasco.

aggle-rithm
14th June 2011, 04:34 PM
Wait, what? They better not be getting rid of my .NET and XNA =[

At worst they will create an envirnoment where .NET code generates HTML5 and javascript.

More than likely, they'll try to do this, fail, and just go back to .NET apps.

Almo
14th June 2011, 04:42 PM
Nrgh. Unity and ChromeOS are things I avoid..

I'm deep in Unity at work; we're adding some features to it. So I'm in the source. :)

Alan
14th June 2011, 04:48 PM
I'm deep in Unity at work; we're adding some features to it. So I'm in the source. :)
Ubisoft contributes to Unity and possibly uses it?

Canonical's Unity?

KoihimeNakamura
14th June 2011, 05:10 PM
I'm deep in Unity at work; we're adding some features to it. So I'm in the source. :)

Then you're part of the evil - I avoid Unity e.g after that "You shouldn't have a Quit in Firefox because it might shut down more than one page!"

"..yes, I know. That's why I said Quit, not Close."

(I dislike how Unity kinda dumbs down an interface, but as I can use Xubuntu, I don't care.)

Alan
14th June 2011, 05:12 PM
Firefox does have a quit option in Unity...

Perhaps we could continue this Unity discussion here: http://forums.randi.org/showthread.php?t=202727

KoihimeNakamura
14th June 2011, 06:30 PM
Took it to the other thread

I will say, it is nice of Microsoft to try making a DECENT mobile OS.

Wowbagger
15th June 2011, 07:48 AM
I will say, it is nice of Microsoft to try making a DECENT mobile OS.
If the full-feature, full-power Windows 8 were to succeed as an "iPad-priced" tablet OS, it will make Apple's iOS look even sadder and wimpier. And, I do look forward to that day. :)

Paul C. Anagnostopoulos
15th June 2011, 04:12 PM
I say we go back to Assembler and start the wheel of reincarnation from the beginning.

~~ Paul

OnlyTellsTruths
16th June 2011, 01:49 AM
Microsoft is trying to avoid the "XP" debacle, in which they bring out an OS that does the job and people like it so much they stick with it for ten years. Win7 will do me for another 10.

heheheheh :)

varwoche
20th June 2011, 07:29 PM
However win 8 plays out this much is pretty clear... MS has been late to the game before but the way they've blown the mobile revolution is unprecedented. They've lost control for the first time in their history and I expect to see all sorts of flailing in the coming months.

Christian Klippel
22nd June 2011, 10:39 AM
I take it back. You can maybe run it on Intel chips

Uhm, not sure about that compatibility thing. Quite some time ago i worked on workstations that used Alpha processors, on Window NT (or was it Windows 2000?), mainly for doing 3D visualizations in SoftImage 3D. (using a special OpenGL Graphics card for 20+ thousand bucks, which had a render quality and speed that every modern mobile phone would beat hands down nowdays.)

There was a nifty tool that allowed you to use all the x86 software for Windows. It did so by not just emulating the x86, but by de- and re-compiling the x86 code into native Alpha code. After a while the x86 programs ran pretty fast. can't remember the name of that software anymore, it's too long ago.

I wouldn't be surprised if something similar will be done for Windows on ARM.

Greetings,

Chris

CORed
24th June 2011, 09:56 AM
Mark my words: Microsoft will abandon part or all of its strategy before Windows 8 sees the light of day. This has all the earmarks of the "Windows Me" fiasco.

Yes. I also remember, that when Vista was under development, a whole lot of things, like a completely new file system were promised, and nearly all of them dropped before the release.