I love testing new stuff out. No, it´s not always perfect, but neither is the software I write myself. Making software perfect is a process of developing, getting it our there, reading your users´ responses and correcting the bits you´ve missed. It´s like that for me, it´s like that for Microsoft. So why not help them make things better by testing the new stuff out, right? And thus I´m typing this on my old PC running Windows 8 with Office 2013, Visual Studio 2012, and so on. Like!
Not too long ago I wrote a corporate blog post (Dutch) about Windows 8 and why I love the idea. In that same post, I mentioned the great interactivity all Windows devices will get because of the shared core. Today, Microsoft officially anounced that shared core at their Windows Phone 8 conference. Yay!
Not going into depth, the shared core comes down to developers being able to use Windows bits and pieces for Windows Phone development as well. That’s cool because you’ll won’t have to worry about writing the same code twice for different devices. And with Microsoft Surface (not the table but the slate) being launched in the end of this year as well, it means we developers will be using one codebase for phone, tablet and desktop apps. And that’s great. Kind of sounds like the way it was always meant to be if you ask me!
But that’s not all. Here’s a quick recap of all the nice features Windows Phone 8 will have:
- Multi core support
- Support for other resolutions (not there at this time)
- Wallet. Not only for credit card payment, but also loyalty programs, paying via NFC, deals on your device, Airmiles. Cool! Finally we can get rid of all those stupid cards!
- And with that comes in-app purchases
- Navigation & directions (NAVTEQ / Nokia)
- Deploying corporate software without using the marketplace
- More HTML5 support (touch!)
- Native C / C++ and Direct3D hardware acceleration
- SQLite support
- Incoming VoIP and Skype calls are just like normal calls
So yes. Some of you may argue that some of these features aren’t that new when compared to Android and iPhone devices. No they’re not. But integrating them all into one OS definitely is. And compared to the ‘new’ features Apple introduced for iOS6, I think this list is pretty awesome, especially from a developers point of view. With this toolkit, we get lots of goodies to implement in our apps. And I’m pretty sure the launch of Windows 8 together with Windows Phone 8 will stir things up a lot. Thinking differently that is
The sucky part for current Windows Phone users: they won’t be upgrading all legacy devices. But there will be a WP7.8 version which features some of the functions of 8. But not all. So you might be forced to buy a different phone, although I’m guessing that the later models will have an upgrade option.
Disclaimer: I don’t own a Windows Phone device (yet), and I won’t be getting one for this blogpos also I’m afraid. But hey, wouldn’t want one at this time, I’m going to wait for the new Lumia’s to come out (which probably will be somewhere around the end of the year I assume). And disclaimer part two: most of the above info came from Engadget.
Ok. So tonight I downloaded the consumer preview of Windows 8 and gave it a go. I just wanted to share some thoughts here.
The first thing I noticed was the fish. What’s up with that? It’s on the boot screen for some reason, and when you’ve got your tile desktop in front of you, it also sits in the “Desktop” tile. I really have no clue on what it’s doing there and frankly, I’d rather see it belly up somewhere. So much for the fish.
I already saw the tiles in many, many demo’s, so no real surprise there. In this new version, there are some working app previews like photo’s, calendar and music. Unfortunately, not all of those are available to us European users, as we allways have to wait longest for things for some reason. One example is the music app which doesn’t connect when you’re outside the States (I guess, don’t exactly know where it does work).
The apps behind the files are window less. This looks good, but I do question how well it works for users who love to multitask. And more importantly; if there won’t be any windows in the future, what will Microsoft do with the name of it’s new pretty OS? Windows seems a bit… irrelevant?
So once in an app, there is no window. This imposes another challenge: how the hell do I close this thing? There is no little cross anymore, no way to minimize. Untill now, I haven’t been able to find out the trick, other then using the Windows key to return to the start screen. Of course there’s something I missed and I probably have to read the f*cking manual. But still, these things should be intuitive. It’s not. My parents won’t understand it, pretty sure of that.
The bigest pain of them all is what I shall call “Windows 7 mode”. Microsoft has a challenge here, a real big one. Of course, when 8 launches, there will be tons of apps incompatible with the new Metro interface. And lot’s of those might not even get a Metro interface, who knows. So Microsoft needs a way to get those apps into their new OS, and it’s done this by keeping the old one pretty much intact. So when you open a legacy Windowed app, it switches to “Windows 7 mode” and it’s back to basics. This might be conveniant for users, it’s not for the OS experience. It feels like 2 OS’es struggling with each other. There is no other way to do it, I get that. But Microsoft should make more effort in styling the Win7 mode to at least look a bit like Win8. It’s too much like the old one, which will probably confuse users.
Conclusion (for now…)
Ok. Let’s not be too critical. It’s also pretty awesome. Microsoft is taking a bit step ditching their old approach based on principles from way back. That’s challenging, daring and a touch cookie. It’s a vision which hasn’t been fulfilled quite yet. And I don’t expect it to be in Win8. Win9 will probably be what they imagined all along, but a transition period is unevitable.That period I’ll be using Win8 to get started. Bring it on!
Judging by that stats, it seems like my blog was offline for a while. I assume my hosting party is going to let me know what went wrong here, so we can prevent the same from happening in the future. Apologies for the inconvenience!
On a more positive note, I visited TechDays in the Netherlands last week and got some nice new SharePoint tips & tricks I wanted to share with you guys. So stay tuned for that, a new post will follow shortly!
Since I’ve been working on SharePoint Online, and thus Sandboxed Solutions, I noticed a lack in the development tools. Where the CKS extensions for Visual Studio offer the option to choose “Upgrade” as a development method, this doesn’t work on sandboxed solutions. The upgrade process for sandboxed solutions is different; you need to upload your new solution with a different filename, upgrade and then delete the old solution.
So. Wouldn’t it be nice when Visual Studio could do this for you, so you can also use Upgrade as a deployment method for sandboxed solutions? Right, thought so too. So please vote on my suggestion, so the CKS guys can pick this up: http://cksdev.codeplex.com/workitem/7713. Thank you!
Today I stumbled upon this post @ Engadget, telling a story about Google and Microsoft, bitching towards each other about patents and why their competitors are unfriendly and playing unfair.
Earlier this week, I saw this video on Youtube, which claims to be a Microsoft video meant to ridicule the way Gmail places context aware ads on each page. I must admit the video made me laugh, although it’s kind of childish to attack your opponent in way like this. The absence of Microsoft logo’s (apart from the Contoso building they’re in) and legal statements make me wonder if this is actually made by Microsoft, or by some company wanting to feed the flaming a bit.
Anway, it seems as though the big ones (Microsoft, Google, Apple) are in a proper bitchfight around all the new stuff they’re releasing like cloud solutions, phones and mail apps. Not a week goes by without new articles about lawsuits being started and others getting settled for bizarre ammounts of money. The result of this seems to be that the money is shifting round and round, they’re all spending enormous ammounts of time on these issues and the consumers have to wait longer for more new stuff to come out (altough I’m not particularly dissapointment by the release rate of current products).
Guys, if you have that much money to burn (Apple actually has more money then the USA does… proof), do something usefull with it please. I don’t know, build a spaceship, irrigate Africa, send me some; all fine! But quit the bitching and start doing what you’re supposed to do: amaze and help people getting to a proper 21th century. Thanks.
That’s that. I moved out my entire homepage to another hosting provider, which provides me with some more options for other sites I plan to launch soon. As far as I can see, everything was moved nicely and works ok again after some tweaking. But if you notice any problems, feel free to report them as comments on this post, thanks. Normal blogging will resume quickly
After moving this blog to my own site a couple of weeks ago, it seems I’ll be moving again real soon. My hosting company is either on a really long vacation, or they decided not to answer to their customers any more. Anyway, I’m moving to a new hosting provider soon hopefully, so that’ll probably go along with some downtime and other inconvenience.
I’m sorry and will definitely try to do better after moving. That goes for posting too, it’s been to quiet, I know!
Following up on http://wp.me/p6iHx-3N, welcome to the new location of my blog!
I moved my blog to my personal webspace. Needed to install some plugins and you cannot do that for a wordpress.com site. So in 2011 my blog will remain to exist at: http://blog.repsaj.nl. I’ve exported / imported all posts so nothing is lost. A new theme freshens things up a bit and all new posts will automatically be posted on Twitter as well. Nice!
Great service at WordPress! I received an e-mail with my blog stats for 2010. I wanted to share those with you, since my readers are responsible for those stats For 2011, I intend to up the number of articles and content, because I’ve labeled 2011 as my SharePoint year. SharePoint 2010 will get more important for me and my work and that’s going to reflect here. So I hope you all have a good 2011 and keep on reading my blog. Thanks!