Earlier this week, Peter Bright wrote a passionate piece about developers seemingly being up in arms about two sentences in the Windows 8 tablet demo from D9. (This follows two similar, albeit less detailed, pieces: one from Mary Jo Foley and the other from Paul Thurrott.) Those sentences, spoken by Microsoft VP Julie Larson-Green, are as follows:
It’s Called A Non-Sequitur For A Reason
These are the facts presented in the above sentences:
- The weather app is an immersive application.
It appears that the argument is as follows:
- I want to develop Program X as an immersive app
There’s Nothing Stopping You Anyway
Let’s face it – ‘immersive’ apps are full-screen apps with touch controls. Are developers really suggesting that it will be impossible to write such an application for Windows 8?
Windows 7 added touch APIs. These will still exist in Windows 8. And it’s trivial to create a full-screen application with large text, buttons and whatnot – and since Metro is a design language, not an API, as long as it behaves like Metro, it is, for all intents and purposes, Metro. The fact of the matter, then, is that it’s silly to state that you can’t make an application for Windows 8 that you can do right now using existing APIs.
So even if the developer’s fears are justified, they’d still be able to easily make an ‘immersive’ app, even if it’s not using any special API to do so.
But that’s a huge ‘if’, and one that seems incredible, to say the very least.
Nothing Is Being Said Because Nothing Needs To Be Said
Microsoft Should Probably Say It Anyway
My real issue is that this shouldn’t need to be said at all. Peter Bright claims the problem is with how Microsoft worded the statement, and again, I disagree – I think it will be a sad day when tech demos need to devote time to point out the blindingly obvious.
But obviously, we can’t force tech publications and developers to take a course in logical thinking, so an official statement is really the only way to solve this. Sitting in silence until BUILD will only create confusion and possibly even get developers to not develop for Windows 8. And, if anything, loosing developers at this critical time is not something Microsoft can afford.
Edit: I should note that both Paul Thurrott and Mary Jo Foley also wrote articles about the same developers Peter Bright did. I blame the previous few weeks without Internet (I’m still catching up on some things) and I’ve edited the article to more generalise it.