Why Win8 will succeed. Or fail.

Started Apr 10, 2013 | Discussions thread
Sean Nelson
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Re: they could have two operating systems
In reply to Simon Garrett, Apr 12, 2013

Simon Garrett wrote:

Sean Nelson wrote:

Yep, you can see Microsoft's line of reasoning: - they have a huge share of the desktop market and negligible share of the mobile market.   They need to provide an incentive for their desktop users to use Windows phones and tablets.   Therefore:  use one interface for both!

I think there's another aspect to common platform.  Metro is not just a common UI for users, it's also a common platform for developers, so you could (in theory) write a W8 Metro app that adapts to anything from a smartphone to a desktop.

This is done to some extent already with Android (and I assume with iphone/ipad, though I'm not so familar at a programming level).  In Android, you can (with a bit of effort) write apps that adapt seemlessly (so far as the user is concerned) to widely differing screen size and input capabilities.

I haven't looked at the Metro development environment, but I've heard comments that it's very similar to Android.   And I have had a brief look at the Android SDK - it appears that as a programmer you have to create different viewgroups and layouts for an application that takes advantage of larger screen sizes.   So although it's seamless for the user, it may not be for the developer, depending on the kind of application.

Metro development, of course, is different than traditional Windows GUI development.  You write an application for one or the other, not for both.   So it's a common platform for developers only to the extent that users will be interested in Metro-UI apps on their desktop machine.   I think that could work for some apps, but I'd be skeptical about it for rich applications like Photoshop.

I'd be interested in hearing from people using a Metro-UI based version of something like Microsoft Word.   I'm curious if it's a hindrance, help, or just neutral in terms of being able to edit documents.   Of course such reports have to be viewed carefully to make sure that any complaints are really due to the UI itself and not due to limited screen real estate, which is a different issue.

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