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Universal apps will be key to Windows 10's success


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Microsoft's Windows 10 SDK lets developers create apps that easily run across Windows devices,

 

When MS debuted Windows 8 and their own tablet lines I was ecstatic to have full blown computers in tablet format. I bought a Surface RT first, and since that was January 2013, and they did not do the Outlook App until August that was compatible with POP3 and IMAP email like I use, I was furious and sold it and bought an HP Envy x2 convertible tablet/notebook with an Atom dual core SoC and 2 GB of RAM that was fast for its time. I traded it to a friend of mine that still has a storefront computer store a couple of months ago and gave him a hundred cash boot money for a new open box ASUS T200TA which is a just slightly heavier 11.6" convertible tablet/notebook than the x2 but with a fast quad core Atom Z3795 and 4 GB of RAM with double the Cache! It performs about as well as an i3 which is really impressive. My SH gets the Venue 11 Pro with the awesome screen. I just bought a two year warranty extension from Dell for it as it also has a fast quad core and awesome full HD screen. Her Lenovo Lynx which is also a dual core first generation Atom Z2760 SoC with 2 GB of RAM is also getting sold. It had a better screen than the x2 did and is so light for an 11.6" that it is amazing.

 

Some of you may remember me saying that if MS gets it right they could be first to a truly unified ecosphere where all their desktops, laptops, tablets, and phones, all share the same Apps! And they are doing it! I have a Windows phone running Windows phone 8.1 Denim that will also get a free upgrade to Windows phone 10, along with our three desktops and two tablets. MY SH, who poo poo'd my Windows Phone, and insisted on Android, has finally come around and wants a Lumia 822 Windows 10 phone also. But we are holding off to make sure mine handles it perfectly.

 

I will wait this time like last time and jump in after a month or two, and the initial bugs are worked out.

 

I really still hear the same person saying how they hate Windows 8/8.1 "tiles," then turns around in the same breath that Windows tablets don't have enough Apps! :D And when asked they usually have an iPad or Android tablet with nothing but "tiles," and their phones the same thing. Now with Windows 10 this is what developers can do.

 

Excerpt:

 

"The SDK (software development kit) for Visual Studio CTP6 is now available for the Windows 10 technical preview, so developers can finally write and test what Microsoft calls universal apps that work across all Windows devices.

 

The debut of universal apps is a monumental next step for Microsoft because, as devs know, the time and effort required to develop the same app on multiple platforms or devices leads developers to pick a subset more likely to be profitable. In the Windows world, that has hindered the development of tablet and smartphone apps.

 

If you can develop an app once and have it immediately functional on multiple devices, that barrier goes away, and the whole Windows 10 ecosystem -- desktop PCs, laptops, Xboxes, tablets, smartphones, wearables, and Internet of things devices -- falls in reach at little additional developer cost.

In Visual Studio 2013 today, you have a separate project for each device. There are ways you can use shared code and have aspects of your development span from one device to another with similar controls but different UI display. But not all controls work across all the Windows platforms. That has to change, and that is where Windows 10's universal apps come in."

 

There is much more both for the lay person and the techno twits like me in the whole article here: http://www.infoworld.com/article/2904404/application-development/universal-apps-will-be-key-to-windows-10-success.html?phint=newt%3Dinfoworld_tech_microsoft&phint=idg_eid%3D6aa01e18b29f7b6f9149f611f8eac228#tk.IFWNLE_nlt_entwindows_2015-04-01

 

Windows will have a huge lead on universal Apps in full featured devices with SD card slots, full connectivity with USB 3 and micro USB ports as well as HDMI out and Bluetooth compatibility across the board. I already get my Cortana reminders from my Windows phone on my tablets! And I have no idea how yet.

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True enough, Derek - the new stuff will allow the "same app" to run everywhere. And I anticipate moving to a Windows phone in the future, should they provide a high end, large screen phone.

 

But I actually wonder if it is really necessary to have the SAME app on all devices. I used to believe that "of course it was". But now I am not so sure.

 

I easily bounce between different weather apps on different devices. And I bounce between Word and Docs all the time without a thought. Same for Sheets and Excel. And I don't really care. So I start to wonder if "same" is really a differentiator - or an important enough of one to bring customers. We will see.

 

What I do know is important enough to bring customer is advanced hardware, a great OS, and available infrastructure (I consider things like Onedrive, mail system, video connectivity, etc to be infrastructure). And I believe that MS is pretty much there with all of it. The new Surface hardware is just icing on a very delicious cake.

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Jack,
I am seeing things crossing over without my intent that were pleasant surprises. Me, I want the same thing on all my devices. That is why I bought two three license copies of MS Office Home and Office 2010. In five years who knows what I will go to when 2010 becomes unsupported. No translating between devices and no workarounds needed. But there is nothing wrong with bouncing back and forth. Trampolines made a good living providing bouncing! :lol:;)

 

Joking aside I agree it is nor necessary to have the same across the board. But look at what happened with the first Surface and me. Sure, I could have done the workaround and used Outlook.com from my first gen Surface tablet. But I was infuriated that my two year old Galaxy Tab 10.1 could connect to my IMAP email account directly with no issues or interference with my use of Outlook on other computers. Had they started with an Outlook App which they put in seven months after I sold my Surface and bought the x2. Once I realized that yes, the Windows 8 tablets were actual computers running full Windows 8 and happily loaded my Office and other programs on it and soon after the Lenovo Lynx. It seems a lifetime ago and it was only two years ago. A long time in tech years.

 

I completely agree that the Surface is fabulous icing. You realize they will replace our lower end Atom Windows tablets in the same price space. I would have paid for a Surface tablet instead of trading my x2 in for the ASUS 11.6" T200TA I use now. The surface initial specs put it at the same as the feather light Lenovo Lynx at 1.37 pounds. The screen size is the same as the Venue 11 Pro. Delicious icing indeed.

 

What stymies me is that folks today still think Windows tablets are the same as Android and iOS tablets with the same limitations.

 

Apple had their own Power PC chipsets that were not Wintel x86 chipsets. They made that a selling point. But Steve Jobs switched Apple over to the Windows developed x86 chipset architecture. MS tried to switch over to less capable ARM architecture like both the iOS and the Android phones and tablets were based on. That was RT and the first gen Surface. Like the other ARM tablets is had no capability to load x86 Architecture programs. But it had a terrific screen in full HD before any of the competitors went there in entry level tablets. However the Windows folks wanted a Windows PC in a tablet. And we wanted our cake and eat it too in that we wanted the Apps too.

 

Post Windows 8 is interesting. Some of the oldest "hate 8" holdouts are coming around with 8.1.

 

Funny how many folks with "App only" iOS and Android tablets objected to starting in the Apps based start screen, with one App being the desktop switcher tile. The start screen is way bigger and has more ease of use than the start button ever did. I kept my programs on the desktop in some cases for used but not daily stuff. Why go to a menu after clicking the start button? And my daily use program like Word, WinTV, Media Player, Snip, Outlook, One Note, Task Manager, CCleaner, Control Panel, Windows Defender, Calculator, and Wordpad, along with the default programs, are all pinned to the task bar. One click. Just like Apps!

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I actually think Woody missed the boat with this one, and I told him so as well. Renaming the apps as Windows apps (old Metro) or Windows Desktop apps (Legacy and such) seems very intuitive to me, but then I was an early adapter of Win 8 (in fact beta tested from Win 8 DP onward) and do like it. Yes Win 8.1 was a step forward and hopefully Win 10 will be another vast step forward (I have beta tested Win 10 as well), but Woody's rant about the name change just muddies the water IMO. Who cares about the name, and in fact the new names do seem appropriate. Perhaps his whole problem was with the small mention of the name change.

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I'm with Medico on this one too. I have used Windows Programs or Applications to label x86 applications like Office et al. And Windows Apps to refer to the tile like small cross platform programs that are on the start screen. Now the Apps are showing up on both and that is fine too.

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To me Windows Apps or Desktop apps makes complete sense. This should have been the naming route MS took from the very beginning IMO. I think the confusion came about because of the name changes rather than because of the what seems to be final name of the 2 categorys of apps.

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My main concern is having a machine that will run various desktop software. I'm very much l production w/,minimal consumption on my computers.

The article was kind of weird but the point that I was interested in was that there would still BE desktop type program compatibility.

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That was never in question Popeye. These Windows tablets are totally different than Android or iPads. Windows 8.1 tablets do everything they do, and everything Window PCs do. Heck, Woot today until midnight has the ASUS T100 with 64GB SSD for $209.99 and it's he quad nice one, and it does everything. http://computers.woot.com/?ref=gh_cp_3

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