Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

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Graham Best
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Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by Graham Best » Mon Feb 20, 2012 9:56 pm

I'm not sure if SoftMaker has been following the developments on Windows 8...

Last week Microsoft announced their plans for Windows on ARM (WOA). It is intended to be an iPad competitor, meaning that there will be a version of Windows that runs on ARM as well as the traditional x86 version.
http://blogs.msdn.com/b/b8/archive/2012 ... cture.aspx

Both the x86 and ARM versions will have two interfaces: the Metro UI style and a desktop style. The x86 versions will have full featured versions of both interfaces. However, the ARM version will have a Metro UI, and a limited desktop interface that will have a bundled version of Microsoft Office. :shock:

Independent Software Vendors won't be able to install their applications on the desktop interface for ARM. They will be able to offer Metro UI applications on ARM, but I believe they'll have to go through the Microsoft Software Marketplace to allow users to install it. The x86 version will be the same as it's always been.

It's probably very early to ask what SoftMaker's plans are as the consumer preview for Windows 8 comes out February 29th. I wanted to make sure that you had a heads up.

martin-k
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by martin-k » Tue Feb 21, 2012 11:16 am

SoftMaker Office will run on Windows 8 on x86 using the classic interface.

As for supporting Metro, we are looking at it. But the question will be if Microsoft will bundle a full version of Microsoft Office with the ARM tablets. If they do (which I'd consider highly uncompetitive), it becomes unlikely we'd also create a Metro version of SoftMaker Office.
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Graham Best
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by Graham Best » Tue Feb 21, 2012 7:57 pm

From what I'm gathering, I don't think Microsoft knows at this point what's going to be included on the ARM version. It seems that the Windows team wants to give a Metro version of Office away for free, while the Microsoft Office team wants to keep everything the same. I think the reason why Microsoft waited so long to say if there was going to be a desktop interface on the ARM version was due to this internal struggle. The Office team wouldn't budge on the interface, which is why there's a desktop interface for ARM.

It's also telling that even when Microsoft was showing Office on ARM that there was a black bar on the ribbon, which means that the two teams haven't even agreed on a feature set yet. I think what we'll see is a Microsoft Works version; it won't be full featured, but it will have enough to be a bullet point on a sales chart. The Office team seems to have considerable pull enough to get the desktop interface included...

Hopefully this will position SoftMaker Office to offer more than the basic Microsoft Office version that's included on the tablet.

martin-k
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by martin-k » Tue Feb 21, 2012 10:44 pm

The shabby thing that Microsoft is doing is only allowing MS Office and Internet Explorer to run on the classic desktop on ARM CPUs. While they don't explicitly say that you can't create classic applications on Win8/ARM, you won't be able to sell them through the app store. And the app store is the only way to sell applications for Win8/ARM.
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Jossi
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by Jossi » Wed Feb 22, 2012 12:42 am

The tendency to turn computers into "closed shops" (something you criticized in Apple's iPad before, IIRC) is rapidly becoming universal.

Graham Best
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by Graham Best » Wed Feb 22, 2012 1:08 am

martin-k wrote:While they don't explicitly say that you can't create classic applications on Win8/ARM, you won't be able to sell them through the app store. And the app store is the only way to sell applications for Win8/ARM.
Paul Thurrott says no independant classic applications will run on WOA.
"Only a tiny subset of desktop applications will work on WOA, and all of those will ship with WOA systems, from Microsoft only."
http://www.winsupersite.com/article/win ... led-142242

The WOA platform will be 'closed' (until someone breaks it). The x86 version will be open. It's not great, but I was planning on buying a x86 version anyway. Honestly I was trying to determine if a Metro version of SoftMaker Office was in the future, so I could get a recompiled version for Windows Phone.... :roll:

martin-k
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by martin-k » Wed Feb 22, 2012 3:00 pm

Don't hope for a Windows Phone version any time soon. Microsoft doesn't allow C++ applications to be built for Windows Phone.
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Graham Best
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by Graham Best » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:07 pm

SoftMaker isn't the only company complaining about the lack of C++ support for Windows Phone. Microsoft has recognized this and the rumor is that C++ support will be in the next release called Tango.
http://www.liveside.net/2012/01/28/wind ... ming-soon/

Microsoft is expected to talk about their plans for WOA and Windows Phone next week at Mobile World Congress. It's already been confirmed that Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) and Windows 8 will share the same kernal.

martin-k
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by martin-k » Wed Feb 22, 2012 8:11 pm

Graham Best wrote:SoftMaker isn't the only company complaining about the lack of C++ support for Windows Phone. Microsoft has recognized this and the rumor is that C++ support will be in the next release called Tango.
http://www.liveside.net/2012/01/28/wind ... ming-soon/

Microsoft is expected to talk about their plans for WOA and Windows Phone next week at Mobile World Congress. It's already been confirmed that Windows Phone 8 (Apollo) and Windows 8 will share the same kernal.
This is good news. Now they only need to convince (many) more people to actually want a Windows Phone ... :lol:
Martin Kotulla
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Graham Best
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Re: Metro UI, Windows 8, and WOA

Post by Graham Best » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:42 pm

I'm glad you're laughing. You don't have a Windows Phone... :?

Windows Phone hasn't sold as well as Microsoft expected as this point. Their strategy of "If you build it, they will come" didn't work too well. It's also impacted PC sales as Apple sold a huge number of iPads last year. Microsoft replaced their head of Windows Phone Andy Lees, and laid off a bunch of marketing people.

To Microsoft's credit, though, they've doubled down on the Metro UI. They've made a huge bet in restructuring Windows 8; the story is that it will just be a recompile to move from the desktop to the phone. I think Microsoft is hoping that once Windows 8 comes at the end of the year that consumers will see that they can get the same interface, applications and data on a phone and buy it.

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