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back to article Microsoft promises Metro developers 'fame and fortune'

With the official launch of Windows 8 just a few months away, Microsoft has kicked off a new incentive program that promises developers "fame and fortune" if they build Metro-style apps for the new OS. The program, hosted on Microsoft's Generation App website, follows on from an earlier, similar initiative for Windows Phone. …

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Facepalm

Really !!!

More like Dime and Torture.....

If it's anything like the App Hub which is the worst developer portal ever created, my grandmother could have done a better job and she's been dead 10 years.

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Re: Really !!!

Developers, developers, developers, developers, developers, ....

;o)

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Facepalm

Re: Really !!!

Worst developer portal ever? Spoken like someone who's never used RIM's dev site. Unless clicking 'save' on your project's multipage information form -actually- submits for two-to-three-week-delayed human revier -and locks it from any change until then-, and unless the 'support request' description form erases itself when the textbox loses focus, and unless the commandline code signing tool deletes your entire hard drive, root on down, if you fail to put a correct directory name when executing the program, then it is -not- the worst portal ever.

And yes, those are all true, and are only a sample. Getting their code signing to work was much more difficult than learning OOP and low-level graphics coding in AS3.

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The backup for a claim about a "largely negative" response to Metro - a link to an article the Reg ran back in March - wasn't too convincing. I find the response to be very positive, at least among people who've actually used it.

It seems like technology journalists and insiders no longer want anything genuinely new and different; because it's more fun to deride and ridicule it. Is that really how we make progress?

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Anonymous Coward

Who are all these people you've spoken to? Anyone can give anecdotes about all the people they know.

Nobody is saying that metro is a bad OS for a touch screen device, they are just saying that it is a huge step backwards for the vast majority of Windows users who will be using it on a laptop or desktop.

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Facepalm

I keep reading about people who say that those who haven't used Metro are the ones who hate it. Well, I'm here to tell you that ain't true. I tried Metro, I gave it an honest go, and I hate it. The fact is just because it is new and well-researched doesn't mean it is better. You do not replace something that is well-known, works well and will work well for a long time, and is easy to use with something new. I will admit adding the desktop button on the latest release candidate was a good touch. But the Metro UI idea, while good on a phone or tablet, is not good on a desktop or laptop.

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Windows

Jim hasn't spoken to me, but I'm on of them. There are a load I've spoken to who also love it. And that's not just at work (which is a Mac house). And most have only used the PC version - many will trek across campus to see it on my tablet.

Yeah, that's anecdotal. But check me comment history to see how sensitive the Reg community (which is predominantly composed of Fandroids[1]) is to any positive comments on W8. Or WP7.

[1] My opinion is based entirely on the number of negative comments from Fandroids (winner) v. those from the Church of Jobs v. those from the Microsoft crowd.

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Anonymous Coward

> many will trek across campus to see it on my tablet.

Bloody students. Get a job.

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jim 45 said: "It seems like technology journalists and insiders no longer want anything genuinely new and different; because it's more fun to deride and ridicule it."

The people who are satisfied with "new and different" regardless of whether it's also "better" are the same ones who are satisfied with "bright, shiny"...

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amazing

As someone who's been in the computer biz since the 70s, it amazes me how conservative it's become. Call me crazy but I still like what's bright, shiny and new. Maybe I won't end up "satisfied" with it in the long run. But just give it to me anyway - I'll decide for myself after trying it for a while.

Metro is quite innovative in terms of clean presentation, a commitment to simplicity, design and typography, as well as being a notably smooth and responsive implemtation. I'm not going to panic because I can't find "Control Panel" in the old familiar location.

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Happy

Bloody stdents.

Get a Job's product.

(I jest!)

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Anonymous Coward

There's a word for those folks who readily accuse bashers of Metro of never giving it a try...

Astroturfers.

It's the same shaming language and 'shoot the messenger' tactic: you're a hypocrite, therefore your opinions count for nothing. Nyeh-nyeh-nee-boo-boo, I'm not listening to you!

Ergo, there's a new religion in Redmond: it's the religion of 'Metro, Metro, Metro'. Ballmer is the LORD, and Sinofsky is His prophet. Thou shalt not blaspheme the live tiles.

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Anecdotes about people you know...

Eveyone I've know thinks it's a steaming pile. That's a mix of Windows, Apple and Linux users, and it's actually quite nice to see something that we can all agree on without having to settle matters with a knife-fight.

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Unhappy

Re: amazing

"I'm not going to panic because I can't find "Control Panel" in the old familiar location."

You might if the UI is getting in the way of getting your work done. Don't forget, not everyone looks on PCs with interest in how it all fits together. For a lot of people it's a tool to do their real job. Just as if someone was to redesign a hammer. OK, it might be more pleasing to look at but if it does not hammer in the nails as well as the old design then you are going to get complaints.

PCs and the OS are a means to an end, not the end itself.

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many will trek across campus to see it on my tablet

I hope it's not too much of a trek as I'm assuming that will be an x86 tablet and the battery life will be about the length of time it takes to fry an egg on the back. Plus it'll be really heavy for you to hold while they are trekking over

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Silver badge

Count another one here who both likes Metro and has had positive reactions from those that I've shown it to. I didn't like it at first but I actually did some metrics counting up how many clicks and careful positioning it took me to do something in Metro and how long in Windows 7 and Metro is typically the same or fewer. Seriously. Odd exceptions such as turning on a VPN take slightly longer, but overall the experience is quicker.

Yet some people genuinely love to hate. I was at a presentation on Server 2012 recently. After listing all the cool things in Server 2012, the presenter then opened up Win8 in a VM and spent 15 minutes ranting about how they had to position the mouse in a 40x40 pixel area to get to the Metro screen or had to click to expand the page to get the control panel. But you don't. To get the Metro page, you just swing the mouse pointer down to the lowest left part of the screen. You don't have to carefully position anything, you just drag it to the bottom left as far as it will go - which is technically even easier than positioning it on a Start menu that you can see. Control panel? Just hit Windows key and type 'co', it's the first in the list. I pointed this out to the presenter afterwards and turns out they actually knew about both of these things. But that wouldn't have given the satisfaction of an excited 15 minute rant and got the same laughs from the audience.

Whilst not everyone is going to like Metro, some people actually get enjoyment from hating it. Which is weird.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: amazing

Nobody is doubting its visual design, slickness and so on.

Its usability is rather poor unless you're using a tablet. It is also dumbing down the OS which is fine on a cut down tablet but on a desktop machine?

An OS is supposed to not get in your way or annoy you, Windows has tended to annoy but they fixed that with Windows 7. But now the annoyance factor will be increased with all the tiles telling you what is going on, it will be pretty distracting at work.

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Gold badge

Re: amazing

There seems to be a modern take on the OS which says it must be in your face and telling you what is going on in your email box, what people are saying on twitter and so on.

The old school opinion was that the OS and the GUI should be fairly minimal to let you focus on doing things with it.

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Anonymous Coward

many will trek across campus to see it on my tablet.

TABLET! YES!

PC no! Metro made me puke

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Thumb Up

Me too

I tried two versions of the developer previews and hated it. That experience played a part in my decision to switch to the mac, that and that and the fact that I'd been plain around with a mackintosh for a while.

Apple launchpad is how metro should have been implemented on the desktop OS.

Before I get accused of being a fanboy: I've still got 5 windows machines at home, with one dual booting with Fedora Linux. Was also an Amiga user for years prior to switching to Windows. I have an android tablet and my wife has a blackberry playbook. Chose android over the iPad due to Jobs' refusal to allow flash anywhere near it; when I buy a computing device, I'd like to decide what I install thank you very much.

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WTF?

Re: amazing

"it amazes me how conservative it's become. Call me crazy but I still like what's bright, shiny and new"

Good for you. For those of us who actually use a computer to do work and don't want the OS to get in the way of productivity but changing everything "bright shiny and new" is just what we don't want. A computer is a tool , if you want a toy go to toys-r-us or buy an iPad. When I buy a new car I don't expect the steering wheel on the back seat and the pedals on the root just because some hipster designer thought it would look "cool" simply because it was different.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: amazing

@Boltar - I seem to remember that exact argument being used during the transition from command line to GUI. Many times.

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WTF?

Re: amazing

"@Boltar - I seem to remember that exact argument being used during the transition from command line to GUI. Many times."

What transition? I still use the unix command line on a daily basis. I also use a GUI. They are different methods of interacting with a computer - complex input , simple output vs simple input , complex output respectively. The metro interface OTOH seems to have left any notion of input at the door as far as desktops are concerned and just gone with Ooooh , Shiny!

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Re: amazing

Yeah, but a paradigm shift of that nature was relatively small in terms of numbers of users and took quite a number of years to filter through the "system". Not only that, but you could still buy DOS when the GUI first came along, you could quite happily ignore the GUI and still run moder, newly released/developed software.

Now, the installed userbase is multiple orders of magnitude greater and if MS previous track record is anything to go by, it'll be Metro or change OS completely.

When Win3.0/1 came along, that was most users intro to GUIs, often their introduction to computers. '95 was quite a significant shift but still fairly familier. '98, ME, XP and even Vista have been step changes which an ever growing userbase has coped with quite well with minimal to no re-training required. Metro is a paradigm shift almost of the same order as the command line to GUI shift and I suspect will account for significant training costs or, at worst, drops in production levels at the coalface.

One has to bear in mind that most users work in SMEs not big enterprise.

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Facepalm

Re: amazing

An OS is supposed to not get in your way or annoy you,

Exactly ... the clue is in the name: "Windows". You don't look at (architectural) windows, you look though them -- the appearance of the window itself is relatively unimportant so long as you can see through it easily.

Some OS vendors might learn a lesson or two there ...

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Re: amazing

" For those of us who actually use a computer to do work ..."

Too funny. I wrote software for 30 years, mostly for Windows, occasionally for Mac. I am not seeing how Metro would be an impediment to that work in any way. I was able to find the steering wheel, it's actually in the front seat, just square now instead of round :-)

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Unhappy

I find the response to be very positive...

What. Have. You. Been. Reading.

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Happy

Re: As someone who's been in the computer biz since the 70s

Jim, seriously - Not only have we tried it, many of us *wanted* to like it. And many of us have also 'been in the computer biz since the 70s'. Furthermore, El Reg is just *one* online resource of many (Ars, etc) carrying similar stories and comments from concerned would-be users.

Please don't be so surprised - it's almost as if you haven't been following the 'story so far' as it has developed online. Which I'm sure isn't the case...

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Happy

some people genuinely love to hate...

Well argued, h4rm0ny but ultimately irrelevant, given the sheer number of hardcore MS devs (myself included) who *do* give things a fair go. For instance, not all of us thought Vista was a steaming pile. At first, sure - it was badly broken. But so was XP in 2001 (peeps have short memories), with hideous driver issues and 'orrible USB 1.0 support, etc. Now both XP & Vista are well-sorted.

I liked bothXP & Vista from the start - at least, I liked the potential and am glad I persevered against 'the tide' of h8t0rs (XP was loathed amongst the gaming fraternity, for example, as well as businesses).

Win8 is another thing entirely. It's changed me from a happy excited kiddy down to the level of a fevered ranter. And this is after installing both previews on several different bits of kit. Just the fact that I can't boot to my desktop is enough to piss me right the hell off. I don't care about Metro per se, as long as it get's the feck out of the way when I don't want it!

But apparently that's too much to ask. Additionally, complaining about this coiler of serpentine proportions labels me and like-minded techies as the dreaded 'hater', or even a Macolyte. Please accept that there are competent professional opinions out there that differ from yours without having axes to grind or being luddite in origin!

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Re: some people genuinely love to hate...

"Just the fact that I can't boot to my desktop is enough to piss me right the hell off. I don't care about Metro per se, as long as it get's the feck out of the way when I don't want it!

Bitterbug - please. Take a deep breath and reason with me for a moment. Win8 boots (faster than Win7) to a Start screen which you hate. I get that. But see that tile labeled "Desktop". Click it, my friend. There you are- it's the 90s again, that comfortable familiar desktop for you to litter with countless little indistinguishable icons, however you like.

Exactly one click stands between you and this retro Nirvana.

I understand - sort of - the viewpoint of corporate IT people who say they'd be deluged with calls from clueless users users, panicked by the Start screen, unable to find their way back to earth. For those purposes, I expect that MS will provide a way to set up the system to boot to the Desktop. They currently say they won't, but I bet they will.

Embrace change. Let your cheese be moved. It's liberating.

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Happy

Re: amazing

@jim 45

"I was able to find the steering wheel, it's actually in the front seat, just square now instead of round :-)"

LOL! Memories of the Austin Allegro which 'featured a quartic" steering wheel, which was rectangular, with rounded sides'..

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Anonymous Coward

> I was at a presentation on Server 2012 recently.

I was at an orgy recently, and I didn't hear a single person there say how they disagreed with group sex.

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Unhappy

Re: Take a deep breath ...

Ok - done that...

Hasn't helped! Incidentally those 3 posts were lumped together for no reason I can fathom - I replied to 3 different posts and ended up looking like a rabid dog. Ah well!

You make a good point about the boot speed. Absolutely love it. But the HTML5 / JScript mess that looks so nice on a tablet (I do admid that) now prevents my fastest rigs from displaying a desktop on booting. My beef is that the desktop - the core of the system - is relegated to nothing more than an incidental app. As in: 'Oh, you're an old git from the Before Times? Don't worry, sir, just click the little box and there you go...'

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Re: Take a deep breath ...

It's wonderful on a phone, will be great on a tablet, and is nice but also a bit weird on the desktop. I think what people aren't getting is that soon the average person will be using a tablet for everything. And MS wants to be in on that, and doesn't want to be stuck 2 branches of Windows, one for the tablet and one for the desktop. And neither do users, developers, OEMS or support people .

So I think they're doing what they have to do - if you think about it, what choice do they have? The traditional desktop is still there and Windows will continue to be a Thing With Two Heads for years to come.

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Angel

@AC 20:21

"Bloody students. Get a job."

Yeah! What's up with these 'students' thinking that walking across a campus to acquire new but not directly-practically-useful information is a good idea! The nerve!

Clearly, students should work enough that any activity not directly related to immediate classwork is impossible - anything less and they're lazy!

...assuming I'm not falling prey to a pop-culture in-joke I'm not privy to, wherein "Bloody students. Get a job." is a catch-phrase. If that's -not- the case, I'll retain my assertion that whoever said it stumbled over from the Daily Mail in a drunken stupor.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: There's a word for those folks who readily accuse bashers of Metro of never giving it a try...

"There's a word for those folks who readily accuse bashers of Metro of never giving it a try... It's the same shaming language and 'shoot the messenger' tactic: you're a hypocrite, therefore your opinions count for nothing."

I think that bashing someone for slating something they've never tried isn't so much saying, "you're a hypocrite, therefore your opinions count for nothing", but, "you don't have any idea what you're talking about, therefore your opinions count for nothing".

They're different things.

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Happy

Re: So I think they're doing what they have to do...

I absolutely get that. Have spent a lot of time wondering why it is how it is, and can see a need for this, *up to a point*. I would 'fix' things with a registry value named 'DesktopBoot' that is 0 by default, added to,say, the good ol' key below:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\System

Incidentally, an earlier comment of yours about 90s-style icon filled desktops sounded as if you don't actually use / like Windows? Seeing as it is where one actually produces work (Win8 metro nonsense aside), it's a place that's hard to avoid! If it's just the proliferation of random shite that offends you, use a dock! Slight nod to St Steve there, perhaps, but my desktop is a Clean Machine.

And I like to boot to it!! Aw, but...

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Re: So I think they're doing what they have to do...

Do I use/like Windows? I wrote software for Windows for over 20 years, and DOS before that. The word "Use" doesn't even begin.... :-)

Maybe older guys tend to like Metro because we're s-o-o-o-o ready for a change.

They mightl eventually give us a boot-to-desktop Registry key, but during the Win8 rollout they want to be sure that when people go into the stores, Win8 looks exactly the same on the phones, tablets, notebooks, desktops, and the Surfaces.

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Just hit Windows key and type 'co'

Ahh yes - I remember the days when Linux haters said the problem with linux is all those obscure keyboard commands.

"Just hit Windows key and type 'co'" is no less obscure than many linux commands but because it is Windows it is suddenly easy to learn and highly convenient.

Windows is now only 20 -30 years behind the competition. Please do try to keep up.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Just hit Windows key and type 'co'

So, you argue that Windows is similar to the first mac OS, or to C64's DOS? Seriously?

Hyperbole makes you look like the stupidest person in the ENTIRE WORLD EVER.

Also, windows-co makes a hell of a lot more sense than VI's ":qa!" for 'save and exit', or where doing something like hitting a colon at the wrong time will start you deleting every other line of text but only when you use 'f' in a personal pronoun, or whatever the fuck. And it's not the *only option*. I mean, Christ on crutches, even the names of stuff - from a newbie's perspective, what makes more sense for a writing program: 'Notepad' or 'vim'? Would a normal person think he should search, or grep? delete or rm? How does it make sense that a single misplaced character can essentially instantly wipe your entire system with no confirmation while performing an operation which seemingly has nothing to do with deleting stuff?

Arguing that *anything* can trump esoteric - or even prosaic - UNIX commands for sheer obscurity and absurdity is a losing proposition - particularly when there are perfectly rational ways you could state your case in a pointless and never-ending argument.

Of course, when your case is that Windows 7 is functionally equivalent to an Apple Dos 3.2, all of that is most likely academic. As is the situation even were you to have an airtight argument, the widespread and almost biblical arrogance of those fighting for Linux is likely to chase off anyone who might otherwise be convinced.

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This post has been deleted by its author

really? special access to exclusive development documentations? sign me up

if you think they are holding back documentation for developers just so they can pay off some devs looking for freebies you are a sucker and the one they are looking for.

as for getting access to their "engineers", I've been there and it wasn't pretty but the customer really felt important that a real "Microsoft employee" was on the phone with them. If the hundreds of millions spent on advertising Windows Mobile 6.5 was effective(it was not ) then there might be a chance of some Metro app paying customers but with even more millions spent on advertising Windows Phone 7 and still nothing but single digit market share, it's like becoming a RIM developer. Echos heard in a big empty room.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: really? special access to exclusive development documentations? sign me up

If Windows Phone 8 or the new Blackberry manage, say, one twenty-fifth of Apple's market share but have say, one thousandth of the developers, then you are perhaps more likely as a developer to find success targeting the lesser-used platform.

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Re: really? special access to exclusive development documentations? sign me up

Yes. And few people seem to grasp this point. There is also the fact that nw WP8 users won't have 800 apps already and will be ready to buy.

Your chances of actually making some money, vs. just acquiring coffee-shop coolness, are probably much greater on WP8.

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Joke

Re: really? special access to exclusive development documentations? sign me up

"it's like becoming a RIM developer"

or just getting 'rimmed'.

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Making some money?

That's probably true, if Microsoft like you they might pay you to develop something.

If yours is the only one of a useful type of application in the WP8 store then it might do pretty well, at least in the first few months after WP8 launches.

However, you won't be getting a 'huge hit' like Rovio managed and it would be stupid to bet your business on WP8 alone.

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WTF?

what do they mean 'exclusive'?

I hope it's 'exclusive' as in 'comes with a signed copy and a goody bag', rather than 'see the APIs we're not letting other devs see'

Dear SteveB, one of those is cool, the other bad. Hint: the first option is cool.

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Anonymous Coward

This sounds so familiar

Wait, it was when WP7 was launched.

What does WP and the Titanic have in common

Both were suppose to be technical marvels of their time and quickly sank out of site soon after they were launched.

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Re: This sounds so familiar

I've got a WinPho 7 and I resemble that remark. While I like Metro, WinPho 7 is $hyte. It's the Mother of All $hyte. Now they want to 'bronze' the desktop with it. I expect t won't be the only quarterly loss MS will be experiencing.

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Trollface

Fortune ?

Now, this is a bit of a troll but also a somewhat seriously meant post.

For the first time since MS went onto the stock market (around 1986) did they manage to book a loss of approx. 492 million dollar. The year before they managed to get a profit of 5,9 billion dollars. Sure; it could be due to investments, it could be due to lower sale rates.

Or is it possible that many people are bailing out with the idea of Metro ahead?

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