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back to article Windows 8: Life in a post .NET world – speak your brains TODAY

Back in 2000, when Bill Gates launched .NET, he likened the shift to the dramatic move from MS-DOS to Windows, as it ushered in an era of distributed computing – for Windows. .NET became Microsoft’s desktop and server programming story for a decade. Twelve years on Gates is gone, but his CEO replacement Steve Ballmer reckons …

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dang

I wish I could attend this one, but I'm going to be on holiday.

No matter. WinRT will be largely ignored by business for 2 or 3 years anyway.

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FAIL

Pointless.

What's the point? 30 seconds glance at the comments on any Windows 8-related topic shows clearly that about 85% of Reg commentards a) hate it and b) know exactly jack and shit about it beyond "I don't like tiles and M$ are teh eeeebilz", to judge from the endless FUD.

This will just be a hate-in. If I want to see cretins complaining about things which they never encounter, have no effect upon them and that they clearly don't understand, I'll read the Daily Mail.

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Linux

Re: Pointless.

I know that Windows 8 offers better AMD CPU support, and that's why I went out and bought an i5 and a £20 copy of Windows 7 instead.

And no, I don't like the tiles.

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Mushroom

Re: Pointless.

" I went out and bought [...] Windows 7"

To go with your penguin. Right.

My debian boxes were free. I just don't understand how stupid the commentards are being. "Wah wah tiles wah M$ wah wah monopolist 14 years ago wah wah want it to fail" as if that would make linux on the desktop more attractive to users.

For the record, I want it to succeed. It'll make a shitload of programming, network design and architecture work for all of us. The only people who I can see having a reason to want it to fail are lazy fucks on support desks who hate working.

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Linux

Re: Pointless.

"To go with your penguin. Right." -- Yep, and Steam

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pointless.

You boot up, log on you get a thing with rectangular boxes on (Sounds familiar?). These rectangular boxes offer more information than the old ones. Additionally there is an immediate and well integrated keyboard interface to launch any application with a few keystrokes. (Or don't Linux people like typing things these days?)

And even if you don't like all that then Windows Key + D will get you firmly to your beloved old style grid based desktop that was usually just covered in at least one application anyway.

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Linux

Re: Pointless.

Wow, sarcasm, that's new.

"And even if you don't like all that then Windows Key + D will get you firmly to your beloved old style grid based desktop that was usually just covered in at least one application anyway." -- So what's the point of a new paradigm if it basically sits on top of the old paradigm and removes certain useful and comforting features? It's a schizophrenic decision, rather than completely change the paradigm they half-heartedly include this new novelty interface that isn't ideal for all the use cases it is directed at.

The main gripe for the Windows 8 metrosexual interface is that it doesn't work for desktops, with or without touch interfaces for a variety of reasons and rather than provide a means to revert to the original features as was the case with previous versions of windows; they prefer to force this onto the users, some willing, some not. The heart of the matter (for me) is really all about the freedom to choose how you want to use your computer.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Pointless.

Yeah sarcasm. I previously tried to simply state that I personally find the Windows 8 interface to be useful but people didn't like that. I find it works well with a keyboard and mouse. I doubt I would like to use it with a touch screen monitor on my desktop.

I am interested to hear how you can work in technological advancement of major features whilst maintaining "choice" without bloating and complicating (for developers and support) everything with multiple ways of doing the same thing.

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Re: Pointless.

metrosexual interface

Sneering like that makes you look fifteen years old, max. The main gripe of those griping is that they don't like it because EW TILES EW COOTIES METROSEXUAL

Go ahead. Call it gay. You know you want to.

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WTF?

"Sneering like that makes you look fifteen years old, max"

The lack of self awareness and irony in your post is fucking priceless.

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FAIL

Re: "Sneering like that makes you look fifteen years old, max"

I don't think you know what irony is.

Also, this whole thread proves my original point. It'll be a hate fest where morons from support - El Reg's new main readership, apparently - spew bile on the whole concept of Windows 8 in order to avoid having to do any fucking work.

Enjoy your script.

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Linux

Re: "Sneering like that makes you look fifteen years old, max"

I'm sure the folks in support, who you think so highly of, will be more than happy to pick up the extra workload of dealing with "Windows 8 ... WTF!!!???" from the users alongside all the usual "Can you remind me of my password" queries.

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Trollface

Re: Pointless.

@dogged

No man you're just jealous that you didn't came with it first.

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Windows

Re: "Sneering like that makes you look fifteen years old, max"

This thread is a "hate fest" because you started it off with good old heapin' helpin' of hate.

Talk about a self fulfilling prophecy.

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Linux

@Dogged Re: Pointless.

"Go ahead. Call it gay. You know you want to."

How very well dare you! Gay is cool.

And actually, the reason I dropped Windows was because I WANTED to do work, but Vista wouldn't let me. Now I've switched, no point switching back.

^^ Gay Penguin!

nK

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Headmaster

There is no Vs

.net and winRT are not in competition - winRT is a replacement for the ageing WIn32 API (pinvoke etc)

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Re: There is no Vs

Agreed. Microsoft's strategic offering for Web development is still ASP.NET . A big proportion of business apps use the Web, not Windows Forms, WPF, Silverlight or WinRT. .NET is not going away.

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FAIL

I'm so glad I work in Unix server programming

The core posix C API has barely changed in 30 years and is reasonably easy to use unlike win32. I feel sorry for 3rd party MS devs constantly being forced to play musical chairs with development tools, systems and languages, many of which only exist to fill MS's coffers rather than because they provide a superior development enviroment. XAML? What was the point when VS already had a perfectly good GUI dev system. Silverlight? Flash me-too. C#? Java me-too. Windows 8? iOS me-too done by idiots.

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Re: I'm so glad I work in Unix server programming

But new tools include new features.

My first C program in Windows (Borland C) had lots of crap handling the window opening, being redrawn, etc. Drop on a button and you need a whole load of code behind it to handle button changing its look when pressed down.

Fire up Visual Studio 2010 and you don't need to do all those things. It creates a window for you. Draw on a button and all the background code is handled for you. If you want to do something special, like hook into the wm_paint command, you can, but mostly you never need to.

My first program loaded in various image formats. I had to code each one in myself (or steal someone else's library) but now its all built in. I could write the same program in a day, that took me months back at Uni.

Ok, so programs are a bit more bloated. And you have to check what version of .net is installed on the PC, but you can concentrate on what you want the program to do, not fiddle with all the background nonsense.

So yes, you have more bits to learn, but it makes life a whole lot easier. And the aforementioned development environment is available in a free version from MS.

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Re: I'm so glad I work in Unix server programming

"Fire up Visual Studio 2010 and you don't need to do all those things."

You didn't need to do all those things 20 years ago when VB first came out. Its nothing new and the irony is the MS have actually made GUI designing harder recently.

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Re: I'm so glad I work in Unix server programming

the irony is the MS have actually made GUI designing harder recently.

Only if you're too stupid to understand disconnected programming models.

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Re: I'm so glad I work in Unix server programming

Some users like fancy UI's. While it's perfectly possible to create a fancy UI using Win32 there are more ways of doing it wrong than right.

Even If all you need is a command line app some things are faster done in C# than C++.

The right tool for the job.

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Re: I'm so glad I work in Unix server programming

If you expect programming editors, compilers and parsers to do the job for you then you should quit programming.

Or keep producing awful programs/apps.

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WTF?

Re: I'm so glad I work in Unix server programming

C# faster than C++ on you silly dreams...

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FAIL

Post .Net World?

And you're going to make your dynamic MS websites in what, JavaScript (I'm sure node.js is amazing, but really...)? C++? And what about enterprise, where they are JUST starting to move to Windows 7? Other than Paint.Net, I can't really think of many .Net consumer desktop apps I doubt it would affect too many jobs even if .Net did disappear from the consumer desktop (which it isn't about to do). And can anyone (in their right mind) seriously imagine people who have to enter any substantial amount of data doing so using a touch interface (enterprise will remain with the classic desktop for a LONG time to come)? A mouse and keyboard are much better input devices.

But what I really love is how we're going to learn about the technical direction our careers should take based on the predictions of a recruitment agent. The Register has lost its god damned mind, I tell you!

BTW, this isn't me being defensive, I love learning new technologies and languages (I started out with Java at uni). It's just this whole .Net is dead thing is complete bollocks.

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Alert

I think "post .NET world" is a very misleading headline.

What do you think all these Windows 8 apps will be talking to? It'll be cloud services, and if you're a Microsoft shop they will be written in .NET as WebAPI, web services and perhaps standard ASP.NET applications.

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Jobs n Stuff

I'm particularly interested in how this makes the careers prospects for ITPros better and/or worse....

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Boffin

Re: Jobs n Stuff

Depends on the IT pros in question, doesn't it?

.NET is stil extremely viable as a skill set and interaction with the WinRT library is still largely done through managed code. Your basic C#/XAML app developer will have no trouble writing a Win8 app unless s/he's of the "EW NO TILES ARE GAY" tendency - see above posters - but they may have trouble understanding the presentational design required and actually grasping at the market opportunities.

I see a real boon for canny developers who never overspecialized. If you can put together a reliable set of web services to function as a data source, you're on the right track. Disconnected apps - whether cloud based or simply on local networks - are going to become prevalent, with multiple front-ends for different usage patterns.

For example - say you've got a server at home. Doesn't have to be fancy, any Apache-enabled NAS would do. And suppose you want to run, uh... your own mailserver. You write the mailserver. You expose its functionality internally via web services. You throw out a few web pages to make managing it easy remotely.

But you've got a tablet now, and Win8 is pretty powerful. So... you throw together a C#/XAML front-end using MMVM where your C# viewmodels regard the web services as the Model. And suddenly, you can admin your mailserver - or any other type of application - directly from your tablet while watching the telly.

Decoupling functionality from interface is where everyhing must go. Win8 apps are simply a good example of an interface.

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Windows

Is this about language or about control?

I think the whole thing runs much deeper than most people care to realize.

First of all; the whole suggestion of a "post .NET world" is preposterous. Because what exactly is WinRT? Basically its a set of Windows 8 APIs, just like the current API ("Windows API" also called "Win32 API") is available on Windows 7 and Vista. Also from .NET, so what's the issue here?

But the reason I call this preposterous is not so much because of the obvious above. Has the author already forgotten about Windows Server 2012? By default this installs in a 'core mode' thus leaving only a command line based console. Administration is done through the Remote Server Administration Tools ("RSAT") and/or... Windows PowerShell. This is Microsoft's "new" de-facto administration tool. And guess what; it sits completely on the .NET framework. PowerShell is what eventually got me to grab a version of the Express versions of Visual Studio for VB.NET and C#.NET.

One could argue that Windows Server 2012 administration rests completely on the .NET framework. As such I think its plain out stupid to suggest that the new TIFKAM -based environments will spell the end for .NET. Only because the API which is used also allows other platforms (such as JavaScript, C++) to be used?

I think language access is the least bit to be concerned about. When it comes to the influence of the new TIFKAM environment I have much bigger concerns: An immense decrease in control. On Windows 7 I can basically install and use whatever I want. On a TIFKAM based environment I can only use whatever Microsoft provides me with in their marketplace. Thus effectively generating an environment for them to rule out any players which they don't like.

Office 8 is fully TIFKAM integrated. Do you really think that should the OpenOffice people ever step onto the TIFKAM bandwagon and produce a TIFKAM enabled version of their Office environment, that it would find its way onto the Microsoft marketplace? I sincerely doubt that.

THAT is in my opinion the real danger of the whole Windows 8 doctrine. Its not a change of development, its not so much an issue of being forced onto a touch-based user interface which should also be pushed down the throats of the desktop users. No, in my opinion this runs much deeper and seems to be more sinister ("seems to be" because at this point I can obviously not state that MS would actually ban programs such as OpenOffice, but they do create the environment which would allow them to).

Don't worry about languages, worry about being forced into a Microsoft dominated and controlled environment instead. Please note that I'm not suggesting that such an environment would be "bad" or "evil" perse, not my words. But I do state that such an environment could easily be (ab)used to do exactly that.

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Re: Is this about language or about control?

Fully agree with your analysis.

But the reason Microsoft is going down this route is because it has been so successful for Apple and Apple appear to be going down that route for their laptops. Obviously these gated communities are a bad thing for the consumer/end user, but Apple have shown the way.

I can clearly see a time in the next 5 years where you don't buy Office anymore. You simply pay a yearly licence to use it. Nor will there be different versions of Office (2010, 2012 etc). The software you use will simply upgrade as long as you pay the licence. For Microsoft this will be great: guaranteed yearly revenue from 100s of millions of Office users. Further with no way to stay on Office 2003 their support headaches might reduce. And far less pirated software. For some entereprise users this might also be good: all their clients will have the same software! For the end user/consumer: not so sure. Could be good if the licences are not prohibitive and you are a regular Office user. Perhaps MS will throw in a free Surface with your first year's subscription! But in the long run it again means lack of real choice.

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WTF?

On a TIFKAM based environment I can only use whatever Microsoft provides me with in their marketplace.

Not true. You can still run any desktop or web applications exactly as you do in Windows 7. They just won't be Metro/Windows Store apps.

Given the fact that 85% of the Reg's commentards hate Metro anyway, surely this is not a problem?

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It's the Ribbon all over again

Maybe not quite, but I remember when MS brought out the Ribbon interface, and the world spat out it's dummy. I think MS back tracked a little, but then the Ribbon was rolled out as intended in Office 2010.

At the time I found the learning curve jarring, but the people I work with, less technical, found it a massive boost. Instead of having an encyclopedic knowledge of the drop down menus, they had the stuff they would use most often right in front of them. So MS did something good here, as far as I can see.

I think Metro could go the same way. El Reg users, i.e. power users may find it a pain, but your general office worker who does some point and clicking, bit of word, excel and some internet surfing will probably find it useful.

I reserve judgement until I see it in the wild.

And .NET aint going no where.

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Facepalm

Re: It's the Ribbon all over again

Five years on, I still loathe the ribbon with an undimmed passion. Menu technology was perfected with the invention of keyboard shortcuts, circa 1980, but Microsoft just can't stop messing with it. First it was the toolbar, then the customisable toolbar, then customisable menus, then the infamous "menus with disappearing options" of the late 90s. (And that's not even the dumbest of their decisions. Anyone remember "Why not detach your menu bar from the top of the window and put it handily in the middle of your screen? Or make it disappear completely?")

And then came the ribbon. To this day I still get a steady trickle of support requests of the form "Where the hell is the control for 'blah'?" (And I can't blame them. Quick, how do you change the footer size in a Word document? Answer: the controls are split between the 'Page Layout' and 'Design' ribbons, the latter of which isn't even visible until you click on the footer itself.)

I have no firm opinion on Metro, but my gut feeling is that it's another case where Microsoft has solved a problem that the rest of the world has long since learned to work around, to the point where the workarounds themselves have come to be regarded as key functionality.

As for 'post .net' - I wish. If only .net would go away for good, the world would be a cleaner, faster and hugely more efficient place. Sadly, it's with us for a long time to come.

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Re: It's the Ribbon all over again

In fact I fully agree with Tatsky above. For the casual user (most Windows users) the ribbon aids discovering functions much more than a normal menu. It's also great for learning shortcuts as pressing the ALT key clearly displays a letter over each button. So to insert a table you simply press:

ALT

n

t

i

in that order without having to hold down multiple keys. This is so much easier to use than various CTRL-ALT or CTRL-SHIFT shortcuts. I am far more productive with the Ribbon than without it.

Fair enough for power users it means re-learning a load of stuff. That, unfortunately, is the lot of the power user. For the casual user, the Ribbon is great.

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Facepalm

Some pearls:

Lets see; first some big caliber astroturfing:

"but they may have trouble understanding the presentational design required and actually grasping at the market opportunities."

Then some more:

" Instead of having an encyclopedic knowledge of the drop down menus, they had the stuff they would use most often right in front of them."

Shoo MS PR, Shoo!!!

Not happy with ruining office they had to ruin the desktop too.

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Anonymous Coward

MS PR?

Seriously, get a grip. You think we employ PR people to 'monitor' comments sections on random tech websites like the reg?? It is possible that Dogged does work for MS, but I can guarantee you that he is in no way anything to do with PR. I also read the reg and comment on articles and my job is nothing to do with PR.

Dogged just thinks some of the posts made on this topic are idiotic. I think he may have a point.

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Re: MS PR?

You Microsoft employees surely are desperate.

Windows8 and WindowsPhone8 will be rejected by people. The Metro/ModernUI is a disgrace. And a joke.

Ballmer has to be fired.

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