Re: Metro was the failed gamble
…users would not come unless there were lots of apps. Maemo/Meego/N9 had proved this.
N9 proved that there will not be a platform if it is not advertised, it is launched with extremely limited availability, and its CEO says it’s a dead-end product no matter how well it sells. And it still sold better than Windows Phone 7.
I thought the Qt strategy was sound. When Qt was put on a Burning Platform, businesses that had been tooling up for it angrily dumped Nokia and went all-in with Android and/or iOS.
Metro was an attempt to create a platform which would work for the PC, tablets and phones.
That was not a happy time for Microsoft. Bill Gates promoted .NET as a way to write dependable, cross-platform software (but he tried to be all vaguely visionary about it, and Marketing then confused the hell out of everybody). Metro was built on .NET, so it should have been cross-platform. Instead, Microsoft kept jumping from one .NET GUI to another, so you couldn’t be sure your program wouldn’t need to be rewritten next year, and even Windows Metro and Windows Phone Metro were different. Apple and Google offered relative stability. People who like jumping were switching to platforms they could control, like webapps on Node.js on Linux.
Even now, 4 years later, you can only share some of the code between desktop and phone Metro, and One Windows is a promise for later this year. I’m not sure how alarming it is that Microsoft Skype, for one, has switched from Metro back to classic desktop Windows.
Elop could not have known that this would happen, but it’s the utmost foolishness to drop what was working before letting Microsoft’s new platform prove itself.