back to article Microsoft rethinks the Windows application platform one more time

"There are 16 million Win32 or .NET apps in the world. When we built the Universal Windows Platform, we left them behind. And that was dumb," said Microsoft Distinguished Engineer John Sheehan, speaking at the Build conference last week in San Francisco. Microsoft's Universal Windows Platform (UWP) is based on the Windows …

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Win10 Snakes and Ladders

And....down the backwards-compatibility snake we go. Into a nest of vipers.

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"We are putting a lot of trust in the developer”

"Not to write any more viruses", said some Ballmer-level strategy genius.

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Re: "We are putting a lot of trust in the developer”

Much like the response when world+dog with any security knowledge told them ActiveX would be a disaster for security. "But it's what our users want" said MS.

That ended well, didn't it ?

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Doesn't matter

I refuse to log in to the Windows Store anyway.

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FAIL

Re: Doesn't matter

Windows Store, I thought that was now known as Tumble Weed Park anyway.

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Re: Doesn't matter

"I refuse to log in to the Windows Store anyway"

Great, that makes me feel much safer, thanks!

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Re: Doesn't matter

Only reason I did was to grab my free copy of the Minecraft version on it for existing Minecraft users. Other than that it's not somewhere I even look when I'm after utilities etc, I usually end up on sourceforge.. or google.

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Re: Doesn't matter

I don't even refuse the Windows Store. I've never seen it, or wondered if it has anything of interest. It's Windows on a PC. I Buy my programs from companies making applications, without paying extra tax to MS.

It's not nanny-world in the form of iOS or Android.

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Learning or just trying a different push??

So, "We forgot about the old apps", this is the single thing that really matter to the users.

Its all about the apps, not the OS guys. People don't want to sit in an OS all day long, they want to use the apps to get stuff done.

Think you've just learned that when you make it hard or block things, people say "no", its a bit like whats happening with the push to Windows 10.

My concern is that this looks like a different angle on the push to try and get stuff into the store, then to ratchet up the security and bolt the door after. So, remind me what the store is supposed to do again - other than limit my choices and give Microsoft another revenue stream by taxing the developers ??

Personally, I don't want a single store, like there isn't a single shop on the high street. I want to have the freedom to install from any vendor I choose to trust. We all know that app stores can be full of junk and false reviews, some of them even have loads of malware ridden apps too.

If I go to acme corp and download the acme corp widget tool, then I know who I'm getting the code from. I;'ll rely on reputation and AV/AM tools that I choose to decide if they look safe.

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

If I go to acme corp and download the acme corp widget tool, then I know who I'm getting the code from. I;'ll rely on reputation and AV/AM tools that I choose to decide if they look safe...

Oh, for god's sake, NO! What are you, nuts or something?

Don't you know AcmeCorp were taken over by a coyote last year?

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

"So, remind me what the store is supposed to do again..."

Give Microsoft money that you earned....

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

Linux distributions have software that use stores (or repositories) because it allows you to pull installations and updates essentially as soon as they are available. And of course, you can have as many repositories as you like, including local file systems.

Microsoft had Windows Update, and then Microsoft Update and this, essentially, will be Global Update, adding in 3rd-party applications. Plus, of course, it has the payment system.

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

You've just hit the nail on the head.

The user decides where to shop or what to download, rather than someone trying to decide for them.

Taking your Linux analogy, I can use the repos and get it easily (but probably a few versions back due to delays in testing etc), or I can go to the vendor, use their repo, or download their source if its provided (probably on github), or download their installer package - its all my choice. Additionally, nobody is trying to charge me along the way for some fluffy service.

The common thing here is choice and cost..

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Headmaster

I;'ll rely on reputation

You seem to have a problem with your Acme Corp grandma checker? Do you need some help with that?

Yours, Clippy.

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Devil

Don't you know AcmeCorp were taken over by a coyote last year?

Yes, but I'd still trust it more than Slurp.

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

Very nice, but there are 99 Windows customers for every Linux customer.

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

> there are 99 Windows customers for every Linux customer.

Did you use Excel to calculate that 'statistic'?

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

and 50 billion flies eat shit. Just because there's a lot of them doesn't mean they are right.

We're humans, not sheep - although MS would prefer to think we are, the better to herd us into their fenced and gated pasture, where every blade of dry grass comes with a price tag and tracker.

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

Then right after visiting the only app store you can go to the only book store, where all they sell is Satya Nadella's version of Mein Kampf.

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Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

"Its all about the apps, not the OS guys."

Bill Gates knew this back in the 70s.

But MS must talk up WIndows, and use various tricks (ever shifting platform etc) to make sure they don't become irrelevant.

The annoying thing is that consumers (and I include corporations an even governments in this) just eat any sh*t, and never question the intentions of MS. So effing stupid.

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Windows

Re: Learning or just trying a different push??

"Very nice, but there are 99 Windows customers for every Linux customer."

Linux has users. Windows has customers, and one is born every minute.

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What a clusterfuck

So the solution to the mess you perpetrated as an operating system is to package and distribute applications with the equivalent of vmware ThinApp?

"There are 16 million Win32 or .NET apps in the world. When we built the Universal Windows Platform, we left them behind. And that was dumb,"

Doesn't matter, being smarter than you your customers have decided to leave you behind asap.

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Re: What a clusterfuck

"Doesn't matter, being smarter than you your customers have decided to leave you behind asap."

ASAP? about 10 years ago for me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a clusterfuck

ASAP? about 10 years ago for me.

It's hard to get much sooner than that!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: What a clusterfuck

I put up the white flag for personal use of Windows in 2009.

Sadly I have to use the POS in order to earn a crust. Still come August and that will be a thing of the past.

Retirement Yay!

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Sounds like a reasonable plan to me. It's still a crying shame that they can't back-port the app store to Win7 though. That would have won over developers in a flash.

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Anonymous Coward

Be afraid!

Be very afraid! Microsoft has given somewhere around 300 millions copies of Windows 10 for free. At 50$ a pop, this translates into about 15 billions $ in potential revenue and trust me, Microsoft is extremely eager to recoup all this huge mountain of cash. In order to do this, they need first that everybody moves to Windows 10 and then all applications come from their store. Let's not forget Microsoft told Wall Street analysts how are they going to monetize users for their entire lifetime: Windows as a service, app store, targeted ads based on personal information slurped from their users. Unless Google who have to chase each of their user, if all goes the Microsoft way they will have 1 billion cash cows ready to be milked on a recurrent basis.

Have fun!

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Re: Be afraid!

I suspect that as soon as they think that people are well and truly hooked on to win 10 there will be a small announcement that it will stop working unless a 'small' monthly fee is paid. OSaaS anyone?

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Re: Be afraid!

The trap only works if people fall for it.

People are smart too !

People have memories of last time they were hoodwinked.

Importantly, people have the money and decide what they do with it.

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Re: Be afraid!

"The trap only works if people fall for it.

People are smart too !"

Sadly many are not smart enough. I have seen people in less technical parts of the interwebs that think Microsoft is being generous and we should all be grateful for the free Win 10 upgrades.

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Remember, Linux led the way on giving away an OS for free

If MS could get enough people to switch to Windows 10 it would save MS maintenance costs on Windows 7.

It is about saving money.

Remember, MS is not the only company giving away an OS, Linux does it too and Linux did it first.

Marketshare.com says 99 Windows user for every Linux user. It seems people are more scared of Linus than they are of MS.

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Re: Remember, Linux led the way on giving away an OS for free

The problem is Microsoft is *NOT* "giving away" Windows 10 -- and having hinted at monetizing the move later and that (plus the "telemetry" and enforced patching regime) has people looking over their shoulder for the inevitable "bend over, pay up or lose your life's work" moment.

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Re: Be afraid!

"I have seen people in less technical parts of the interwebs that think Microsoft is being generous and we should all be grateful for the free Win 10 upgrades."

Are you accusing elReg of being one of the less technical parts of the interwebs?

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Re: Be afraid!

I've said it before and I'll say it again till I'm blue in the face.

Windows 10 will not go "subscription". They know it cannot, and they know they need the "first hit is free" business model.

Windows 10 will always be free. However, everything else? That's fair game. Along with selling the consumers data, advertising and paying for any additional features.

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Re: Be afraid!

A large part of their hopes from an improved bottom line from Windows 10 will come from moving everyone to the new platform and being able to do away with support for the older platforms.

As for the store, I've not seen a single Windows Store app that is actually any good. Microsoft's own attempts are anywhere between half-arsed and just plain terrible. Build a first-class system that will make people want to use it because of how well it meets their needs and watch the users and the money roll in of their own accord. It's not that difficult to figure that one out.

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Re: Be afraid!

"The trap only works if people fall for it.

People are smart too !"

Lets go get some candy and balloons from the nice man in the van with no windows and only one door.

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Re: Be afraid!

Well, it won't stop working. That's too obvious.

But it will stop updating, becoming an easy target for viruses.

MS probably will do the deed just as a zero day vuln is discovered.

Then the APIs will start shifting, so new programs won't install on older Win 10.

This is a dead certainty.

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Re: Be afraid!

"People are smart too !

People have memories of last time they were hoodwinked."

Whaaat?

Are you kidding me?

Have you checked out Twitter, and Facebook? (Well, whatever filters through without joining up.)

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Re: Be afraid!

I suspect anyone (a massive majority at least) below 30 years old thinks that way.

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Re: OSaaS anyone?

Changing the terms and conditions, retrospectively, to turn something that worked into something that didn't unless you pay money. Hmm? How would that be different from injecting a virus that encrypts the hard disc and refusing to decrypt it until the owner pays you money? It wouldn't? OK, welcome to jail.

You *may* find that Win11 is OSaaS and that the support for Win10 expires 5 years after launch, turning it into a huge malware target like XP. If so, you *may* find that most customers just ignore the issue and carry on using their preferred OS, behind a firewall and/or in a VM as necessary.

To be honest, I can't see any long-term future for Windows *except* as a vehicle for running legacy Win32 software. If MS want to repeat billg's success, they need to do it with an entirely new product (and almost certainly not in the OS market, which looks incredibly hard to break into right now).

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Re: Be afraid!

> Windows 10 will not go "subscription".

It already is. Enterprises already pay an annual subscription for Windows and that includes Windows 10. They don't stop paying when they install 10.

> Windows 10 will always be free.

Windows 10 is only 'free' for a limited time to a limited group of existing customers. It is not free to Windows XP customers or to buyers of new computers or to enterprise customers.

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Vic

Re: Be afraid!

Windows 10 will not go "subscription".

You might like to cite some evidence for that; repeated assertion does not count.

I can't seen any alternative but for WIndows to become subscription-only; by declaring that Windows 10 will be the last version of Windows ever, they have killed off all possible upgrade revenue; they can only ever sell Windows with new PCs.That's a *big* drop in revenue, with no commensurate drop in development cost.

Sure, they'll make some money from advertising and from selling your data to third parties - but will that recover the upgrade losses? That would be a lot of advertising...

Vic.

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Holmes

Re: Remember, Linux led the way on giving away an OS for free

99 Windows users vs 1 Linux? On the desktop, maybe. But as even MS admit, the stand alone desktop is almost defunct. Look instead at the number of computing devices using Unix based systems (Linux, Android, Apple,) from mainframe banking to the IOT and you can pretty much reverse the figures. Linux 99, Windows 1.

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Re: Richard Plinston

Thanks for quoting me out of context.

Windows 10 for personal use is not subscription based. This will not change. The "monthly use" is "free", though the original purchase had a cost (either through an older paid for OS and free upgrade or a paid for new disk/key).

I know you know what I meant. Did you think I was ignorant of the server and corporate based Windows offerings? If you wish to point out those additional points do so, but don't put words into my mouth.

MS offer subscribed and other services that can be paid for. They may even charge for updates, changes and additions to Windows 10 (personal) later on. But they will not and possibly cannot charge for the monthly use of 10. As an example, they do charge for monthly use of their Office suite, but have not and can not push an automatic update to change Office 2010 (personal edition) into Office365.

PS, they have not "killed off any revenue" because they said "last Windows ever" not "last OS". They already renamed "Internet Explorer" and have a new browser. If they wish to start charging monthly for an OS, they can rename it. They can offer a full subscription model similar to Office365.

If someone thinks they will change the OS mid flow, they need to realise, if that was the case they would have done the trials with existing software. But instead they seem to be copying Adobe and Apple for the subscription and walled garden models.

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Re: Richard Plinston

> Thanks for quoting me out of context.

You had not specified any particular context, your assertions were global in nature. You made bold statements which were uniformed and untrue.

> Did you think I was ignorant of the server and corporate based Windows offerings?

Yes.

> but don't put words into my mouth.

There was nothing put in your mouth by anyone other than you. You made unqualified assertions without limitations that were patently false. You are now attempting to add qualifications and claiming it is other's fault that you were 'misunderstood'.

You can go blue in the face and stamp your little feet but some copies of Windows 10 are being paid for with subscriptions and others pay for Windows 10. In neither case is it 'always free'. Microsoft have stated the the 'free upgrade for existing W7, and W8.1 users (with exclusions)' would only last for one year. _Nobody_, not even Microsoft, knows for sure what will happen after that year ends, regardless of your claims.

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Mushroom

Re: Richard Plinston

Fine. By your own definitions I will also state Windows 10 is free and will always be free. As there are people with the ability to gain it for free and schemes in place to get free copies. Just as it is also paid for by subscription by some and they will always pay for that subscription.

So yes, it is a "global" claim that it is free just as it is a global claim it is charged for.

I'll admit, I'm unsure if it will go "free (as in beer)" just as some Linux distros are, or if it will just be "free (to use)" as Apple do with OSX. That you can argue over with me about. But I'll not take a side on it, I'll wait to see what Microsoft decide (in the consumer space, I have little interest or expertise in the corporate OS industry, but as you say they already do charge a subscription for this).

No stamping of feet here. Just standing steadily on the ground.

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Re: Be afraid!

They haven't given away 300 million. 300 million is the claimed total, but that includes sales of new machines that already have 10 installed, as well as the paid upgrades of enterprise PCs (which were never eligible for the free upgrade).

Upgrades of existing PCs only amounted to a tiny fraction of Microsoft's revenue anyway. Most PCs came with a certain version of Windows, and they'd go their entire life with that version installed. Upgrading to a new Windows used to be one of the things that got people to go buy a new PC, and it was the OEM sales to the PC makers that has long represented the bulk of Windows sales. Giving the product away to the subset of home users that were using 7 or 8 (even if they got them all to upgrade) would not cost MS all that much in lost sales. Most of the free upgrades went (or would have gone, had they managed to persuade all eligible users of 7 and 8 to do it) to people that never would have upgraded if they had to go out and buy 10 and perform the upgrade of their own volition.

That, of course, does not mean MS is just being nice and giving away something because that's how they roll. They didn't give away Internet Explorer out of generosity, and they're not being generous now. One would be wise to be wary of Redmondians bearing gifts.

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Re: Be afraid!

That's the idea there, though... by forcing everyone to upgrade to 10, and by forcing everyone in 10 to have the Windows store installed, MS can make the claim that there is a large pool of people just waiting to buy some nice apps... so app devs, get going! Fill that MS store with a bounty of wonderful apps that will entice people to buy Windows phones someday, since the lack of any good apps for them is seen as a major impediment to their "mobile first, cloud first" delusions.

Once we're all on 10, MS can change Windows to benefit itself however it wants without any pesky details like "do the customers want this?" popping up. Previously, any major changes in function would be rolled out in new Windows versions, and MS at least had an incentive to try to convince people that they wanted this stuff so that they'd upgrade to the new version. It didn't always work out in the customer's favor, but at least customer satisfaction got a seat at the table, so to speak.

WaaS, though, dispenses with this; MS can push out any update they want, and it will automatically install on all of our puters, since we no longer get to control such things, and that shall be that. No customer approval needed, and none requested. You'll get what MS wants you to have, nothing more and nothing less, forevermore. In other words, when you install Windows 10, you're not just signing off on all of the changes they've made since previous versions. You're also giving your stamp of approval for all the changes they can dream up in the future too, without even knowing what they are. Given Microsoft's record lately, that makes you either very brave or very masochistic.

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Re: Richard Plinston

"Fine. By your own definitions I will also state Windows 10 is free and will always be free. "

It's only free because you don't own it.

You never did own Windows, but now it's more obvious because you are not even trusted to control it. Your instance (that is, the copy that resides in your machine) of the operating system isn't even your instance any more.

It's basically someone else's tool, installed on your hardware, that someone else can use to spy on you. That's some deal.

MS has just followed the logical conclusion of what Google did. Since Google managed to claw itself into the MS platform so that normal users could never fully get rid of it (re-installers sprinkled liberally all over the place), MS thought they'd go one better and make it so even technically competent people can't get rid of the spying. Short of switching to some other OS, of course.

I want the EU to step in with legislation, with teeth this time, to crush the wet dreams of some of these data diggers. But they will fail due to ineptitude and lobbying (aka "greasing").

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Is the risk worth it…

The reason my wife installs apps on her IPad but not her laptop, is that we trust that apps from the Apple app store will not destroy all the data on her IPad.

I was hoping that within a few years, it would be possible to put new software on our laptops without having to take an unacceptable risk.

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