back to article Windows 8.1 to freeze out small business apps

While Microsoft is happy with the “appification” of Windows, and prepares to go-live with Windows 8.1 on October 18, it's created a gap between present and future that could be a stumbling block for a bunch of small ISVs. The kind of company that lives between the consumer and the enterprise will still be able to create and …

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  1. Chairo
    Facepalm

    The message isn't clear enough yet?

    The killing of technet should have made it clear already - they hate small ISVs.

    Small ISVs could grow to large ISVs and cut into Redmond's market share. We can't have that, can we?

    (I can't decide, if I should use the joke or the troll icon - I have a growing feeling, that they might really feel like this, so perhaps the slapping hand fits best)...

    1. LarsG

      Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

      Ballmer is leaving, things will change.

      1. Bod

        Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

        "Ballmer is leaving, things will change."

        Ballmer out, Elop in. Business as usual. Both capable of destroying companies and not paying attention to user's needs.

        1. td97402

          Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

          Actually, Microsoft considers very large volume license corporations/govenemnts and OEM computer manufacturers as its customers. They are the only entities with which Microsoft deals directly. They do pay a bit of attention to their needs. Not so much to you though. Note that there isn't even a retail version of Windows any more and if you do buy software from Microsoft directly they actually outsource the download/distribution to third parties and have you in a phone queue to wait for "support".

    2. mrweekender
      Megaphone

      Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

      Linux, linux, linux, linux....

      1. MacGyver
        Happy

        Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

        One more for good measure.

        Linux.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

        @"Linux, linux, linux, linux"

        We do not want linux, We do not want linux, We do not want linux, We do not want linux,We do not want linux...

        We want windows fixed.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Devil

          Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

          > We do not want linux

          The only thing WinDOS has to offer is legacy applications and Microsoft seems bound and determined to kill those off. World+Dog only uses Microsoft's OS because it has been considered the default desktop platform for 30 years and every obscure app that doesn't fit into their new model runs on it.

          1. CRConrad

            Re: "The default desktop platform for 30 years"

            Just about twenty, actually. (Twenty-two or twenty-three at a stretch.)

        2. Goat Jam

          Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

          "We want windows fixed"

          Here, have a tissue.

          Either use it or man up and stop being a pathetic MS dependent fool because nobody in Redmond gives a shit what you want.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

            @ "...man up..."

            Who says I'm a man? And anyway, I'm actually quite happy with windows and linux as they are, or as I currently use them.

        3. jglathe
          Alert

          Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

          Well, that's not going to happen... you would need to fire the whole UX department, and roll back to a sane UI for the desktop. And split off the touch UI for those who want it. That's too much, I'm afraid. But it would be the only sane move I can think of. There are some other issues at hand, a consistent and - yeah - stable API, for example. And maybe listening to the customer, or the people that have the most contact with the customer. But that's waay off the mark. Danger of success, having to do real uncool work and all that.

          1. alisonken1
            FAIL

            Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

            " ... a consistent and - yeah - stable API ... "

            Hmm - last I checked, unless you're writing a kernel module, the userspace API's and ABI's are pretty stable in linux. You must have missed that last rant that Linus did when someone broke userspace API in a kernel module that was being updated.

            http://developers.slashdot.org/story/12/12/29/018234/linus-chews-up-kernel-maintainer-for-introducing-userspace-bug

            Follow the link to the mailing list thread for the full effect.

            1. jglathe

              @alisonken1 Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

              Errmm... mine was an answer to "We want Windows fixed"... but thanks for the memories of the Linus rant. ;) I know that the userspace APIs on Linux are pretty well documented and stable. This is not the case for the Windows world.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

        Or NetBSD, or OpenBSD, or FreeBSD, or DragonflyBSD, or Solaris, or OpenIndiana, or...

        It's not all just Linux!

        1. Mpeler
          Mushroom

          Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

          They're all derivatives of Unix...so the base is the same (OK, actually Multics...).

          BUT, you lot can take your daemons, curses, and default file permissions of 666 and

          go back to dungeons and dragons where you belong....

          U*X, a hodge-podge of loosely-related utility programs masquerading as an operating system...

          1. Jim in Hayward

            Re: The message isn't clear enough yet?

            Mpeler - you could have been more original than repainting the Windows OS mission statement as Nix.

  2. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Telling...

    Quote

    and aren't welcome on the Windows 8.1 Start screen.

    That seems to indicate that the Start Screen is going to be a case of 'here today and gone tomorrow'

    The Ostriches in Redmond are still in charge it seems.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Telling...

      Protectionism on an enterprising scale.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not really an issue

    as 8.0 and 8.1 with their bloody stupid full screen 'apps' are coming to the enterprise I work for over my dead body. We're sticking with Windows 7 for as long as is humanly possible. We're always looking into the feasibility of migrating to Linux anyway (and so far it isn't) and we're hoping it does become a feasible platform for us before Windows 7 reaches end-of-life.

    My fingers are crossed that MS will hire a new CEO who isn't a massive dick and who will put the whole sorry TIFKAM on the desktop horror behind us.

    1. nematoad Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Not really an issue

      "My fingers are crossed that MS will hire a new CEO who isn't a massive dick and who will put the whole sorry TIFKAM on the desktop horror behind us."

      Don't hold your breath for that.

      To me the whole reason for all this nonsense is contained in the last statement "That way you could use Windows Store to sell and support the app ..."

      MS are (again) following Apple and trying to corral people into their walled garden so as to extract the maximum amount of money for the least possible effort.

      Lazy, cynical and contemptuous of their "partners" in the MS ecosystem.

      I hope that you manage to migrate to Linux soon; it's well worth all the initial pain and the sense of being freed from the MS treadmill is exhilarating.

      1. BobChip
        Happy

        Initial pain - then relief.

        "It's well worth the initial pain..."

        Rather like getting rid of an agonising tooth abcess. Once you have made the switch the sense of relief is indescribable, and you wonder why you put up with the MS pain for so long in the first place.

        So does your accountant.

        1. dssf

          Re: Initial pain - then relief.

          YOOZ ANbeSOL...

      2. Steve Todd
        Stop

        Re: Not really an issue -@nematoad

        Except that Apple :

        1) don't lock you in for desktop apps. You can install them from anywhere without giving Apple a cut.

        2) Companies can install custom iOS apps without going through the app store also. It costs you a flat $300/year and includes all the dev tools to make it work. All you need to enrol in this is a DUNS number, which any company can get for free.

        Microsoft are trying to do this for (1) and limiting the possible customer base for (2).

      3. Tom 35 Silver badge

        buy side-load keys itself.

        Putting aside why an enterprise would want a not-metro app over a Windows app, why do MS think I should pay them for a key to install software I bought from some other company.

        Do I pay Ford if I stick a GPS on my dashboard?

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not really an issue

        "MS are (again) following Apple and trying to corral people into their walled garden so as to extract the maximum amount of money for the least possible effort."

        Except Apple don't do that. Third parties can still distribute installers that work just as well as they ever did outside of the Apple Application Store.

    2. Charles Manning

      New broom will sweep clean

      Perhaps a new CEO who does not have ego tied up in a crap decision will come up with something better.

      The buig question though is what this will do to customer confidence. Too many U-turns will make the punters giddy and they'll want to get off the Windows ride for anything else.

      With the majority of newer corporate applications being deployed over web interfaces, the actual OS/desktop is less of an issue. All the punters need is a desktop -- any desktop -- that has a web browser.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: All the punters need is a desktop -- any desktop -- that has a web browser.

        So in the end Marc Andreessen will have been correct about the browser. It's just that because he shot off his mouth about it, Bill Gates saw the threat to his business empire and went for the horse head.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Not really an issue

      as 8.0 and 8.1 with their bloody stupid full screen 'apps' are coming to the enterprise I work for over my dead body. We're sticking with Windows 7 for as long as is humanly possible.

      .. which won't be that long. I really hope you didn't think that moving to UEFI and the resurrection of the Trusted Computer chip was for YOUR benefit - all these are IMHO lock in tools to make Linux deployment harder..

      1. mmeier

        Re: Not really an issue

        @AC

        The moon landing was a fake as well, there where no planes hitting the twin towers and NORAD is just a cover for an ancient interstellar transportation device.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Not really an issue

        Perhaps TPM, and UFEI might become more useful after MicroSoft exits the Stage...

        This seems to be their BIG PLAN after all...

  4. Richard 12 Silver badge

    Developers developers? Screw the developers!

    This is probably the biggest reason Win8's TIFKAM is already dead.

    It's hard to develop for, the rules mean no non-trivial applications, it's impossible to test...

    Is it any wonder end users don't like it? All it ever manages is to get in the way of their "normal" Windows experience, which is where all their software actually lives.

  5. darklordsid

    Someone think it is strange? Developing for RT-API is developing for MS, their the store, their your customers, their your business.

    1. DJV Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Please...

      ...read this: http://www.wikihow.com/Use-There,-Their-and-They%27re

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    following Apple and trying to corral people into their walled garden

    No, it's worse - OS X doesn't stop you installing apps.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: following Apple and trying to corral people into their walled garden

      Yet

  7. Should b Working

    Intune IS for smaller businesses

    Why would you install infrastructure on premises to manage your desktops and mobiles when someone else can run that infrastructure for you?

    I think this is a non-issue. Get Intune, get the side load keys.

    1. xj25vm
      Thumb Down

      Re: Intune IS for smaller businesses

      Well - why do anything by yourself and have control over your hardware/software/systems - when you can trust someone else to do it for you - and rip you off blind in the process?

      That is in case you weren't just being sarcastic.

      1. Should b Working
        Pint

        Re: Intune IS for smaller businesses

        You always end up paying, whether it's for hardware, software, support, or in downtime when the "solution" your expert installed falls over for the 3rd time this year. Whether you choose to invest that money in something with a financially backed SLA or Doug, the Linux guy, is up to you.

        Anyway this conversation was meant to be about getting apps into Win 8.1, how did we get so distracted?

        Beer, because it's Thursday afternoon here.

        1. xj25vm

          Re: Intune IS for smaller businesses

          Well - maybe you should choose more carefully the "experts" you hire.

          And from what I've seen so far - it doesn't have to be necessarily Doug, the Linux guy. It could very well be Johnny, the Windows guy - who's been clicking buttons all his "professional" life - and has no clue what FAT stands for, or what is the difference between bits and bytes - and is completely lost when things don't work as the manual says they should work.

          And big companies can be just as incompetent as little guys. When you don't give a shit about the quality of your product - and spend all your budget on marketing, and pandering to shareholders, instead of making your stuff work - it doesn't matter how big you are. I've lost track of the number of crappy software, hardware or solutions coming out from all corners of the industry. Hell, we get news of hundreds of millions worth of IT contracts failing almost every day - here and everywhere else in the world.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

            1. Tom 35 Silver badge

              Johnny can be replaced by Jimmy,Janey or Joey

              Yes, just like the Exchange setup that got dumped on me when Johnny left. It sort of mostly works, but I find a new WTF every day. Like Johnny's personal admin account being used as a service account for a few random things.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Intune IS for smaller businesses

        Sarcastic?! Sounded more like the truth to me.... Nothing to sarcastic about that then...

  8. paulc
    FAIL

    Licences for sideloading???

    WTF

  9. Jess

    Fortunately

    I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to do this.

    (I hope I don't ever work for someone who does.)

  10. Charles Manning

    Not satisfied with being spurned....

    So when people are hesitant to buy your new product, you make it even harder to use your product?

    Did anyone in MS attend business school or marketing 101?

  11. MacGyver

    Show MS how you feel....

    .... by pushing Linux solutions.

    Microsoft will do whatever they want to do, right up to the point where it starts cutting into their profits, then maybe they'll change, if they have the right leadership. Recently though, they've been going "all in" on some really bad ideas, so who knows.

    1. paulc
      Linux

      Re: Show MS how you feel....

      If Microsoft had gotten their act together a few years ago, THEY could be the dominant Linux supplier with an official Microsoft Linux which had their apps officially supported on it via compatibility libraries. There is nothing stopping them from putting their own proprietary windowing solution on top of Linux.

      But no, they had to try and kill Linux...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Show MS how you feel....

        @paulc Are they trying to kill Linux by being one of the major contributors to the kernel, and by ensuring it can be virtualised on their hypervisor, or by integrating it into their cloud platform?

        http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/04/linux-kernel-in-2011-15-million-total-lines-of-code-and-microsoft-is-a-top-contributor/

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @AC 15:34GMT - Re: Show MS how you feel....

          I had a good laugh at what you said. Microsoft major contributor! You're entertaining! The answer is in your post: [quote] their hypervisor... their cloud platform [/quote] How about not quietly changing SMB protocols adding proprietary extensions to prevent the SAMBA project from bringing a decent domain controller to run on Linux ? That would count as a major contribution not a bunch of drivers for virtualization in an effort to make world use their hypervisor instead of VMware or KVM.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: @AC 16:36GMT - Yes, Microsoft!!

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/03/microsoft_linux_kernel_contributions/

            Do ANY of you people actually read The Register or do you just come here to snipe on the forums?

          2. LDS Silver badge

            Re: @AC 15:34GMT - Show MS how you feel....

            SMB *is a proprietary protocol* - thereby MS can modify it at its will. But what it does is documented - so what's the problem? That SAMBA project needs to keep its code updated? SMB2 and SMB3 are welcome improvements, they are much faster and less complex.

            Anyway today being a decent domain controller means an "Active Directory Domain Controller", not an "NT Domain Controller". There's much more to implement than the SMB protocol.

            Anyway why SAMBA moved to GPLv3 to cut out Apple? It looks everybody attempts to play its own game.

        2. JEDIDIAH
          Mushroom

          Re: Show MS how you feel....

          > Are they trying to kill Linux by being one of the major contributors to the kernel

          They are no such thing.

        3. Goat Jam

          Re: Show MS how you feel....

          "(Microsoft) being one of the major contributors to the (Linux) kernel . . .

          LOL

          Now that is pretty serious misinformation.

          Cluelessly ignorant or malicious liar, YOU be the judge.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Show MS how you feel....

            "LOL

            Now that is pretty serious misinformation.

            Cluelessly ignorant or malicious liar, YOU be the judge. "

            OK, we've judged. And YOU, sir, are a COMPLETE AND IGNORANT FAILURE.

            http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/03/microsoft_linux_kernel_contributions/

            Next time someone states a fact you may wish to confirm the details before spouting off.

        4. Michael Habel Silver badge

          Re: Show MS how you feel....

          As for VNs Servers, and the Internet.... Could it be that that's mostly all handled by Apache running under Linux?

          1. mmeier

            Re: Show MS how you feel....

            The reason is simple but the Gnuliban do not like it:

            It's cheap!

            Running an external website on say Solaris means you have to buy a licence. Imagine the big "cracked Linux box for Botnet control" providers like 1&1 in germany running all their boxes on it and the 9€/month V-servers are gone. There is a reason they typically do not offer RedHat for these boxes either

            The same goes for the admins that are more often than not "just out of university" (or even "still student") personal that manages it's "pet distribution". With the well known problems and with quite a few distributions offered that are "past shelf life"

            Companies like Amazon (AMI) take a different route as does Google with Android. They select "best of breed", castrate it so it does not mutate and use that "Linux Kernel" for a long time. With a limited environment they can risk decoupling themselfs from the "quarterly changes"

            1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
              Paris Hilton

              Re: Show MS how you feel....

              Except that you can install a nice Fedora 19 on Amazon EC2.

              So what are you on about?

              And please stop the retarded Linux baiting.

  12. theastrodragon

    The whole fiasco reminds me of one of those people in their car ignoring the road while following their GPS over a cliff...

  13. MrWibble
    Coffee/keyboard

    "The author is attending TechEd Australia as a guest of Microsoft, which has shelled out for travel, accommodation, nourishment and Nokia."

    :)

  14. Saul Dobney
    Facepalm

    Why is Microsoft aping Apple? Apple has always been a consumer electronics company (it took them a couple of decades to realise this mind). Microsoft on the other hand has always been business and developer focused. The bits which made Microsoft strong were the openness of their systems, compatability and relative ease of development and deployment with low entry costs which created a big third party infrastructure.

    The Apple model doesn't work for business customers because businesses need the flexibility to tweak, customise and innovate to stay ahead of the competition, and they need volume-based administration, security and management specific to the business needs to keep those systems running. When Microsoft tries to apply consumer logic to businesses and to wall-in users or programmers, more often than not their products fail.

    1. Mr Anonymous

      "Why is Microsoft aping Apple? "

      As always, follow the money, in this case 30% of everybody else's work.

    2. HollyHopDrive

      "The bits which made Microsoft strong were the openness of their systems, compatability and relative ease of development"

      Sorry, open? Yes, they were real nice to Novell and the samba project. Oh, and Borland, Lotus, etc. They were never nice unless you used their tools. Having killed off most of the big players (on the desktop) this is the next push to total control.

      1. Saul Dobney

        I don't mean open as in open source or open as in friendly, but open as in opposite to 'closed' or 'walled-in' in that you could dig around the innards and tinker and make things work. Want a different graphics card, load in a new driver and away you go. Want to automate some Excel, tinker in the back with VBA. Not pretty (and often not secure) but it allowed for a lot of mix-and-match hardware and a lot of custom in-house programs and scripts to get things bolted together.

    3. Goat Jam

      "Why is Microsoft aping Apple? (badly)

      MS are the IT industry equivalent of pacific island cargo cultists. They try to mimic the things that wash up on their shores without comprehending anything about what they are attempting to copy.

      It's fun to watch them though.

  15. codeusirae

    Microsoft happy with the “appification” of Windows?

    "This is where ISVs will find themselves temporarily stranded between the old world of desktop .exe install and the new world of apps: .. that's where Microsoft has been trying to herd us all for a year now".

    I would have thought that Microsoft is happy to herd the ISVs on, but only after Microsofts own offering are firmly entrenched in the market place.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Android

    Sounds like yet another reason to move to Android.

  17. John Sanders

    It works like this...

    MS has grown big, it has eaten into both small and big ISVs, they have the resources and know-how to kill entire industries if they focus their attention to, and the inclination to.

    MS has grown big because it let people do what they wanted with the platform (more or less), so it allowed the spawn of the largest ecosystem of software and hardware the IT industry has ever had. They killed most if not all the big players who owned the industry before them.

    As everybody points out MS's main bacon is business, essentially AD + Exchange + Windows client, they have such a grip on the market with this combo that they can afford poking a finger on their customers and they ask for more. People is just used to windows and the windows way of thinking.

    The only part of the whole ecosystem MS doesn't control completely is 3rd party applications, any vendor with sufficient "push" like google, mozilla can come and build something that runs on windows better than a windows component ie: chrome, firefox.

    Suddenly all this work of producing a cohesive end-to-end business environment (or one that MS can control) is gone. You do not need IE anymore, loses the grip on the most desirable tech ever... the internet.

    How do they prevent this? well, Apple had a nice idea with their wallet garden, and a brilliant implementation: Their APP store, if they were to produce one for Windows, they can A) close the door to 3rd parties disrupting their environment, b) get even more money c) Control the main or universal windows communication mecanism, your windows screen to push MS messages, ads, etc. d) offer to the windows-addicted masses even more control over the application delivery mecanisms, eventualy disabling the ability of the user to install software locally if not via the windows app store, esentially reducing the likelyhood of getting viruses or unsactioned apps.

    Resuming, this is all part of a 10 year plan to transform the windows ecosystem into something were no-one else but Microsoft can tell what to run where and how much you have to pay.

    If you're an ISV and want to play ball on Windows, you complay and pay your share to MS, if your app proves to be popular, or you discover a profitability niche, Microsoft will have that information on their database, and who knows they could even use it to their advantage.

    People, the PC platform is only good if open, if turned into a walled garden the PC is nothing more than a remote terminal, a sort of distributed mainframe always dependant on the mothership.

    And the reason this is happening is because MS as a business runs on what Gates and Ballmer learn during the 80's if you let competition thrive eventually you wither away because somebody else will come with the next best thing.

    You have to realise that there are a lot of penguins out there, some are very clumsy, some are doing nice tricks, they are evolving at a fast rabid pace, most of the time for free (It has a cost I know), eventually one of them will become popular, and we do not want people to discover that it is good enough.

    1. itzman

      Re: It works like this...

      that doers not compute.

      They are killing off their own penguin competition.

      For small apps, its getting to the stage where a systems house will say 'windows based app, $500 a month and most of that goes to Redmond..

      ..or have our penguin badged version that runs faster, crashes less and its only $200 a month which goes to us to keep it running.

    2. Trixr Bronze badge

      Re: It works like this...

      Thank god for a proper comment without the rabid fanboism from the Linux contingent (yeah, yeah, I run Mint on my home desktop and am a RHCE).

      That's the thing, though - in an enterprise environment, there really is no replacement for AD + Exchange + desktop management.

      The big thing in the enterprise is managing thousands of desktops and thousands of user accounts accessing hundreds of resources - mailboxes, files, devices, apps, etc etc. How do you manage that in Linux-land for the typical userbase?

      Sure, for less than a hundred users, baking your own in Linux-land may well make better sense now. But I don't see it for the big enterprises, unless they have extremely minimal software requirements.

  18. mmeier

    Q; Who really uses a custom programmed APP? What is the benefit on Win/x86 of those things outside say weather and messenger?

    Custom jobs are more likely either "classic application" or even "Java based" (to get MacOS, Unix and that 1.x percent thingy(1)) with Webapplications thrown in for added variety.

    (1) Assuming you find a Fosstard willing to pay for software

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Facepalm

      > Who really uses a custom programmed APP?

      How was life in the Bundeswehr, mmeier from mmicrosoft?

      Welcome to the messy area of civilian apps.

      1. mmeier

        Oh, was a nice time back in 1987/89 (2 years, Lance Corporal / Stabsunteroffizier as an exit rang). Reserve callups post cold war where less and less interesting and then came to an end. I do miss Reforger.

        Still you are further off target than the average GI at 350 meters. A lot further. Never worked for MS, haven't used their languages in a decade.

    2. M Gale

      Assuming you find a Fosstard willing to pay for software

      Change the record. It's getting so old it's stststststarting to skiskiskiskip.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. James O'Shea

      "Q; Who really uses a custom programmed APP? What is the benefit on Win/x86 of those things outside say weather and messenger?"

      People like my company do. We make our living doing support, ranging from individuals to medium-to-large businesses. We have little custom apps on smartphones and laptops to do things like call ticket management, so that our remote techs (and some of our techs are so remote that they're not even in the same country) can get job info, and report in, and well, get paid for doing the job. We have (considerably) more than one app 'cause we have different sorts of techs, who do different sorts of jobs. No, one size does not fit all. Putting our stuff onto Android and Apple phones, and onto Mac and Windows 7 desktops/laptops, depending on the exact nature of the app, is trivial. Making them work with MetroSexual ain't so simple, and frankly we can't be arsed to try. At one point, back when Windows phones actually had significant marketshare and Microsoft didn't go out of their way to screw with us, we had actually standardized on Windows phones. Then came WinPhone 6.5, and 7, and 8... and we tossed 'em and went with Apples and Androids. _It was easier, faster, and above all *cheaper* to build iOS *and* Android apps than to fap around with WinPhone 8._ And, besides, starting with WinPhone 7 most of the techs hated Windows Phone, anyway, and were screaming at management about the problems they were having in the field.

      You have to know it's bad when an _Apple_ solution is the _cheap_ solution.

      1. mmeier

        Apps on Smartphones is okay. I can understand those for some jobs (other can be done with a Webpage) if you use smartphones for remote data entry(1). But that was not discussed, the question was Win/x86.

        And while I am a BIG Win8 fan, I still can not see the benefit of apps on Win8/x86. They do not start that much faster than an application, they offer no benefits for anything remotely complex.

        As for "putting stuff on x platforms is trivial": How do you handle the UI? Logic can be done, can be shifted to the backend on a server etc. But UI is the big killer even then. And if you can't shift the logic it gets worse since Android and iOS do not share a common language and Google "going cheap" (Dalvic) does not help either (A full JRE would have been a better choice IMHO)

        (1) I admit I won't. A 10'' Atom based Windows unit, even a slow Q550 is way easier to program and use.

    4. JEDIDIAH
      Linux

      > Q; Who really uses a custom programmed APP?

      This is Microsoft's bread and butter. People don't run Windows because of the stupid word processor. They run Windows because of all of the obscure little apps you've never heard of. Some of these might not even be targeted for the current version of monopolyware.

      ...and plenty of companies use customized and custom software.

      1. mmeier

        Custom APPLICATIONS are my "bread and butter" for the last 25 years and 5 operating systems. But those are not the point since:

        They are installed as they have been for the last 15 years and do not need "sideloading"

        They are not Modern UI programs anyway

        The article deals with Apps based on the Modern UI that can only be delivered by the Store or the "Sideloading". A concept that until Oktober 2012 did not exist on Windows. So the question remains who uses THOSE in a business environment

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    control freaks..

    one of the reasons people hate TIFKAM is because it imposes a control freak business model.

    so what is Microsoft doing? locking it down even tighter by the sounds of it.

    One can only hope this is a sign they want to kill it off / diminish the popularity to the point where nobody is using it and they can safely kill it off without anybody complaining too much (like the Vista Gadgets..) otherwise it's just another utterly clueless move.

    1. mmeier

      Re: control freaks..

      Actually the only people really hating "Modern UI" where the software equivalent to Taliban. The rest have been served lies and lousy tests by "quality journalists" like iHeise and, once given the chance to really test the UI. had options between: "Works as good as W7" to "great".

      I am currently convincing our "data security officer" to set up proper sandbag bunkers and checkpoints on the building entries in case a Gnuliban with Dynamite sticks(1) tries to blow up the building screaming "Stallman is great"

      (1) Must be dynamite since it is "open source" unlike say Semtex

      1. M Gale

        Re: control freaks..

        once given the chance to really test the UI. had options between: "Works as good as W7" to "great".

        I know this is only anecdotal, but the only person I've found who liked the Metro thing, was someone who had never, ever had a computer before. This was their first PC. A laptop if you must know. He asked me what I could possibly dislike about the phone interface that comes up when you hit the TIFKAM Windows button. No, no I hadn't walked in the room, saw the godawful squares and had a Pavlovian reaction, before you start on that. Just like yes, yes I really do pay for my software, despite having various Linux partitions dotted around the place and an extreme dislike of shitty DRM like Steam or WGA.

        After bringing my own, six year old, crusty old AMD64 laptop around one time, and after a few "but can you do thi... oh, yes you can" comments, he had to concede that there is absolutely nothing he wants to do with his machine that I can't do better.

  20. Simon Harris Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Gun...

    Foot...

    BANG!

  21. Nuke
    FAIL

    Sounds a Case of Arses and Elbows

    FTFA :- "Side-load license keys only come in packs of 100, and they're not transferrable........ Microsoft's Michael Niehaus agreed that this isn't an ideal state of affairs. “That's certainly something that we need to fix. We've been studying for future updates to this process"

    FFS, how much "study" does it need to remove a restriction of 100 ? Niehaus's comment unwittingly reveals frustration with his own company. The fact is that MS is a company of arses and elbows in a state of serious disconnection. Mostly arses.

    1. J__M__M

      Re: Sounds a Case of Arses and Elbows

      Niehaus's comment unwittingly reveals frustration with his own company...

      There was nothing unwitting about it.

  22. xmsdave
    Facepalm

    Frozen out

    MSFT may be trying to freeze out small ISV's, but they will just freeze themselves out as vendors simply produce applications that are consumable via a browser. SaaS solutions aren't being produced on the Azure platform, they are running on AWS or others, so how do MSFT expect to get back into the stack? Given how far behind MSFT are here, they need to be more open and reduce the barrier to adoption, not increase it.

  23. Atonnis

    TIFKAM?

    TIFKAM? Really? Haven't you guys grown up at all yet and gotten past that childish acronym? The rest of the world just still call it Metro or not as they feel like it.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: TIFKAM?

      But "Metro or not as they feel like it" does not really roll as easily off the tongue as TIFKAM.

    2. alisonken1
      Flame

      Re: TIFKAM?

      In my neck of the woods, "Metro" is the bus you ride around town on, not your computer desktop.

      1. mmeier

        Re: TIFKAM?

        And here Metro is the equivalent to WallMart owning various shopping centers and chains (food, electronics etc).

        Maybe for those reasons - the UI is called MODERN not Metro

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: TIFKAM?

      And the rest or your "World" would be in violation. As the German METRO AG http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metro_AG apparently claim ownership of the Word. Thus why we call it T-he I-nterface F-ormally K-nown A-s M-etro. Or just TIFKAM for short....

  24. Atonnis

    Hang On.....

    Hold up there...is this article talking about Windows 8/8.1 or Windows RT?

    I haven't had any problem installing anything on Windows 8 or 8.1 from whatever source I choose, that includes on the company PCs here that have it.

    1. Brian Miller

      Re: Hang On.....

      They aren't preventing the software to be loaded, but what GUI APIs it can use. The application that loads the old way isn't allowed to be an "app." If you want your software to use the new GUI, then it has to be an "app" and play in the Microsoft system. If you don't care about the new GUI, then none of this matters.

      1. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Hang On.....

        Which then begs the question why should it matter at all? ...On the PC that is?

    2. mmeier

      Re: Hang On.....

      In common "Register" fashion the article lumps together

      Win/RT

      Win8/x86

      Applications

      Apps

      to satisfy the Pawlow Reflexes of the Fosstards. When cut appart it becomes

      Win8/x86 Applications - Install as usual

      Win8/Modern Apps - Either use the shop or pay for the extra (maybe unneeded) licences for side loading

      Win/RT - I do not care

  25. lunatik96

    Surprise? NOT

    So a corp that has made it their business model to abuse their monopoly suddenly wants you to pay to install software on their OS? HAHAHA. This is worse than COSTO or Sam's charging you to shop at their "WAREHOUSE". I guess M$ thinks their monopoly is so strong that they don't care.

    Linux CAN do everything MS can and more. This IS the TIME to switch. I use Linux on ALL my boxes, although sometimes in VirtualBox. I even had one computer that had a legal windows license that wouldn't load windows, yet Linux installed quickly w/o any problems. MicroSucks knows the desktop is fading and their main business is enterprise environments. Normally I say Good Luck with that, but this time merely you reap what you sow.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Surprise? NOT

      Can Linux do (reliably, no matter what distribution, any kernel 4 years and younger) do:

      Voice recognition

      Handwriting recognition

      Current generation games of all types

      Support for common small business software like sage KHK

      ...

      If not - It can not do everything Windows can do

      1. JEDIDIAH
        Linux

        Re: Surprise? NOT

        > Can Linux do (reliably, no matter what distribution, any kernel 4 years and younger) do:

        >

        > Voice recognition

        >

        > Handwriting recognition

        ...probably does it better than Microsoft products considering what platform is the mobile market leader.

        Although even on the desktop, that's all down to 3rd party products anyways. So you're basically crowing over the fact that Microsoft is the defacto standard. Says squat about the actual OS.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Surprise? NOT

          Voice and HWR are part of MS Windows (HWR since XP, Voice since either Vista or Win7). And unlike the stuff on iOS and Android (that is actually based on Dragons engine) it works totally off-line. Add ons like "Dragon Natural" offer some nice specialities but the integrated stuff works fine for speech

          And having compared the HWR in Android (Note) to the one in Windows: Nope, Android does not even come close in capabilities.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprise? NOT

      Too late! As a precaution, Microsoft came up with UEFI Secure boot so nobody will go astray. I'm afraid this will only make the PC platform even less appealing thus accelerating its death.

      1. mmeier

        Re: Surprise? NOT

        UEFI and secure boot are two different shoes. And last I looked a x86 maschine that wants the Win8 certificate - must allow the user to switch OFF secure boot.

    3. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: Surprise? NOT

      If Microsoft still cared about the Corporate World. We wouln't have to deal with TIFKAM!

  26. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "not have to expose the app to the whole world"

    Um, could someone explain to me what that sentence means ?

    I mean, isn't it in the best interest of a small ISV to expose its apps to as many people as it possible can ? Isn't that exactly the reason why all these app stores are so important ? And why developers are always incensed when their app is banned for some obscure reason ?

    Exposition is key. If I spend six months developing something, I sure as hell hope to be able to sell it to as many people as I can. I really don't see how not exposing my app "to the whole world" is supposed to benefit me.

    But in the end, it probably doesn't matter anyway. Microsoft is quite obviously playing the pouting child in the corner. Except that this child is a notorious bully, and nobody is going to come hold its hand.

  27. Fihart

    Am I missing something here ?

    Correct me, but does this mean that Win 8.1 users won't be able to choose what software they run on their computers unless it has been approved by or supplied via Microsoft ?

    If so we're talking Anti-Trust. And, anyway, who with any computer know-how would choose an operating system which reduces choice to that extent. Well, I don't count Apple users.

    If I'm half right, MS are worse than I thought -- and are gambling with their future.

  28. J__M__M

    I think that is plenty deep

    Dear Microsoft,

    You might want to stop digging now.

  29. Stu 18

    legacy desktop applications will be with us for 20 years

    All switching to html, bollocks. The low hanging fruit maybe. Not the took 10 years of development in-house visual basic / dephi / c++ / c# with a bit of scripting thing that runs the operation and will cost $100k to recode.

    I have seen to many rubbish 'terminal' apps that still run core business functions same as they did back on 386's and the business is still paying ridiculous license fees for them.

    Brit developers I'm looking at you for building crappy applications with horrible UI and ancient toolsets!

    1. Christian Berger Silver badge

      Re: legacy desktop applications will be with us for 20 years

      Well yes, but Microsoft seems to not understand that any more. Otherwise their new entry to the mobile computing world would have included x86 emulation, and a "GUI-resizer" which makes such old GUIs work on a touch screen.

      BTW, if you are on Delphi you are actually fairly lucky. If you were programming very cleanly your software might compile on Lazarus... giving you instant compatibility for lots of new platforms.

      1. mmeier

        Re: legacy desktop applications will be with us for 20 years

        A "x86" emulation running on what CPU? I can get a nice, long running system that can emulate ARM easily (say on one of the 4 cores) but the other way round? What you want to use? Sparc CPU to emulate an Atom?

        GUI-resizer? What for? If you want to use classic applications on a tablet - buy one with a Wacom or NTrig stylus. There are literally a dozend of them on the market in all sizes and performance / endurance classes. No need for "resizing etc". And no need to put fingerprints on a device you might want to hand a customer.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Idiots (the author and most of the commenters that is)

    Reading this article and the comments had me falling about laughing. The ignorance exposed and the total lack of understanding of how any of this technology actually works, let alone the actuality of how real businesses work is mind-blowing. I've been debating giving up the Reg because the value to noise ratio has got so bad, but I can't resist flaming the morons who frequent these comments before I go.

    Lets get one thing straight. You can install any windows app, whether it uses a traditional or modern UI, on Windows 8 or 8.1. If you want to *market* your app to the world and dog you can use the store and pay Microsoft or you can market it yourself, which probably means paying Google instead (advertising costs money you know).

    In a corporate environment where you want to control what apps are loaded you can use side-loading or you can use traditional distribution methods. It all still works.

    Anyone who has done any basic testing of Windows 8 and 8.1 knows this. which just proves that people commenting here have never used it for real, are incredibly stupid or probably both.

    Linux is not generally a suitable desktop solution for the vast majority of enterprises. there may be exceptions to this rule, but I have yet to find one. Sure you can install it and then spend a fortune supporting it and trying to find apps that mimic the Windows apps that users really want to use. The most likely result of putting Linux on the desktop is to totally piss of your user community. Hey, but if that is what gets your socks off go for it. I'll get paid to sort out the mess so it'll keep me in work.

    The level of bias now evident in most Reg articles and comments has reached ridiculous proportions. In response to this post we will see a whole bunch of deniers claiming their organizations has, or is about to, put Linux on the desktop. That's the tune they've been singing for over a decade and the market share is still in single digit figures. Ah, but Android is really Linux they will claim, and phones are really computers. They might be computers, but enterprises don't use them as desktops. Windows market share remains over 90% with no signs of going anywhere.

    People have such short memories. The constant moan that Microsoft doesn't innovate. Microsoft doesn't do this, Microsoft doesn't do that. Why should they? They've never been particularly good at innovating. What they are good at is iterating something until they make it better than the opposition and make a bundle of money from it. Anyone remember WordStar, Word Perfect, VisiCalc, Lotus 1-2-3, DBase, ExecuVision, Netscape, Novell, Banyan, etc.. Whenever Microsoft tries to innovate they get to market too soon. They are far better at waiting for the competition to establish a market and then sandbagging them. Microsoft are still an incredibly profitable company and can afford to throw billions at establishing a position in a market they feel they need to be in. They will change whatever they feel needs changing ignoring all the noise from competitors, media and users alike. The whole modern UI noise is just so similar to the noise when Win95 reinvented the UI last time around. At least Microsoft has a vision about what the UI should look like. Now Apple is starting to copy them and you can even get a modern skin for android if you want. Makes a bit of a change from Linux where you don't know where the UI changes as fast as distros get public. How many competing UIs are there now. I've lost count. How many are actively being supported? Who knows. That's no way to run a business is it, but then of course it isn't one. Whereas, of course, Microsoft is. an incredibly successful, profitable one, which is of course the real problem for the freetards.

    To anyone who reached here reading the whole rant I salute you. Not my most articulate but I'm just so tired of crappy, ignorant, bias comments. And no, I don't work for Microsoft, I'm not paid by Microsoft, never have been. I've just worked with IT tools that get the job done, whatever they happen to be at the time, for over 30 years, since before windows even existed. And yes, I've used nearly every product mentioned in this post, one way or another, the only exception being ExecuVision which was an early presentation program, prior to PowerPoint's domination of the market.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @AC 22:18GMT - Re: Idiots (the author and most of the commenters that is)

      Yep, that's exactly like your level of bias.

    2. pzkpfw

      Re: Idiots (the author and most of the commenters that is)

      No, you don't understand the limitations on installing/running Metro apps.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: Idiots (the author and most of the commenters that is)

      Sure, they put Linux on their girlfriend's desktop - that was their "organization". And were left by the girlfriend soon after because she couldn't easilty download her picture from the phone and put them on Facebook - or play that pretty game with pink cats.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 8 is just lacking these features

    Windows 8.1 is a great OS but is not enough yet, in my opinion they are missing just about a few tweaks and it'll be perfect, in face I took the time to put together an article about the key changes Microsoft has to make in order to make Windows 8 the perfect OS (And I even made images :)). Please check it out and share, it'll be nice if someone at Microsoft read this.

    http://www.mypcfix.co/08/key-things-thatll-make-windows-8-the-perfect-os/

  32. pzkpfw

    Sorry if I missed something, but why does the item title say "Windows 8.1 to freeze ..." when it should say "Windows 8.1 still freezes ...".

    Forums are full of people asking "how do I sideload my app"? And they are people with very good reasons. Small businesses who make apps for small businesses and want to get those apps installed. Sadly, some of them seem to be people who spent some time trying to learn Metro etc and support the new GUI platform - only to find, Yes, they're frozen out. Their apps are too specific to bother certifying and putting on the app store, yet they are for companies too small to have enterprise-domain-joined-windows installs so can't enable sideloading.

    And when people find out about the sideloading keys, they ask "where to buy"? - and it turns out (this is not easy information to find) they are bought through volume licensing, in those 100 x $30 packs. (Yes, $3,000).

    So these kinds of apps will continue to be built as "legacy" apps, and installed in desktop don't-call-it-mode; skipping Metro (and making RT unviable). Or ... on a non-Microsoft platform.

    I got sucked in. Paid $1,000 to upgrade to VS2012 and can't even legally write myself a Metro app for personal use on my own PC's running legally bought copies of Windows 8. (Developer licenses are for "testing only", expire Monthly, and require re-compile of apps to keep them running.) Killed my interest in learning the new "style". Maybe my loss in the long run, or maybe I'll go in some new direction ...

    I can see why people with an idea for an app to try to sell to many people (giving MS their 30 % share) might target Metro and the app store; but there is a huge number of scenarios where people are indeed frozen out.

  33. ceebee
    Thumb Down

    let me get this right...

    You need to buy a license from Microsoft to "sideload". You mean you need a license from Microsoft to load your software on your PC.

    This is crazy and another reason not to touch that pile of steaming muck called Windows 8.x

    1. pzkpfw

      Re: let me get this right...

      Only for Windows store (Metro) apps. On a non-RT, non-Phone device you can still install "any" WIndows application, for what Microsoft considers the "legacy" desktop environment.

      With an Enterprise SKU of Windows, on a domain joined PC, (and some other cases as in the item) you can install Metro apps. The sideloading keys you can buy for other cases come in packs of 100. So the small business is pretty much frozen out of Metro for LOB apps. (But ... not frozen out of Windows 8 altogether).

      1. James O'Shea

        Re: let me get this right...

        "So the small business is pretty much frozen out of Metro for LOB apps. (But ... not frozen out of Windows 8 altogether)."

        Yep. We could do 'legacy' apps, no problem; our apps which run on XP/Vista/7 work as 'legacy' apps, as is. We can't do MetroSexual apps without going to far too much trouble. As MS is trying to force the use of MetroSexual (look, Ma, there's a Start Button... oh, wait, it kicks out the MetroSexual tiles. Hmm. Our stuff doesn't work with MetroSexual. Why are we even considering moving to Win8.x again?) we simply will not be even trying to support them on Win8.x.

        I repeat: it's much simpler _and cheaper_ to support _Apple_ stuff on both the desktop/laptop and smartphones than it is to support MetroSexual. This means that we buy and support Macs, and Windows machines which come with Win7. Once Windows systems stop shipping with Win7 and/or are difficult to retrofit Win7 to them, we will simply have no choice but to move to Apple and perhaps Linux; we have Android versions of our smartphone apps, it shouldn't be too hard to move that to desktop/laptop systems, and both Linux and OS X are UNIX-based systems, so moving to Linux from the Apple stuff shouldn't be too difficult, either. Or we may just give all the techs an iPad or an Android tablet and have done. We definitely won't be handing out Win8.x tablets 'cause it's too hard and too expensive to make our stuff work there.

        Congrats, Redmond, you've ensured that the competition gets business. Unless, of course, you change your policy. I, for one, am not holding my breath waiting for _that_.

        No, Microsoft won't notice the paltry few systems that we buy... but there are an awful lot of companies our size, most of which won't be going Win8.x either. Add 'em all up and that's a _lot_ of systems, and Microsoft _will_ notice the total. It'll be a bit late then, though. Especially as we don't use tablets as fashion statements, and don't change 'em on a whim; they're business tools, and we keep them for a good while... and once we invest in 'em, we keep going in the same <ugh> ecosystem </ugh>, so once we're gone from Windows we're gone for a good long time, if not forever. MS used to understand business. They no longer do.

        1. mmeier

          Re: let me get this right...

          Ah, now we are down from "cheaper to support iOS, OSX and Android" to "cheaper to support the Apple platforms only". Sounds a lot more realistic.

          Just your solution is showing that, for whatever reasons (I guess an Mac-heavy shop from your writing), you are wearing blinds. The solution "Use classic applications in Java and give techs the choice of Windows/Mac/Unix workstations or Windows/x86 based tablet pc" has been missed. If you dislike Java - concentrate on Win/x86 and use whatever you like there.

          If you do not like Win8 - Win7 on a tablet pc works as well. And endurance of the business quality Atom boxes (TPT2, Latitute10) is 10+ hours of use. OTOH if the mobile worker needs a lot of power - there is a core-i for that as well and Haswell gets you 8+ hours

          1. James O'Shea

            Re: let me get this right...

            nope, it's still cheaper to support Win7, Android, iOS, and OS X than Win8. By definition that means that it's cheaper to support any one or two of them than Win8, and cheaper to support one or two of them than all four. Simple logic, man.

            But, hey keep on trying to out-Eadon Eadon.

            1. mmeier

              Re: let me get this right...

              Sorry but I STRONGLY disbelieve that. You are at best biased here IMHO since Win8 has exactly the same support costs and requirements as Win7.

              1. Richard Plinston Silver badge

                Re: let me get this right...

                > Win8 has exactly the same support costs and requirements as Win7.

                For those currently running Win 7 there is an additional cost in Windows 8 of the rollout, all the retraining required, plus the (claimed by some) loss of productivity brought about by having TIFKAM.

                So for those currently on Windows 7 there is additional costs, including ongoing costs, in moving to Windows 8 as compared to staying with Windows 7 (or XP).

                1. mmeier

                  Re: let me get this right...

                  One time retraining cost - yes. How big it is depends on what the user does and how smart the admins are. If it is "using five to ten programs" (and that is what most users do) training is quite easy for persons IQ100+

                  Let's face it, most users click on a bright shiny icon and use the application not the operating system. Modern just changes the background for the icons (desktop -> Modern start screen)

            2. Michael Habel Silver badge

              Re: let me get this right...

              Out Eadon, Eadon? lol Either I missed something, or I suspect you may have.

              Eadon was many things. A MicroSoft shrill was never One of these....

              1. James O'Shea

                Re: let me get this right...

                Eadon would always push his platform of choice, and pooh-pooh the platform(s) he disliked, with incredible fervor and in the face of reality. The main diffs between Eadon and mmier are that

                1 Eadon ain't here no more

                and

                2 their object of intense affection.

  34. joed

    The more restrictive the rules the better

    as the more likely outcome is that market will reject ridiculous option.

    I can see no reason to use Metro apps in any multitasking environment over standard/"legacy" programs (locked out kiosk - maybe). And to think that only small business would be affected is foolish. Small business often relies on off the shelf software, buys pre-configured PCs (and keeps using it until "wheels fall off") - the investment is limited and flexibility quite large. It's the enterprise that has made huge investment in proprietary software solutions, maintains strict system build process and is unlikely to switch to apps for all the "benefits" of Metro land. Not to mention the fact that nobody will replace all monitors just because MS is out of touch with it's customer base.

    1. mmeier

      Re: The more restrictive the rules the better

      Leaving the stupid "Modern requires touch" (No. it does NOT!) aside:

      What is the problem? One of the big benefits of Windows is CHOICE. If classic Desktop applications are what you want/need - they are there and they work on every form factor between high end desktop and the lil Ativ500t Wacom equiped tablet pc. If an app can do the job - use that. Same element, works on all platforms.

  35. ben_myers

    WTF?

    WTF WTF WTF? Small ISVs can someday grow into larger ISVs. ISVs are good for the Microsoft Windows ecosystem, because they create apps that make people want to buy Windows instead of something else like a Mac or one of the zillion Linux distros. So once again, Microsoft shoots ISVs and the richochet shoots self in foot.

  36. Simon B

    Windows gets shitter by the day. Win Xp was good, 7 was better, and 8 they just can't be arsed anymore so wrote a piece of shite that only fits what they want, a tandy kids computer knock off that looks pretty but good for nothing.

  37. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Chips meet my urine

    urine meet my chips.

  38. Unicornpiss Silver badge

    Stupid move, but...

    Not to worry--someone will crack this within a month or two of its release and it won't matter anyway...

    1. James O'Shea

      Re: Stupid move, but...

      "Not to worry--someone will crack this within a month or two of its release and it won't matter anyway..."

      most businesses are not going to base business tools on a 'crack'.

      We won't, anyway.

  39. Ace Rimmer
    Headmaster

    "has neither Software Assurance or an InTune subscription"

    It's either - or or neither - nor but it's NEVER neither - or tsk!

  40. ecofeco Silver badge

    Linux

    There. I said it. Linux.

    My paycheck comes from supporting Windows in an enterprise environment. Billion dollar companies where the only people I can call for help is the factory. (usually by telling them how do their job)

    Many good points made here about obscure software being used and only written for Windows.

    However. most of them don't work for crap. Most of them are already mirrored in Linux. Most of them can be replaced by something browser based, if they haven't already Most of them haven't been updated since XP and don't work in 7, let alone 8.

    In fact, the vast majority of my users only need the an Office suite, server directory access, and a browser to do their daily job. Something already more than covered in Linux. And most of them would never know the difference.

    Another poster made another good point: without an open platform, the PC becomes just another dumb terminal. In fact, this seems to be the general direction most enterprise operations are moving to, which only emphasis my statement above regarding an office suite, server files and a browser.

    Most small business (and I mean small) would easily run on Linux desktops and servers.

    Most users don't care. "Do I have a spreadsheet, work processors, email and browser that looks and feels like Orifice? Then I'm good."

    That's your average user. THAT'S the bulk of seat licenses.

  41. MaxStyvason

    I can't seem to understand Microsoft anymore

    Why would you want to kill the only thing keeping you in business? What conceivable point is there to using Windows if I can't use small business applications? If I can't use legacy applications I will stop using Windows, simple as that. I don't know anyone who would even argue with me. Windows XP in a VM to run the legacy apps on top of Linux, there problem solved.

    Windows ME failure, Windows XP gold, failure but turned around in sp2, Windows Vista failed, Windows 7 was good but not great, Windows 8 failed, and now they want to pull this?

    It hurts my brain that this company is still in business at all with all the free alternatives out there. When will people ever learn? STOP SUPPORTING THEM!

  42. Vociferous

    May Windows 8.x crash and burn.

    It's an atrocity, and Microsoft's new strategy is as offensive as it is insulting.

    And I say this as a Windows user since v3.0, and a Microsoft fanboi since Windows 95. Burn in hell, Microsoft.

  43. W. Anderson

    Continued MS obstruction and foolishness

    It is not clear how "smaller" Free/Open Source Software (FOSS) projects - like LibreOffice, Inkscape, Scribus and several excellent 'education' focused software applications will be allowed to run or even accepted by Microsoft Windows 8.1 apps store.

    Microsoft is still attempting, albeit very subtly to eliminate FOSS and thus competition from a software ecosystem with which it cannot compete with quality, reliability and higher performance software products.

    I sincerely hope - against reality, that most non-simple minded Americans and citizens elsewhere see this ruse for what it is. The draconian UEFI Boot-loader gimmick was the first 21st century block against FOSS Operating System software like Linux and BSD UNIX-like, now the second step of limited good choice of FOSS applications software for Windows 8.x users.

    1. mmeier

      Re: Continued MS obstruction and foolishness

      Will Libre Office etc. be accepted in the apps store? No, they will not. For the same reason that Photoshop or AutoCad won't be there.

      They are full sized APPLICATIONS and those are NOT sold through that store. If you want centralized distribution for those you either:

      a) Run a website/"shop system" on you own for non commercial stuff. Like say the Apache Website does for OpenOffice etc.

      b) Use one of the big companies that offer such services like Digital River (MS is using them) and pay a percentage fee

      1. Vociferous

        Re: Continued MS obstruction and foolishness

        Which, I suppose, is why you can buy rent Microsoft Office 365 via Microsoft store, right?

        In the future all software for Windows will be sold through Microsoft store, and only through the Microsoft store. A main point of Metro is to lock in the Windows users, cellphone-OS-style, so they do not have any choice of where to buy software - because Microsoft can't take a 30% commission for every piece of software sold if it's not sold through Microsoft store.

        1. mmeier

          Re: Continued MS obstruction and foolishness

          And Office365 is - oh wait, not a standard desktop application. That would be Office2013

          But keep on the conspiracy theories, I like having a good laugh. And the PenguBoys never failed me in that

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Everyone seems to be forgetting the obvious...

    How long before TIFKAM apps are the ONLY programs that are allowed on Win8 (or perhaps Win9)?

    You just know that the Apple style walled garden is the end game for Microsoft here, collecting 30% every time...

  45. Belardi

    Windows 9 will be nothing but TIFKAM.

    We need to get folks over to Linux. Windows 8 finally drove me to start using LinuxMint (to be exact) and its "learning curve" was far better and logical than the turd known as Windows 8.

    Not sure why its called Windows when there are NO WINDOWS in TIFKAM.

    Oh, imagine the small software company that has these issues of trying get their software to work on Win8 on a client if it costs $1000 and MS gets its standard 1/3rd cut.

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