Windows 8 Dev Kit Only Does Metro Apps (Unless You Pay)
By Caleb Garling
Microsoft has said that the upcoming free version of its new Visual Studio 11 programming kit will only be used to build Windows applications with the new Metro touch interface that debuts with Windows 8. And some developers aren’t too happy about it.
Those wishing to build traditional desktop apps for Microsoft’s Windows operating system will have to use the for-pay version of Visual Studio 11, an older version of the free tool, or some other tool entirely.
The news was delivered last week, buried at the bottom of a webpage posted by Microsoft, but the developer world is just now waking up to the implications, as Ars Technica reported on Thursday.
“Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 provides tools for Metro style app development,” Microsoft said. “To create desktop applications, developers need to use Visual Studio 11 Professional, or higher.”
Developers who build applications for Windows typically use Microsoft’s Visual Studio to code and deploy products, and though the full version of Visual Studio that sells for around $500, Microsoft has long offered a free version with a more limited set of tools. But the limits on the free version of Visual Studio 11 — the Visual Studio that dovetails with the upcoming Windows 8 — were unexpected.