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Readying Metro style apps for launch

  1. #1

    Readying Metro style apps for launch


    We know many folks are looking forward to RTM. Developers currently working on apps in the Store are especially excited. We have hundreds of apps in the Windows Store now and many more on the way. There’s a broad set of developers around the world that we have been working closely with since the first Developer Preview. The WinRT platform is evolving rapidly during development based on feedback, and we have the dual task of keeping the Store up and running so we can supply apps to the millions of Preview users, while also getting ready for the next build. It means that if we change or add APIs or improve the tools, the apps will change and require an updated OS to test and verify the app. That’s why we have been providing updated builds to developers who have or are committed to having apps in the Store through strong partnerships.
    This post explains the work we’ve been doing since September to keep developers updated with APIs and tools so that apps can stay up to date. We’re doing this even after the Release Preview, just to make sure new apps are ready to go once we get to broad availability. This post was authored by Dennis Flanagan, who leads our ecosystem outreach team. --Steven

    As we approach the release of Windows 8, the catalog of Metro style apps continues to grow. To date, people have experienced apps that Microsoft has included with the downloaded build, and those that are offered in the Store in both the Consumer Preview and Release Preview timeframe. Many of those apps are great examples of immersive, touch-first Metro style experiences. However, like the Windows releases they run on, these apps are preview versions of the apps to come. The final versions of all Metro style apps will be available when Windows 8 becomes generally available.
    Last year, we began working closely with the developer community by releasing early versions of the Windows 8 platform and tools. We decided to engage developers earlier in the engineering process so we could help them build skills in Metro style app development and give them the opportunity to influence the platform through feedback. Since September of 2011 we have released 8 developer preview versions. Some of these versions have been available to a limited developer audience. Some have been distributed broadly. All of these releases had similar goals:

    • Deliver new capabilities and APIs
    • Update tools to simplify Metro style app development
    • Enhance performance and reliability
    • Respond to developer feedback

    We released our first Developer Preview version at the //build conference in Anaheim. This version introduced developers to the Windows 8 platform, tools and programming models. The WinRT platform included new APIs, and we used the conference to present literally hundreds of technical sessions and samples to give developers a basic understanding of the platform. . Many developers got right to work building Metro style apps, produced some impressive early results, and provided us with useful feedback and recommendations about how to improve the platform and tools.
    We made it clear that the first Developer Preview ("DP1") was an early version of the code, and we had a lot of work to complete Windows 8. DP4 and DP5, released in January and February of this year, were targeted at developers who wanted to be the first to publish applications in the Windows Store. By the time we released the Consumer Preview in February of 2012, we had added almost a thousand new WinRT APIs, and had modified hundreds of other APIs based on developer feedback.
    For a detailed description of the changes that happened between //build and Consumer Preview, check out these posts on our App Developer blog:


    In April and May of this year, we released DP6 and DP7, which allowed developers to prepare their apps for the Release Preview. However, in close collaboration with the development community, we've continued to evolve the platform in response to their feedback. By the time we delivered the Release Preview, we had added 334 more APIs and continued to change existing APIs to address feedback.
    One example of a change we made in Release Preview (RP) based on developer feedback is the HTML ListView control (in WinJS). This was an area where lots of developers had difficulties, so we overhauled it to make it easier to work with and to allow a much more extensive degree of performance tuning.
    We also made lots of improvements to developer resources, such as templates in Visual Studio. We even added a new template that makes it easier for developers to start a new project and get a great app up and running in very little time.
    Design tools were another focus area for improvements. Metro is a design-forward experience, which means the app’s user interface is one of the key ways developers get their apps noticed and differentiate them. We did a lot of work to make it as easy as possible for developers to integrate all the new Metro style design concepts into their apps.
    For a complete overview of the changes between CP and RP, see What's changed for app developers since the Consumer Preview.
    Our next major milestone is the release to manufacturing (RTM). When the code reaches this milestone, the platform is complete for general availability (GA), and so we won’t have interim updates for developers.
    When Developers get the RTM version, they will continue enhancing the features, capabilities and performance of their apps. Some of the apps you’ve already seen will look and perform differently when you download the final released version. There are also many more apps in development that haven’t been released to the Store yet. Many of those developers are waiting for RTM to put the finishing touches on their apps.
    The release of Windows 8 will be a great milestone for app developers, but it is really just the beginning. A great benefit of the built-in Windows Store and update mechanism is that they provide developers with the opportunity to gain wide distribution for new apps and continuously improve apps that they've already released. As the app developer community evolves, we expect app developers to take advantage of this and provide regular updates to apps.
    --Dennis

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  2. #2


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Hi there.
    Sorry to disappoint -- but for a lot of proper business users "Metro aint going to fly" until you have the option of having multiple windows dispayed ON THE SAME SCREEN. Switching between full screen windows is 100% NOT AN OPTION for many pc users and the applications they use.

    I can quote many examples of applications where this approach of single full screen "Metro style" stuff won't work - for example one of the most obvious is in document translation.

    Just try translating a document where only one say the original was visiblle at a time and you had to keep switching to the version you are trying to create.

    What a BONKERS and totally useless way of working. You need the documents visible side by side.

    Cheers
    jimbo
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  3. #3


    Sorry to disappoint -- but for a lot of proper business users "Metro aint going to fly" until you have the option of having multiple windows dispayed ON THE SAME SCREEN. Switching between full screen windows is 100% NOT AN OPTION for many pc users and the applications they use.
    Firstly I like to state that I enjoy your posts and your style of writing to convey your ideas and beliefs. Also, I look up to you and others as IT personal. I will in no way ever accumulate the knowledge and experience that you have obtained as a professional. Also, I admire you in helping others to fix problems. My hat's off to you and others!

    I see you posting this topic/scenario in other threads as well. I understand the flaw you see in 8 so far as the business sector is concerned and believe it needs to be addressed in a huge way. Hopefully M$ will address this issue in a Enterprise addition? I just can't believe they would be that ignorant not to do so, for a huge chunk of there revenue comes from enterprise.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't multiple monitors be a better solution to your scenario?
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  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't multiple monitors be a better solution to your scenario?
    Metro and multiple monitors is a disaster and as a 6 screen user the reason I'm staying on Windows 7.
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  5. #5


    Hafnarfjörđur IS
    Posts : 4,376
    Linux Centos 7, W8.1, W7, W2K3 Server W10


    Quote Originally Posted by HippsieGypsie View Post
    Sorry to disappoint -- but for a lot of proper business users "Metro aint going to fly" until you have the option of having multiple windows dispayed ON THE SAME SCREEN. Switching between full screen windows is 100% NOT AN OPTION for many pc users and the applications they use.
    Firstly I like to state that I enjoy your posts and your style of writing to convey your ideas and beliefs. Also, I look up to you and others as IT personal. I will in no way ever accumulate the knowledge and experience that you have obtained as a professional. Also, I admire you in helping others to fix problems. My hat's off to you and others!

    I see you posting this topic/scenario in other threads as well. I understand the flaw you see in 8 so far as the business sector is concerned and believe it needs to be addressed in a huge way. Hopefully M$ will address this issue in a Enterprise addition? I just can't believe they would be that ignorant not to do so, for a huge chunk of there revenue comes from enterprise.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but wouldn't multiple monitors be a better solution to your scenario?
    Hi there

    Thanks for your comments !!

    I don't think that Metro and multiple monitors would work at all as z3r010 points out. Also a few do but most work places unless you are on a trading floor on the Stock Exchange or a betting exchange like Betfair don't tend to dole out multiple monitors to staff -- especially external contractors.

    I suspect that the ball has been lost here -- looking at mobile and tablet markets is one thing but most business users NEED traditional computers more often than not.

    Typical "Business" users who use tablets etc away from the office are usually just perusing the odd document, surfing the net or reading / sending email / facebook stuff or being the usual "utter twats" on twitter.

    Try using a tablet for generating ANY serious content such as a presentation more than about 2 slides long -- it would take you at least 10 times longer to do it than on a decent PC.

    Also with time and practice -- becomes experience -- one of the penalties of growing older. !! We did have it lucky in one way -- we were at the start of the PC revolution -- Windows 3.11 was a relevation back then to guys who were used to working on hideous text base IBM systems on green "monochrome" 3270 terminals on slow (back then) IBM MVS/370 mainframes with TSO as the only data entry system. So we had to "Roll our own" when it came to solving problems --- a lot more fun before the "Suited and booted" consultancy firms got into the act -- but I suppose "that's what they call progress". ==> Over to the youngsters now for the NEXT big gadgets. !!!

    ibm 3270 - Google Search

    and of course THESE (" 80 column punched cards")

    hollerith cards - Google Search



    cheers
    jimbo
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  6. #6


    I know this is off topic here. I'm thinking of buying a second touch monitor. I did some searches on the topic and now understand the problem.

    Metro and multiple monitors is a disaster and as a 6 screen user the reason I'm staying on Windows 7.
    Thanks for posting an answer, z3r010. Yes. I've checked out your rig on the rig thread. Awesome, but I don't think I'll ever get into that. Did you get your 6th monitor installed?

    I don't think that Metro and multiple monitors would work at all as z3r010 points out. Also a few do but most work places unless you are on a trading floor on the Stock Exchange or a betting exchange like Betfair don't tend to dole out multiple monitors to staff -- especially external contractors.

    I suspect that the ball has been lost here -- looking at mobile and tablet markets is one thing but most business users NEED traditional computers more often than not.
    Thanks for posting answer to original and also answering mine, jimbo. I would imagine Metro being an expensive enterprise disaster unless given choice of UI. Let's hope that choice is in an "Ultimate" and/or "Enterprise" editions. Any other version can be a toy or eye candy.

    Thanks again
      My System SpecsSystem Spec

  7. #7


    Posts : 5,707
    Windows 8.1 Pro


    There are certain instances where you do need multiple windows, as there is the Desktop. The metro design will evolve and is just at it's birth stage. I would bet things will improve more in later versions as the start menu did for 17 years.

    Having said that, when you aren't in need of multiple windows, metro flies. I wouldn't think on a daily basis someone would need a plethora of windows open all the time. There are instances where that is needed, like stock brokering, but not everywhere else. I know in education, a lot of window usage from I've seen is usually three on average. Now, they aren't open at one time usually or sometimes are stacked to be switched to. Windows 8 has the simple function with metro just as well. You can snap two apps together, but I think that isn't enough since I'd rather have a full two halves of the screen be used and not 1/3 or 2/3. One could easily translate a document from Word in Desktop, and snap metro IE 10 and use an online translator to copy and paste or translate the document and have both side by side.
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  8. #8


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    The way it stands now on the Release Preview, Metro can only ever be open on one monitor. If you try to open it again on a second monitor it just moves from screen to screen. I have two 19 inch 4:3 ratio, 1280x1024 LCD monitors. Because my monitors are only 1024 pixels wide I can't use Metro Snap. Not that I'd want to anyway but seeing as my second monitor is useless as far as Metro goes, it would be better than nothing. I would think it gets even worse if you are trying to use Windows RT on a tablet. Metro apps only, good luck getting anything constructive done on that. At least I can actually open desktop apps to get my real computing done and make use of both of my monitors.
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  9. #9


    Thanks alphanumeric. I tried to quote you but to no avail on my DROID.

    I understand your problem with resolution & snap, but I can't quite grasp the whole problem with Metro & multiple monitors quite yet. I'll trust you experienced PUs on that. I'll probably understand once I get another monitor and gain experience.
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  10. #10


    Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts : 6,490
    Windows 10 Education 64 Bit


    Metro is a full screen UI, when you open a Metro App it goes full screen and tacks over the entire screen. You can't resize the Metro screen, its either full screen or hidden and running in the background. There is no taskbar etc like there is when you run a regular (desktop) windows program. If you open a second Metro App it opens in the same screen/window minimizing the first app and hiding it away. Metro can only ever open on one Monitor. You can't extend it across two monitors either. If your screen is wide enough the Metro Snap feature will be enabled. With Metro Snap you can sanp one app to one side of your screen and open another to the other side. It's not 50 50 though it more like a 2/3 to 1/3 ratio.


    https://www.eightforums.com/tutorials...same-time.html
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Readying Metro style apps for launch
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