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 My thoughts on "10 hidden features in Windows 8" Minimize
Location: BlogsSean Cullinan    
Posted by: Sean Cullinan 6/1/2011 11:32 AM
I just read the article "10 hidden features in Windows 8" located at http://www.itworld.com/software/169627/10-hidden-features-windows-8 and immediately thought "what are the implications to me as a develper."  Here are my thoughts:
 
The Windows Store is great but may be too late. Hopefully it actually gets developers re-invigorated and producing commercial software for Windows again instead of turning to the web even when the web doesn’t make sense for their app. The malware epidemic has killed the idea of writing actual .exe’s for windows as consumer users have been trained not to download and install anything on a Windows machine because it will probably break their machine.  This in turn has made it fruitless for developers looking to write consumer based applications for Windows. I think this is one underappreciated factor that has led to the decline in the importance of Windows in general in the consumer space. The app store/Google Marketplace show that there is still a vibrant desire for out of browser experiences which are usually superior. Hopefully a Windows store that gives people a “trusted source” for software can get people back into Windows apps where they make sense rather than leaving everything to the web.
 
As for the 2 UI’s, one for tablet, one for PC, this is necessary but they also need to make sure that apps in the app store support both UI's in a distinct fashion as part of the approval process.  An app without an “immersive UI” layout should be hidden to the user when in “immersive UI” mode. One of the big problem with the whole Tablet PC concept was that Windows apps designed with a keyboard and mouse in mind don’t work elegantly as tablet apps. Visual Studio should be re-tooled so that when you start a new app, you are given the option to create 2 UI’s (Views in Model View-View Model terms) for your app in order to support the traditional and immersive UI. This sort of thing really does make proper separation of concerns and using the MVVM design pattern in your application more important. If done correctly you should be able to easily support 2 Views (Immersive UI and traditional UI) that are based on the same unit testable ViewModel classes.
 

The other feature that is of big concern for tablets is start up time and standby battery life. A tablet needs to work like a TV, it needs to come on in 1 second or less and it needs to not burn through the battery in 24 hours when in standby mode the way a laptop does. The Ipad should be the model here. If sleep is going to chew through battery at a rate of 48 hours of standby time and hibernation takes 20 seconds to come out of this will be a problem. Maybe the Arm version will be better though.

Any thoughts, use the comments section below!

Sean

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