updated 07:20 pm EDT, Mon August 15, 2011
Official Windows 8 blog wants surer footing
Microsoft geared up for the launch of Windows 8 with the start of an official blog on Monday to help developers. The first post by Windows president Steven Sinofsky recapped the shift to a more mobile focus for the OS but also addressed complaints about the lack of information beyond the first look. More info would come at the Build expo in September, he said, but Microsoft was also taking a cautious approach that only spoke about technology the company was ready to ship.
"We've certainly learned lessons over the years about the perils of talking about features before we have a solid understanding of our ability to execute," Sinofsky wrote. "Our intent with this pre-release blog is to make sure that we have a reasonable degree of confidence in what we talk about, before we talk about it."
The comments are an indirect acknowledgement that Microsoft is still stinging from the legacy of Windows Vista. During the OS' six-year development, Microsoft repeatedly made promises about components like the Avalon presentation layer, the WinFS file system, and other elements that were either delayed or scrapped by the time Vista arrived. Developers hesitated to optimize their apps for Vista as they didn't know what they could expect to support.
Windows 8 has given reason for concern since its app model is very different for certain titles. To use the new, Windows Phone-inspired touch interface, apps have to use a primarily web-based developer kit instead of many of the old tools. Coders have been worried that they may have to rewrite apps or that traditional desktop apps will be second-class citizens.