Microsoft Windows 8 has officially launched. With 8,000 apps and tremendous hardware support, it is time to see if Microsoft will score a victory. If they do, will you share the ride by building apps, or are you going to sit back and watch?
Re: Windows 8 has Launched. Now the Real Fun Begins!
I need my VS2010 because it has CUDA support (and Nvidia usually are slow in supporting new VS versions). Still I was curious about Windows 8 and what the fuss and commotion was all about. Alarmingly the upgrade assistant reported VS2010 wasn't compatible with Windows 8 but I decided take my chances anyway. I used the upgrade CD because it felt better somehow than the download upgrade.
It turned out there was no problem whatsoever to start VS2010 in Windows 8 and to load solution files. But when I tried to run my application it failed at the first call to Direct3D. Appearantly the June 30 DirectX SDK is the final separate download. As of Windows 8 it's now an integral part of the general developer SDKs. I also noted the so called round-tripping feature between VS2010 and VS2012. To a certain extent those two development environments can use the same solution files without any irreversal conversions taking place.
So I decided to download VS2012 Express Desktop to see if I could get my application to run there. But strangely, as soon as I'd made that download my application worked in VS2010! So that's a recommendation. Even if you're planning to stick to VS2010 under Windows 8 make sure to download VS2012 even if you don't strictly need it.
What about Windows 8? To me it's schizofrenic at this point. For users there's a big divide between Metro and Desktop. And Microsoft really wants everybody to have to make a stop at Metro. From what I can see there's no setting which allows you to bypass it automatically. You come to Metro after boot and there you have to manually press the Desktop "square" to move on. Another symptom of the schizofrenic nature of Windows 8 is manifest in VS2012 Express. There are now two separate versions, one for Metro and one for Desktop!
But once you're in Desktop it's like Windows 7 really. The only visible change is that applications look more sombre. Gone is the Aero look & feel which Microsoft now even calls "cheesy",
I wellcome this step back to basic simplicity. It's a good sign. When there's too much emphasis on how things look it's usually because there's no sense of direction. When people don't know where to go next they keep buzy decorating the old stuff instead.
My findings so far are that using VS2010 Pro under Windows 8 Pro works just fine (but my application is strictly native C++ so I cannot vouch for .NET and the rest). For developers the complications caused by the Metro/Desktop rift is minimal. If you want to write traditional Windows desktop applications you do that. If you want to write "modern" Metro apps you do that. But to paraphrase Kipling: Desktop is desktop, and gadget is gadget, and never the twain shall meet. And why should they, they serve different purposes. Unification to make it easier to develop for both would be a good thing but Microsoft don't seem interested in that. Instead they're desperately trying to fuse Metro and Desktop at the user level and I don't quite understand why.
Last edited by nuzzle; November 5th, 2012 at 03:40 AM.