On this first day of the BUILD conference Microsoft presented details on Windows 8. It was amazing to see how things that we already knew and some new things mixed and matched. Of course, today was mainly overview but we have seen code and quite a lot of it. Not everything is clear yet but we have three days left for a lot of details.
My quick take-aways that I will later provide more information on in random order:
- When building so-called Metro applications (Windows 8 applications that blend in with the look and feel of Windows 8 developers and designers will have to learn the new way of styling and designing the UI side of the application. – I really like the Metro style but it will cost me a while to get used to when designing applications.
- The Marketplace/App store is not just great for users; developers get a lot of information on the progress of the approval process but also will have a great way to distribute their apps. – I am not quite sure how the store we saw today fits with the store for Windows Phone.
- Windows 8 might get known to the developers as the Clipboard-on-Steroids version of Windows. Applications support and/or consumer specific interfaces that will allow applications to share data without having to know each other. – I love this; the user gets to decide on how applications will share data.
- Windows 8 still supports non-Metro applications. – In the few hours that I have been playing with Windows 8 I have come to dislike the mixing of Metro and non-Metro apps. Metro Apps spoil the user in clarity, ease of use and (possibly) extreme support of touch.
- The hardware Microsoft showed us is impressive. – I wonder what the price ranges will be and buying shares of manufacturers of touch screen might be a good idea.
- WPF wasn’t mentioned but the WPF applications will still run. – I think it is even stranger; the Metro-applications that we saw look more like WPF applications than like Silverlight applications. From a deployment point of view they are more like Out of Browser Silverlight Applications or rather Windows Phone Applications. Metro applications are neither Silverlight nor WPF applications but a new type of application.
Tip: have a look at the first session (when it is available) after the first keynote. It will give you an excellent impression of how Metro Applications will look-like.