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Windows 8.1 RTM delayed for MSDN/Technet Subscribers?

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  • User profile image
    DeathBy​VisualStudio

    Mary Jo Foley is floating a rumor that we MSDN/Technet guys are going to have to wait for the W8.1 release until October just like retail customers. That's a bummer. How well does that play with any of you who are writing apps for the W8.1 launch? Is having W8 and/or the W8.1 preview good enough for you to write those apps?

    I always enjoy having a few months lead on new OS's to test my apps and get used to the changes before my customers get it. Rather than being bogged down with a buggy beta I usual wait for early access to the RTM.

    Again this is just a rumor...

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  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    I've never understood the appeal of wanting your app to be out on day one. Developing a product against a specification that is in flux and which hasn't even been completed is unnecessarily painful, and by definition only grabs you the customers at the very bleeding edge.

    If you're writing apps to target Win8.1 (and you don't work at Microsoft, or a third party company that has a good reason to have your app out on launch date), you should probably instead be writing an app to target Win8 - since that's where all of your (app) customers are going to be. When Win8.1 actually comes out, you can then update your app to take advantage of the Win8.1 features, and you'll have the actual build of Windows that your customers will be using, and in the meantime your customers can use your product before Win8.1 is launched (since you built it for Win8), and it'll be easier to decouple the Win8.1 features so that your app will work on both, since you'll be building a Win8 app with Win8.1 features bolted on later, rather than having a hard coupling to Win8.1 from the start.

    Also, if your app works on Win8, it'll work on Win8.1 for free, so it's not like you're losing customers by having a Win8 app instead of a Win8.1 app on Win8.1's launch date. It's just you won't have Win8.1 features until you retro-fit them in a couple of weeks and months later.

    They call it the bleeding edge for a reason. If you've got a requirement to launch your app within a week or so of Win8.1's launch, then good luck to you. But if you don't, it's just masochism and a whole world of pain to develop for a product you don't know, your customers don't have, and that you can't test against.

    For the record, I don't think this is specific to Microsoft or Windows. I'd also suggest not writing starting to write apps for the iPhone 6 or 7, at least until they launch those too Smiley

  • User profile image
    MasterPi

    @evildictaitor: There also might not be sufficient documentation/examples for something just released. I'd probably wait until it's in most developers' hands so that I can find a variety of examples of how to do X (and especially since the WinRT api docs were so unhelpful...).

  • User profile image
    evildictait​or

    , MasterPi wrote

    @evildictaitor: There also might not be sufficient documentation/examples for something just released. I'd probably wait until it's in most developers' hands so that I can find a variety of examples of how to do X (and especially since the WinRT api docs were so unhelpful...).

    Or better still, just: if your customers aren't asking for it, why are you building it?

    And your customers aren't asking for a Win8.1 app, because none of them have Win8.1 yet (and let's be real, most real-world developers are happy if their customers have Win7 installed, never mind Win8 or 8.1).

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    @evildictaitor:  If you wait for your customers to ask for it, you'll be late to the party.

  • User profile image
    bondsbw

    Also, this will be an interesting case study.  8.1 will be the first version of Windows that goes through the Windows Store.  It is very possible, if not extremely likely, that upgrading will occur faster than any version of Windows in history.  Much faster.

    In the meantime, I suppose developers can build against the pre-release and do a quick run of the test suite on zero day and release as soon as possible.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    I would have thought that MS would need developers to implement the new features in 8.1 as part of it's potential (success) story?  So seems unlikely to me, but I guess we will find out soon enough.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    While I'm sure that there are some developers who encounter bugs that cause them to need to wait until RTM, I've never had anything I've written against a preview build that failed to run at RTM. I guess it's just a step towards a leaner release cycle.

  • User profile image
    cheong

    I don't mind wait some time if they're making things better. Afterall I'm looking forward to see if I can use Win8.1 as my primary OS.

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  • User profile image
    Bas

    Not that bothered, really. I can understand how this would be annoying if you have to have your stuff out at launch for some reason, but I don't.

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    This also impacts driver developers, not only app store developers.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @ZippyV: Not that driver developers have ever been very good at hitting RTM before with early access.

    There's a large number of software and hardware companies that show up 6 months after release and say "What happened? There's a new version of Windows? Why didn't anybody tell us?"

  • User profile image
    Jim Young

    , kettch wrote

    There's a large number of software and hardware companies that show up 6 months after release and say "What happened? There's a new version of Windows? Why didn't anybody tell us?"

    Ain't that the truth. Look what happened with Vista.

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    , kettch wrote

    @ZippyV: Not that driver developers have ever been very good at hitting RTM before with early access.

    There's a large number of software and hardware companies that show up 6 months after release and say "What happened? There's a new version of Windows? Why didn't anybody tell us?"

    So the solution is to delay the release of the RTM to MSDN some more?

  • User profile image
    elmer

    , ZippyV wrote

    This also impacts driver developers, not only app store developers.

    Wouldn't driver devs be the very people who are actually getting the early RTM release?

  • User profile image
    ZippyV

    , elmer wrote

    *snip*

    Wouldn't driver devs be the very people who are actually getting the early RTM release?

    Not if MSDN delays it.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    , bondsbw wrote

    @evildictaitor:  If you wait for your customers to ask for it, you'll be late to the party.

    In some respects, I'd rather be fashionably late to the party than show up to a theme party with the wrong costume, but there is something useful about being the first that can help get you some traction before your competition.

  • User profile image
    ryanb

    That's not necessarily a reflection of anything more than the software not being ready yet.  You can't release it on MSDN a couple months early if it isn't done a couple months early.  As product cycles get shorter, that two months becomes a more significant chunk of bug-fixing time.

    But that's still a problem if you are trying to have your product ready at launch.

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