Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Windows 8

This poses a tricky question, though. You see, not only does IE10 power Windows 8′s primary interface, but Internet Explorer 10 — the browser — is also available as a Metro-style app, and as a full-interface browser in the Explorer Desktop. All three versions are fundamentally identical. Now… what if Windows 8 is as successful as Windows 7 and all of its previous forebears? What if Windows 8 is actually a success on the tablet? If Windows 8 becomes ubiquitous, so does Internet Explorer 10 — and if IE10 can be found on hundreds of millions of devices, what platform do you think developers will choose?

It’s the great Web App Dream: write once, run anywhere. Do you write an app for tens of millions of iPhones and iPads, or do you write a single piece of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript that can run perfectly on every Windows 8, IE10-powered tablet, laptop, and desktop? Those same web apps, with a little tweaking, will probably even work with Chrome and Firefox and Safari — but here’s an uncomfortable truth: if Windows 8 reaches 90% penetration of the computing market, why bother targeting a web browser at all? Just write a native, Metro-style web app instead.

Finally, add in the fact that IE10 will almost certainly come to Windows Phone 8 next year, and you will have a single app container — AppX — that runs across every damn computer form factor.

Microsoft, threatened by the idea of OS-agnostic web apps and browser-based operating systems from Google and Mozilla, has just taken the game to a whole new level — and, rather shockingly, given that Windows 8 started its development in mid-2009, it would seem that the lumbering behemoth might have actually out-maneuvered Google.”



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