Windows 8.1

Yes, I do like Windows 8. And Windows RT. Like any operating system they have flaws, but actually they are pretty good environments for both developers and users. At least in my very humble opinion.

Having said that I agree with many that the selection of apps is still, how shall I put it, limited. But that will change. Currently, it’s still a bet that both developers and users are taking when they are switching to Windows 8, but I am convinced that more and more people will take that bet. Also when you want to have a device with 256+ GB of storage + Touch, how many other real choices do you have? You don’t need 256 GB? Maybe you don’t, but your videos, pictures, and music do 😉

Anyway, Windows 8 is still in its infancy and Microsoft is still learning how to bridge the huge gap between a new touch-optimized Modern UI world and the old Office-dominated Desktop UI world. And that shows. Lately, Microsoft has pushed Windows 8.1 as a next step in that learning progress. The good news for developers is/was that it is backward compatible with the apps we created for Windows 8. Almost. Oops.

At least, we encountered one pitfall that comes with the push for SkyDrive in Windows 8.1: users are “guided” towards putting their new documents, pictures etc. into SkyDrive instead of having them in their local folders only. Which makes sense. Sort of. But what does that mean, “new”? And what are the implications of having documents in SkyDrive? What happens when you run out of space in SkyDrive? What happens if you have conflicting versions of a document on two machines? What happens to existing documents when you opt out from SkyDrive again?

I spare you the technical details, but simply put our app just stopped working when it had been installed on Windows 8 and the machine was updated to Windows 8.1 with SkyDrive enabled. Therefore, I was happy that we hadn’t launched earlier. Gives us time to fix the technical side.

But I hope that Microsoft, too, has the patience and perseverance to invest into Windows 8+, beyond fixing the SkyDrive user experience: Windows 8 is a promising child, but it’s still in its infancy and needs a lot of care! And apps to play with!  🙂