Developers of different feathers flocked together at the Windows AppFest and expressed varied opinions on the new platform, ranging from 'impressive, good-looking to just falls short'
BANGALORE, INDIA: Anurag Dalia, 17, has come a long way from Hyderabad to take part in the two-day Microsoft Windows AppFest in Bangalore that concluded on Saturday.
The Class XII student from Narayana Junior College finds nothing new about Windows 8, "other than the tab layout. It is good, but is a little complicated, when compared to Windows 7 and earlier versions like XP. We have a tough time using standard software programs, which was easier on the previous versions".
When he switched to Windows 7 from XP, the transition was comparatively easier, while Windows 8, he says, is completely new. "It might get better, as we get used to it."
Dalia, however, thinks the user interface (UI) and integration part are exceptional. First time on Windows 8 at the AppFest, he was developing an auto parallax-based game, especially for tablets, that would have the user move forward dodging objects and stumbling blocks.
That is the general feeling among many developers, some independent and some representing their organizations. Surbhi Agarwal from Infosys finds the UI good and thinks that it's an advantage that Expression Blend has been integrated with Visual Studio.
Wipro employee Pasupathy Venkatachalam points out the fact the way Microsoft has handled crashes. He was developing a travel information app, though he didn't have much of a hands-on experience on Windows 8 before the AppFest. "It's pretty cool, unlike previous boring versions, in colour schemes, grids and UI," he adds.
Another developer, Swaminathan V from Target, has tried the version before and he says the installation time is very less, as compared to Windows 7. He says, "Integration with social network Ids is something I liked. While normal view is almost the same as in earlier versions, full-screen view has some issues as we have to close the window to be back on the desktop screen."
Tiles is one feature that many are impressed with, including independent developer Ankit Rawat from Jaipur. "Overall, it's good, but could've been a lot more and better. For instance, there is no option to close the full-screen view on top, but we have to uninstall the app. It's cumbersome that way. I would still prefer Windows 7 for developing apps. Windows 8 is more suited for tablets, as the experience might be better. I am waiting for Surface to hit the stores."
When CIOL took their views to Harish Vaidyanathan, director, Technical Evangelism, Microsoft India, he said that it is designed to be disruptive. For instance, "people have been using the Start button for years. So, from there to a Start screen might not be easy at once. It's an impressive platform, because of its adaptability to various form factors, like PCs, notebooks and tablets, as well as for different programming languages. Here, you don't need to know a programming language, but just a set of APIs."
Whatever Microsoft is testing, Vaidyanathan said that they are making it transparent to developers. "We are going to engage them a lot through events like the AppFest."
Have you tried your hands at Windows 8 yet? If so, let us know what you feel about it and about what it could have been or should be.