Windows Phone

Microsoft goes mute on Windows Phone 8, angers devs

The next version of Windows Phone is approaching, and Microsoft is looking for preview volunteers.

While the rest of the online world is all aflutter with news of Apple's iPhone 5 launch, Microsoft has chosen today to ask developers to put their hands up and volunteer themselves to try out its Windows Phone SDK 8.

But if you haven't developed for Windows Phone before, you will likely have a hard time getting your hands on the SDK.

"The objective is to let developers of our most-downloaded apps start optimising them for Windows Phone 8, and we expect the majority of published developers in this situation to qualify for access," wrote Todd Brix, Microsoft senior director for Windows Marketplace, in a blog post.

Why is Microsoft keeping its upcoming mobile platform under wraps? Brix said that the purpose is to generate excitement.

"I know that many of you want to know why we simply don't publicly release the full SDK now," wrote Brix.

"The reason is that not all Windows Phone 8 features have been announced, and our SDK includes comprehensive emulators that allow developers to test apps against a wide range of Windows Phone features. We recognise that this is a different approach to delivering tools than we've taken in the past. Our goal is to generate as much Windows Phone 8 excitement as possible to attract new customers when phones go on sale. This is one of many steps we're taking to help give you what you (and we) want most."

Presumably, the feedback that Microsoft received asked that it keep all the details of Windows Phone 8 to itself, and select chosen developers until Redmond's "excite-o-meter" is red hot.

Predictably, the comments under the announcement are a mixture of bemusement and sarcasm. Examples include comments such as: "There is no universe in which this makes sense"; "Is this some sort of cruel joke? If so, it's not funny. Really"; and "Seriously, this is incredibly lame".

Users of Windows Phone SDK 8 will need to be using Visual Studio 2012, which officially launched today, and will be able to target Windows Phone 8 and Windows Phone 7.5. The existing Windows Phone SDK 7.1 is also able to be installed alongside the new SDK in Visual Studio 2012 on Windows 8.

The scant details

Hen's teeth are more plentiful than the details offered to delegates of Microsoft's TechEd Australia 2012 conference.

In the opening session of the Windows Phone track, delegates peppered the presenters with questions on what Windows Phone 8 would offer them. Many of the questions fell under the "Sorry, I cannot talk about that" umbrella.

Instead, delegates were provided with the same public information that has been available since 20 June, and slides that boasted of IE10's speed in the SunSpider JavaScript test. It was claimed that WP8's IE10 is quicker than the browser on Apple's iPhone 4S (obviously Safari) and an unnamed browser on Samsung's Galaxy S III.

Chris Duckett attended TechEd Australia 2012 as a guest of Microsoft.

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Some would say that it is a long way from software engineering to journalism, others would correctly argue that it is a mere 10 metres according to the floor plan.During his first five years with CBS Interactive, Chris started his journalistic advent...

11 comments
sarai1313
sarai1313

if you don't have anything on site now then you wait.certain hardware vendors and developers. Microsoft’s wall garden some “developer” implied. no walled garden just no apple employee,s with diarrhea of the mouth need apply. I get developer updates all the time but no I have to wait for sdk like the rest of the world because I do not have anything on site now. If I did then yes I would have it now and who the hell are all these “developers” that are mad? OEM's who keep on putting out crap hardware that just barely meets specifications. thats why.

sarai1313
sarai1313

who are you talking about.I get developer updates all the time from Microsoft. But do not currently have anything ongoing so no I wont get the sdk till later. Who are the folks that are pissed and why.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

MS will make the SDK available first to those who have previously developed for the platform. if you aren't already a WP7 developer, is the release of a new SDK going to make you want to become one? If you're interested in getting into WP development, isn't the previous version good enough for you to get your feet wet? Won't apps developed with the earlier version work in WP8? This sounds like sour grapes to me; "I'm upset because I can't get the latest version of something I wasn't using anyway." But I'm not a developer; I welcome enlightenment.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

WP8 fully developed yet, and that's why they can't tell you about the features as the wanted features aren't yet working.

Darren B - KC
Darren B - KC

The problem with this approach to marketing is that MS had better have some absolutely game-changing features to unveil, otherwise the so-called "surprises" won't justify the excitement they are trying to build. If that happens, all Microsoft is going to get is a face full of egg and they will lose more customers than they will gain. Unfortunately, this is how MS has always operated. They hint around at something "big" on the horizon, but when it comes time to show it, it fails to stand up to the hype and the audience is like, "Oh... THAT'S what the big suprise is? Meh."

dogknees
dogknees

"This is one of many steps we’re taking to help give you what you (and we) want most." What I want is no more marketing BS from MS or anyone else. Comprehensive information on upcoming products so I can make an educated choice is what I want.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

said in their release. They are NOT encouraging people to apply to have the kits to develop for WP8. What Microsoft have said is:- If you HAVE developed apps for WP7 in the past, please apply to be allowed to see the kit for WP8, AND if we like you we will consider giving you a look at the developer kit so you may get started early, but no promises. In short, no new WP8 developers to apply, and they will pick and choose between who has previously done WP7 apps to see who they like. That being the case, they may as well have just sent a few private invites to people and left it at that. The fact they went public makes me wonder if they did that and got a null response.

dogknees
dogknees

What is new for WP8. So I can determine if this is something I might want to get involved in. My point is really that the marketing-speak is garbage, and I really don't care for this kind of manipulative marketing. The process of dribbling out a little bit of information to whet the appetite of the buyer causes me to want nothing to do with a company/product, not to want it. If your product can't "sell itself", no amount of marketing rubbish is going to change my mind. The only thing that matters is what it does, or can do.

sarai1313
sarai1313

Won't apps developed with the earlier version work in WP8? yes

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

it'll be a damn big surprise. Their last several major 'new and exciting innovations' have all been cheap copies of stuff that Apple, Unix, or Linux had been doing for two or three years or more before Windows even thought about them.

Deadly Ernest
Deadly Ernest

of certain hardware vendors and developers, the marketing crap will get sold to the general public anyway - simply because the other options will NOT be made available to them.