Windows 8: good or bad for development?

Windows 8 has made a real splash and given a birth to a number of talks among the people who are close to IT. Gossips and some information about its possible development have already appeared in April 2009. On January, 6th at CES 2011 the first test Windows 8 release has been demonstrated. “I should admit that the new OS is something mind-blowing in the field of modern IT”, – said Director of Consumer Affairs EMEA John Mangelaars. It can distinguish users’ voices and faces with the help of web camera. Also, it has become more virtual and deeper integrated with mobile OS version, which supports gesture recognition.

At the same time there was one demonstration aspect which has seriously perturbed the developers all over the world. The point is that in the new Windows version, in Metro UI, any of the modern user programs cannot be used. The reason is cored in the new view that presupposes its work on the basis of Immersive applications. Let’s add here developers’ striving for making the OS applicable for multitouch screens, and in the end we get a new program platform, where only new API applications created specially for Windows 8 will work. Certainly, the applications will function in the old interface, but different program versions will have to be written for Metro UI.

All the time and efforts developers have contributed to adapting existing software to the modern program platform will be practically crossed out. Decades have been spent on learning to work with such technologies as COM, Win32, MFC, ATL, Visual Basic 6, WinForms, .NET, Silverlight, WPF. Not one of them can fully replace the other one.

Now the main program platform for the new OS will be HTML5 together with JavaScript.

Also, developers will have to give up on the modern visual development of integrated IDE Visual Studio that is wildly popular at the moment.

At the same time all these changes can turn out to be both: minuses and pluses – to develop for the new OS will become much easier.

And what do you think about all these innovations? Especially I am eager to know your opinion about JS and HTML5.

Thank you!