Bangalore,India: In the packed expo hall at the KTPO in Bangalore, Microsoft’s Jon DeVaan struck a huge gong to signify the start of a frenetic overnight coding marathon. Microsoft brought together over 3500 developers to hack out innovative new Windows 8 apps, encouraging developers to start building the ecosystem.
Bhaskar Pramanik (Chairman,Microsoft India) told the press that Windows 8 will be “good for india” as developers will be able to “create applications that add value to our economy”, and Windows 8 provides “great revenue opportunity for developers”. Jon DeVaan(CVP,Windows Development, Microsoft) added that “Windows 8 is designed for a changing world”, as it “caters to new kinds of content-music,video and social”.
DeVaan was eager to expound on Windows 8 being “the most significant developer opportunity ever” by explaining a few key points to justify this. Devaan said that “70% of first $25k revenue goes to developers,80% after that”, and that developers have “a choice of programming languages including HTML5/JSS to build apps”. When PCQuest asked whether Windows 8 apps will be “code once,run anywhere”, Pramanik replied that “Apps will be able to run across a range of devices, from tablets to PCs”.
DeVaan also showed us some examples of apps made for the Indian market, including ICICI and makemytrip.com apps that looked vibrant and attractive.
PCQuest also had a session with Harish Vaidyanathan (Director, Technical Evangelism,Microsoft), who gave us an in-depth demo of Windows 8 from a developer perspective. When asked about compatibility of Windows 8 apps on Windows Phone 8, Vaidyanathan clarified that “the app will not run as it is” and the “user interface has to be redone for Windows Phone 8”, but that much of the core logic will be the same because both operating systems rely on the Windows RT API.
He also said that the biggest selling point for developers to build apps for Windows 8 is the enormous audience reach it would have, as Microsoft expects “400 million Windows 8 licenses to be sold within a year of release”.
“99% of India runs on Windows, and about 85% globally, so no other platform can give developers this kind of outreach”, Vaidyanathan told us. Developers will also be able to code and submit the application for the app market in 180 different countries in over a 100 languages, and have the ability to choose which markets they want to app to be featured in.
Vaidyanathan also reassured developers that they need not worry that apps need be customized across displays, as “Windows automatically scales to app to make it wider”, as he showed us firsthand, playing the “cut-the-rope” game on his 27” monitor and a 10” tablet simultaneously to show the app scaled graphics to fit the screen.
He also added that “Blend for Visual Studio 2012”, makes UI design for Windows 8-style apps extremely easy, and that it can be used to make the UI for Windows Phone 8 as well. For developers who are interested in building Windows 8 apps, Microsoft offers Visual Studio Express 2012 as a free download for independent development.
Please let us know your thoughts on Windows 8 and App development in the comments below!