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No love for traditional developers on ARM

An interesting thought that I have seen while here at TechEd.  Applications in VS2012, can still be developed as Windows application, using C++, C# and VB, if that is your desire.  These will run find on Intel based devices as the Windows desktop experience is still part of Windows 8 when installed on Windows 8.  This means that all applications that are targeted to the x86 and x64 based platforms will operate on the x86 and x64 based installs of Windows 8 (within reason, this is not an all out endorsement that all applications will work).

But if you have an application developed for the desktop, these will not work on ARM processors, this will means Windows 8 tablet devices (and the Windows Phone 8 devices,).  Why?

This is based on the architecture of the system when it is using the desktop.  The base APIs that are used by the .NET Framework and the native applications will not be available on these ARM based devices.  Well this is what I got from the architecture diagram that was shown. 

So where does that leave standard desktop developers.  Well your code will work in their current contexts now.  But you will need to plan and develop specifically for the new ARM platform. 

This means that using HTML5/JavaScript or C# for the development side.  Though there is a lot of new elements to understand especially around the Windows 8 UX,  (User eXperience).  But at least the tools are making it easier and easier for transition where needed.  I have seen an example of a XAML and C# application that was converted into HTML5/JavaScript (with MS they have implemented a different way of handling the JavaScript to help increase the speed).  with relative ease and the performance is near on par, not to mention the additional support for the enhanced UX of Windows 8, which isn’t always available to the desktop applications.

So, it seems like any new technology jump Microsoft, the developers out there need to suffer a little pain.  That pain when we went from native applications to .NET was worth it in the long run, especially now, now that .NET is a mature framework.

Also, please check out a game developed by Patrick Klug, who developed a fairly cool looking game and seems fun.  It is Free but it is part of the Windows 8 Release Preview Store.  I am unable to say if they will start charging for it later.