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Devs Flay Microsoft For Withholding Windows 8.1 RTM

Soulskill posted 1 year,4 days | from the build-your-apps-against-the-code-you-imagine-we'll-ship dept.

Microsoft 413

CWmike writes "Windows app developers are taking Microsoft to task for the company's decision to withhold Windows 8.1 until mid-October. Traditionally, Microsoft offers an RTM to developers several weeks before the code reaches the general public. On Tuesday, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached RTM, subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17, saying it was not finished. Antoine Leblond, a Microsoft spokesman, said in a blog post, 'In the past, the release to manufacturing milestone traditionally meant that the software was ready for broader customer use. However, it's clear that times have changed.' Developers raged against the decision in comments on another Microsoft blog post, one that told programmers to write and test their apps against Windows 8.1 Preview, the public sneak peak that debuted two months ago. One commenter, 'brianjsw,' said, 'In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before [general availability]. The fact that Microsoft no longer seems to understand this truly frightens me.'"

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so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (5, Funny)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,4 days | (#44692939)

so Microsoft wants only the agile and extreme to survive, while the slackers get left behind. makes sense to me.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (5, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,4 days | (#44692989)

so Microsoft wants only the agile and extreme to survive, while the slackers get left behind. makes sense to me.

Sounds more to me like Microsoft is making consumers be beta testers for all of the 3rd party software out there, and putting a much higher support burden on the independent software developers since they can't test their software on the released OS until the public does.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (5, Insightful)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693059)

that's fine too, they'll keep buying Microsoft since that's what's pre-loaded on almost everything sold. suckers. Remember Ballmer and MS only "in trouble" because their ever growing profits and income are growing quite as fast as they'd like. they aren't hurting at all

Touble trouble trouble (5, Insightful)

tuppe666 (904118) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693335)

Remember Ballmer and MS only "in trouble" because their ever growing profits and income are growing quite as fast as they'd like. they aren't hurting at all

Nobody is suggesting that M$ is in any financial Difficulty. The "in trouble" is 5 quarters of PC sales down. The "in trouble" is missing the boat on massive computing shifts like mobile and cloud. The "in trouble" is its partners are walking away form Windows and announcing greater Android and Chrome products. The "in trouble" is its trying to be a services and devices company...and failing at both. The "in trouble" is those competitors it could crush with spare change or be having or being a monopoly, now have Billions of their own they are struggling to spend. The "in trouble" is suddenly both its cash cows of Windows and OS have competitive replacements at little or no cost.. The "in trouble" is its brand smells of failure. The "in trouble" is everything it had depends on its "windows" monopoly, and suddenly that is looking to be a legacy windows monopoly/Microsoft Office Insurance monopoly, and suddenly those are not not as relevant, and becoming less relevant.

Ballmer is not "in trouble" he is out the door, stabbed in the front by Bill no less, and its not because Microsoft is "in trouble" financially its just all that future computing cash looks to be flowing to other companies who aren't "in trouble"

Re:Touble trouble trouble (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693369)

Hey Tuppe666.

Tell us more about how great Google is. Tell us about how we are idiots for not worshiping them as you.

Robert Rankin

Re:Touble trouble trouble (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693381)

We would, but seeing as you haven't left the Holy Sepulchre at the Church of Microsoft, we'd have to yell really loud.

Re:Touble trouble trouble (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693451)

We would, but seeing as you haven't left the Holy Sepulchre at the Church of Microsoft, we'd have to yell really loud.

Whoa he doesnt like Google and we all know the only people that dont like Google are people who love Microsoft! How could any rational person *not* like Google?!

Re:Touble trouble trouble (2)

Mashiki (184564) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693575)

Nobody is suggesting that M$ is in any financial Difficulty. The "in trouble" is 5 quarters of PC sales down.

Well, look at the state of the industry? If you game on a PC, do you need to upgrade it? Most of the time people are going 2-3 years now. That heavily attributed to consoles stagnating the market. If you do basic things on it, like email and word processing, do you really need more than a dual core for that? There isn't any drive in the market, in turn it's hit it's peak.

Re:Touble trouble trouble (0)

iggymanz (596061) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693619)

problem is, you're addressing markets Microsoft never had anyway. Its outlook for market it does have is rosy with only growth in sight - and note this is even with slow economy, wait till it picks up.

yeah, I'm a Microsoft bashing Linux Desktop and BSD Server and Android mobile enthusiast, but the sucky reality is the business desktop and office app world and home desktop world is Microsoft based with only growth projected

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693077)

The changes in 8.1 are "mostly" cosmetic and the preview release is available for testing. The only 3rd party software that could have problems is stuff that doesn't use documented API's in which case those developers deserve what they get.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (5, Funny)

MightyMartian (840721) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693389)

What you've written is a little long, but if we etch it really small, it ought to fit on a tombstone in the Graveyard of Famous Last Words.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (4, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693145)

What it means is that the developers should calm down because MS didn't actually make any significant changes. They're just dropping in a new default wallpaper and turning off a few features everyone hates to make it more 'user friendly'.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (4, Insightful)

denmarkw00t (892627) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693307)

Turning off a few "features" that devs haven't hopefully designed around in their apps. It's important to keep the people who are the backbone of your OS's ecosystem in the loop - no devs = no users.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (5, Funny)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693249)

Sounds more to me like Microsoft is making consumers be beta testers for all of the 3rd party software out there, and putting a much higher support burden on the independent software developers since they can't test their software on the released OS until the public does.

You're exaggerating the burden. What are the odds that any single independent developer has managed to sell their app to all three people who own Windows 8?

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (3, Insightful)

BitZtream (692029) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693393)

Microsoft believes that 8.1 is so much like 8.0 that it won't need testing. They've stated this multiple times before.

Considering that they do actually do extensive testing and dogfooding, its probably reasonably safe.

It also means they are telling you that they didn't make any real changes and are charging you for the service pack they refuse to create for 8.0.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693555)

Microsoft believes that 8.1 is so much like 8.0 that it won't need testing. They've stated this multiple times before.

Considering that they do actually do extensive testing and dogfooding, its probably reasonably safe.

Oh yeah? Could have fooled me, since damn near everything they've ever put out has had massive bugs.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (1)

aldousd666 (640240) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693417)

Saving money. Baller (not ballmer)

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693475)

Or maybe, just maybe, the dirty little secret MSFT doesn't want you to know is really the fact that Windows 8.1 is just Windows 8 with a switch flipped that will let you go to the desktop and some more "apps apps apps, have we mentioned we have an appstore with apps?" in your face metro bullshit. Like making a "Start Goatse" as I call it where you click the start button trying to escape and it hauls your ass right back to metro...have they mentioned they have touch and apps?

Or maybe the engineers at MSFT are doing this on purpose, its been widely known that ballmer is fricking HATED by many at the company and doing what they can to make sure "Ballmer's Folly" flops as bad as Win 8? Really wouldn't be out of the question. At the end it won't matter though as i can tell you little shops like mine have stopped carrying Win 8x anything as I have watched people gladly pay for a more expensive refurb with Win 7 than be forced to take Windows 8, its a giant DO NOT WANT as far as consumers are concerned and after I was stuck fixing that mess a few times i can say honestly? Don't blame 'em.

It takes a HELL of a lot more than simply slapping Start8 to kill the abomination that is "Oh hai I'm a cellphone LULZ" Metro, specifically it took a half a dozen deep level registry hacks AND hunting down a generic synaptics touchpad driver to kill those $%#^%# swipe gestures bullshit, and even then it looks like a poor man's Win 7 copy. I'm predicting it'll bomb and suck and be the punchline of jokes, just like Win 8. They can polish their asses off but all they are gonna have is a shiny turd NOT a diamond!

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (1)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693489)

Sounds more to me like Microsoft is making consumers be beta testers for all of the 3rd party software out there, and putting a much higher support burden on the independent software developers since they can't test their software on the released OS until the public does.

Which is pretty much how it's done with Android and that seems to work well enough. On the other hand their old strategy was to do it more similar to iOS and OSX which seem to throw out a new beta every 2 weeks, which works well for them too.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693499)

Sounds more to me like Microsoft is making consumers be beta testers for all of the 3rd party software out there, and putting a much higher support burden on the independent software developers since they can't test their software on the released OS until the public does.

That or it's a really badly executed ploy to help their Windows store gain momentum since more apps will be buggy but Microsoft can say "See! If you don't get your software vetted by us via our store it'll be broken!"

Though like most Microsoft actions I expect it to backfire.

It's just more ComputerWorld flamebait from CWMike (1)

mystikkman (1487801) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693023)

The devs can use Windows 8.1 preview and Visual Studio 2013 preview to make their apps.

Differences between preview and RTM (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693085)

The devs can use Windows 8.1 preview

I think the point of the article is that developers feel likely to end up burned by any substantial differences between Windows 8.1 preview and Windows 8.1 RTM. When a difference between preview and RTM causes an application not to work, it may end up with unjustified 1-star ratings (or whatever the equivalent on Windows Store is).

Re:Differences between preview and RTM (5, Informative)

recoiledsnake (879048) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693415)

RTM means release to manufacturing, i.e to the OEMs to test on beta hardware and with beta drivers.

Take Google, which just drops the new version of the Android SDK over the wall along with the hardware running the new version of the Android OS. I didn't notice any outrage there, perhaps because they don't allow comments on their blog posts(or they don't have blog posts). Or perhaps because if Google does it, it's okay.

This is just a low-effort manufactured story quoting blog comments, by the cookie cutter Computerworld "journalists" who can't even spell "sneak peak[sic]" and submitted by them to Slashdot to troll for pageviews. Another Slashdot low.

The author of this "article"? A certain Gregg Keizer, who is most well known for inteviewing a fake CEO(who was actually a computerworld writer himself) who faked Windows 7 benchmarks to spread FUD against Windows 7, which Slashdot predictably lapped up at the time. (now, Windows 7 is the best OS ever according to Slashdot though)

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9158258/Most_Windows_7_PCs_max_out_memory [computerworld.com]

http://www.zdnet.com/blog/btl/why-we-dont-trust-devil-mountain-software-and-neither-should-you/31024 [zdnet.com]

ComputerWorld reporter Gregg Keizer last week quoted a company source as boasting, “Outside of Microsoft, I don't think anyone knows more about Windows performance than us.”. ..
  ComputerWorld reporter Gregg Keizer has frequently been first on the scene with details when DMS has released a new study. We found at least a dozen stories under his by-line at ComputerWorld based on reports from XPNet, many including quotes from DMS Chief Technology Officer Barth. As we note later in this report, our reporting strongly suggests that “Craig Barth” does not exist and is in fact a pseudonym for InfoWorld contributing editor Kennedy since the late 1990s

Yet Slashdot continues to fall victim to this junk on multiple stories every week, the jokes on us. However, it's apparent that readership is dropping, as people with half a brain continue to quit, the moderation becomes even more brutal towards any comment that is not hating on Microsoft(see GP comment modded down, perhaps by Computerworld sockpuppets for calling out CWMike), and people lose interest in submitted stories to a dead place, resulting in Computerworld and HotHardware's MojoKid blogspam taking over the front page as they have a vested interest to submit stories and write flamebait headlines and summaries as they know Slashdot laps it up, and this causes more people to leave.. The problem seems to be taking care of itself.

Re:Differences between preview and RTM (4, Interesting)

mystikkman (1487801) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693559)

Take Google, which just drops the new version of the Android SDK over the wall along with the hardware running the new version of the Android OS. I didn't notice any outrage there, perhaps because they don't allow comments on their blog posts(or they don't have blog posts). Or perhaps because if Google does it, it's okay.

The funny thing is that Google doesn't even release a beta or RC version for Android like MS did with the 8.1 preview. Where's the Slashdot story and outrage?

The Slashdot story "Linux Vendors Push For Open-Source In Hybrid Datacenter Clouds" has just 19 comments after 4 hours. Now most of Slashdot comments consist of lame karmawhores like tuppe666, tepples, MightyMartian and bmo competing with each other to post the most puerile anti-MS drivel and modding each other up in the echochamber and shouting down anyone who points out their over the top hate and idiocy. Sad, really, atleast earlier insightful comments used to get modded up, now they have no chance.

Google and Microsoft situation very different (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693581)

Take Google, which just drops the new version of the Android SDK over the wall along with the hardware running the new version of the Android OS. I didn't notice any outrage there

Google can do this because on release a very small number of normal users, plus some contingent of the most technically hard core are the only ones who are going to be running that version of the OS for a while.

The day 8.1 goes out many millions of fairly non-technical people will be running it. If your software is glitchy at that time, you are screwed.

I would be just as peeved if Apple did not release regular builds leading up to releases like iOS7. Apple also releases beta versions of minor updates too.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693443)

Microsoft wants their cashflow to survive. Nothing else matters (tm), as Metallica would attest.

Look at what happened with the Kin. A billion or so dollars thrown out the window in less than a year of the product's release. Nearly a billion of Surface tablets and PC's sitting in warehouses because nobody wants them. TPM and secure boot. Windows Vista.

I'm actually _shocked_ that Ballmer wasn't ousted years ago, because Gates (as much as he's probably hated here) was an _incredibly_ intelligent, shrewd businessman. Ballmer, on the other hand, is a good _salesman_. He convinced plenty enough manufacturers to build Surface hardware and Windows 8 machines, so that should be proof enough, particularly after how colossally bad Vista turned out to be. But it seems that enough people remembered Vista that when the Surface hardware...er...surfaced...people were a bit more cautious.

The worst part is that Windows 7 felt like a huge turn in the right direction to me. I was perfectly happy to run Windows 7 for entertainment and games, Linux for everything else, and it worked fine. Then I bought a Windows 8 PC and because of a borked UEFI implementation it would only boot either Windows 7 (32 bit), Windows 8 or Fedora...oddly enough. If Microsoft wants to dictate how I use my PC they should at least be offering an alternative better than the ones that already exist, including their own products.

Re:so pony up, Microsoft want agile extreme only (1)

jd2112 (1535857) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693541)

so Microsoft wants only the agile and extreme to survive, while the slackers get left behind. makes sense to me.

On the other hand Microsoft had developer preview versions of Vista for ages and yet countless applications and hardware drivers weren't ready for it's much delayed release.

Consider yourself lucky (1)

symbolset (646467) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693593)

Is it your OS? No. It is Microsoft's OS. They have never offered a fair field for ISVs. Be glad they still let their users run your app at all.

Software Quality On The Decline (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44692943)

Now we don't even test anymore - the customers can test.

Go team retard!

Re:Software Quality On The Decline (1)

http (589131) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693521)

Why shouldn't 3rd party devs do this? MS has been doing it for forever.

Push the button! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44692951)

They forgot to push the button.

So... (-1)

ksemlerK (610016) | 1 year,4 days | (#44692961)

Does that mean they were fellated?

Oh really, briansjw? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44692975)

Can you please explain why developers need the early access? Is Windows 8.1 not backwards compatible? If it's not available to devs prior to GA will the users end up spending several months being able to do nothing but play solitaire? What is the significance of a third-party piece of software being GA on the exact day as the OS it targets?

Re:Oh really, briansjw? (3, Insightful)

masterofthumbs (2881445) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693013)

So when it gets released and pushed out over Windows Update, the average user's install won't break because some little driver has an issue with how Windows 8.1 does things. Having the RTM out early also allows OEMs to make sure they are picking hardware that will work best with Windows 8.1 and have 8.1 machines ready for to be sold when 8.1 drops. By not having an RTM, Microsoft is telling everyone to go screw themselves and that they'll have to figure out if stuff works on Release Day.

Re:Oh really, briansjw? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693169)

OEMs do have the bits, so they have the ability to make sure they are picking hardware that will work best with Windows 8.1 and have 8.1 machines ready to be sold when 8.1 drops.

That's what the 8.1 RTM meant - it dropped to OEMs but not to the public. Devs wanting to create 8.1 apps have to trust MSFT that they didn't break anything between the developer preview and RTM.

Re:Oh really, briansjw? (1)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693507)

So when it gets released and pushed out over Windows Update, the average user's install won't break because some little driver has an issue with how Windows 8.1 does things. Having the RTM out early also allows OEMs to make sure they are picking hardware that will work best with Windows 8.1 and have 8.1 machines ready for to be sold when 8.1 drops.

Which is why they have an RTM which has been...Released To Manufacturers.

By not having an RTM, Microsoft is telling everyone to go screw themselves and that they'll have to figure out if stuff works on Release Day.

Well yeah that might be correct, but they do have an RTM so what you're saying isn't particularly relevant.

Re:Oh really, briansjw? (4, Insightful)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693027)

Can you please explain why developers need the early access? Is Windows 8.1 not backwards compatible? If it's not available to devs prior to GA will the users end up spending several months being able to do nothing but play solitaire? What is the significance of a third-party piece of software being GA on the exact day as the OS it targets?

Backwards compatible is not always backwards compatible, I haven't written MS software in ages but plenty of things behave differently with new releases and SP's - sometimes bugs that your software has been written to work around have been "fixed", which then makes your workaround fail... Maybe your software doesn't use any of those bits, or maybe it makes your software crash upon startup. The only way to know is to run it against the same release that consumers are getting.

Re:Oh really, briansjw? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693425)

Backward compatible is almost never backward compatible. I go through enough "backward compatible" upgrades that fail almost monthly to know better than to believe that bullshit.

Re: Oh really, briansjw? (4, Informative)

Mabhatter (126906) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693047)

If I'm a Dev, I would be trying to use the FIXED features as much as possible, especially for desktops. So if I was working on a win 8.1 app, I just got nicked at the last minute. So when my customer upgrades at 12:01am I got no chance to get a patch in place. Behavior like that is Microsoft throwing their devs under the bus (of pissed off customers) for no good reason at all.

I think Apple still gives Devs a few days between releasing "Gold" to them and the package for general release. That way they have lead time to load up the App Store for release day.

Re: Oh really, briansjw? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693193)

Behavior like that is Microsoft throwing their devs under the bus (of pissed off customers) for no good reason at all.

Maybe they do want to make a minivan from their customers bus.

Re:Oh really, briansjw? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693063)

For the vast majority of developers with MSDN accounts, it doesn't mean anything.

For the subset of developer who absolutely must have the latest shiny thing before anyone else, it means that their co-workers are going to be spared the spectacle of a pathetic idiot trying to humblebrag about his stupid laptop in every single meeting for a few weeks.

For the tiniest, smallest subset of developers who write shrink-wrapped consumer programs, it doesn't really mean much at all. They'll be able to get the newest versions through back channels, just like they've always been able to do.

You can probably guess which group of idiots is complaining.

Re:Oh really, briansjw? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693231)

You can probably guess which group of idiots is complaining.

The security programs manufacturers (AntiMalware/firewalls/etc)? You know, the ones most sensible to changes in kernels and drivers? Even more, for which a "false positive" against a system service/dll may cause the security suite to bomb the OS?

Developers gone with Ballmer (4, Funny)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | 1 year,4 days | (#44692981)

No more Ballmer, no more Developers, Developers, Developers?

Re:Developers gone with Ballmer (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44692999)

ROFL! Buh-bye MS!

Re:Developers gone with Ballmer (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693031)

More like his final chair thrown at the developers.

Re:Developers gone with Ballmer (2)

Dracos (107777) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693081)

Everyone only heard every other word of that rant. Before every "developers!" there should be a "Fuck".

Re:Developers gone with Ballmer (1)

MrEricSir (398214) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693327)

No, Ballmer changed his mind [youtube.com] a few years later.

I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (0)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,4 days | (#44692985)

In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before [general availability].

I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but is this really true? As long as Microsoft has tested and is certain of backwards compatibility, then it doesn't matter.

In any case, who are these devs and why are they so irate? There's nothing at work worth getting emotional about. It's just work.

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693025)

In any case, who are these devs and why are they so irate? There's nothing at work worth getting emotional about. It's just work.

I'm not a dev, I'm the owner of a small company, which pretty much means my life and my work are the same. Under these conditions, it hard to stay calm when the big guys shaft me.

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693039)

And exactly how is this shafting you?

Support costs money (4, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693101)

If a behavior difference between preview and release causes an application that worked under preview to fail under release, the owners have to deal with increased support issues resulting from this failure. Support costs money.

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (2)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693125)

And exactly how is this shafting you?

"I got to feeling like a machine, and that's no way to feel." - Shaft

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (1)

DeathElk (883654) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693349)

Look at the bright side. At least now you've got time to post on Slashdot.

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (1)

Kjella (173770) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693053)

In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before [general availability].

I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but is this really true?

Well I guess in the "real world" there's no open source software, since developers and users get access to the same code at the same time. Honestly, is there really going to be a day one rush to upgrade your OS? Maybe in the slashdot crowd but the "market" will take their sweet time.

Beta users are not the majority (1)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693165)

Well I guess in the "real world" there's no open source software, since developers and users get access to the same code at the same time.

Sure, Firefox has the Beta, Aurora, and Nightly channels, Chrome has something analogous, and Ubuntu has the beta of the next semiannual Alliterative Animal version. But the vast majority of end users don't expect them to be supported in the same way that the release is supported. Beta users expect breakage. However, developers can rely on builds marked "release candidate" to be nearly identical in behavior to the RTM, especially once the final release candidate is declared RTM a short time in advance of pushing it out to the vast majority of end users. Even if this window between the release of an RC and its deployment is only a few days, it's still long enough for developers to fix those application defects that have the highest impact.

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (1)

exomondo (1725132) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693539)

Well I guess in the "real world" there's no open source software, since developers and users get access to the same code at the same time.

That really depends on the development model rather than whether it is open source or not, sometimes the source isn't released until the final product is released.

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (1)

hawguy (1600213) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693057)

In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before [general availability].

I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy, but is this really true? As long as Microsoft has tested and is certain of backwards compatibility, then it doesn't matter.
 

He said "real world". There's no such thing as 100% backwards compatibility in the real world -- every bug fix and api update introduces a potential incompatibility for a developer that inadvertently (or even intentionally) relied on the previous behavior.

In any case, who are these devs and why are they so irate? There's nothing at work worth getting emotional about. It's just work.

It's not just "work", it's lost revenue from customers that can't get your software to work, extra staffing costs to answer emails and phone calls from customers reporting problems, and hours of extra overtime work trying to fix a problem in a few days when you normally would have had 2 weeks to fix it.

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (1)

phantomfive (622387) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693141)

It's not just "work", it's lost revenue from customers that can't get your software to work, extra staffing costs to answer emails and phone calls from customers reporting problems, and hours of extra overtime work trying to fix a problem in a few days when you normally would have had 2 weeks to fix it.

Yeah, seriously, that's not worth getting emotional about.

Re: I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (1)

Mabhatter (126906) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693069)

There is "certain" and then there is "what's in the box".

How often in MICROSOFT releases do those match? In a bet-your-job kind of way?

Re:I hate Microsoft as much as the next guy (1)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693075)

Expensive popular games will run or be patched very quickly. MS productivity products will be updated or just keep working.
DirectX 11.2 is on the way too and developers can enjoy thinking about that support.
If you bought into the MS way, 'write and test their apps against Windows 8.1 Preview" seems to be the method.

New Microsoft same as OLD Microsoft .. (2)

dgharmon (2564621) | 1 year,4 days | (#44692991)

Withold access to the new APIs until their own stuff is out-the-door. Then third party developers will have to spend months playing catch-up ...

Re:New Microsoft same as OLD Microsoft .. (0)

bloodhawk (813939) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693089)

Preview release has been available for a couple of months so that argument doesn't hold water, there is nothing new that developers don't already have access too.

Re:New Microsoft same as OLD Microsoft .. (4, Insightful)

slack_justyb (862874) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693223)

I call BS. In some pink fluffy world where unicorns do prance, doth Microsoft hold steady between preview release and RTM. Preview is just that, a preview of some ideas that they may or may not keep come RTM. So developing on preview is always a gamble because the technology that was there but not mature in preview, may have just been pulled in order to make RTM timeframe.

Microsoft holding the golden bits back is just another peg in their hostilities towards developers and pretty much renders a good bit of MSDN memberships useless, not all grant you, but I know a lot of people who hold MSDN membership just so they can be ahead of the curve. Holding back is just plain silly but strangely makes sense for some company that continues to gear away from the old "Desktop Think".

I'm not judging you, it's a common thing to think preview = RTM, but historically that's just not been the case. Microsoft is prone to fiddle between the two time slots, and your program is hosed if it tickles the fancy for someone, to add some extra BOOL parameter to a method to make it work for some vendor in testing.

Preview is not equal to RTM and trying to develop software you intend to sell to someone(s) for large sums based on preview, is just begging for support tickets to flow in like the breaking of the Teton Dam. When you hear a bunch of MCSDs gather round talking about that guy, that's the guy their talking about. Don't be that guy.

Oh hell no (5, Insightful)

Just Some Guy (3352) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693043)

On Tuesday, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached RTM, subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17, saying it was not finished.

What the fuck. No. Words mean things, and "release to manufacturing" means that the software is ready for Releasing To Manufacturing. It doesn't mean "beta 15", or "we think this might be ready", or "release candidate". It means that it's ready to ship and that this is what will be going out the door on launch day.

Google's infinite betas are a bit of mild industry humor, but "beta" doesn't have an inherent definition. You can stretch it to justify almost anything. But "RTM", "release candidate", and others have very specific, unambiguous meanings. If it's not finished, it's not RTM no matter who the hell says it is.

Re:Oh hell no (0)

edibobb (113989) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693139)

I agree.

Re:Oh hell no (5, Insightful)

VortexCortex (1117377) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693153)

Yep. Came here to say this too... but also:

subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does

Well, guess we don't need MSDN subscriptions anymore then now that they're fucking useless.

Re:Oh hell no (1)

MrDoh! (71235) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693343)

Appears so, or Technet subs, oh, wait...

Re:Oh hell no (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693445)

Yep, MS wants the Technet people to shell out the $6000+ for MSDN subs which give the same thing.

MS needs devs because their last bastion is the enterprise, and right now, the enterprise is MS's bitch, but in the early 90s, the enterprise was Novell's completely. If push came to shove, RedHat can be an alternative for a lot of things, especially now that the OS is FIPS and Common Criteria certified.

Re:Oh hell no (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693315)

the timing of RTM for OEMs is simply to meet holiday production schedules. microsoft can push updates to OEMs, literally, on the production floor. if microsoft, the king of releasing software early and unfinished, says it ain't ready yet, then IT AIN'T FUCKING READY YET.

and big fucking deal.. so an app developer can't play with the final bits until public availability.. there's no rule that says their apps have to be in the 8.1 store on day 1. take a week, or two, or through the first official patch tuesday, before putting apps in the store.. it's not like 8.1 is gonna fly off shelves and jumpstart pc sales... cuz it's not...

and microsoft, what the fuck are you doing? wrap 8.1 up as a windows update or call it sp1.. sure it's "free" for win8 users, but they have to "buy" it for zero retail cost from your online store.. which means, you get to know all the little deets of every one of the upgraders.. a totally unnecessary data grab and invasion of user's privacy.... shame shame shame on you... i cant wait for the media shitstorm on release day once that lil 'catch' is "discovered" by reporters.

Re:Oh hell no (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693439)

and microsoft, what the fuck are you doing? wrap 8.1 up as a windows update or call it sp1.. sure it's "free" for win8 users, but they have to "buy" it for zero retail cost from your online store.. which means, you get to know all the little deets of every one of the upgraders.. a totally unnecessary data grab and invasion of user's privacy.... shame shame shame on you... i cant wait for the media shitstorm on release day once that lil 'catch' is "discovered" by reporters.

This is what I have been saying. While you can use Windows 8 with a local account, more and more stuff is tied to your Microsoft Account, such as accessing the Windows Store to get the 8.1 update. They know when I log on to my computer, they know when I install a certain app from the Store, and they can datamine various things here and there when I am just normally using my PC.

Re:Oh hell no (1)

Theaetetus (590071) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693423)

On Tuesday, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached RTM, subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17, saying it was not finished.

What the fuck. No. Words mean things, and "release to manufacturing" means that the software is ready for Releasing To Manufacturing. It doesn't mean "beta 15", or "we think this might be ready", or "release candidate". It means that it's ready to ship and that this is what will be going out the door on launch day.

Google's infinite betas are a bit of mild industry humor, but "beta" doesn't have an inherent definition. You can stretch it to justify almost anything. But "RTM", "release candidate", and others have very specific, unambiguous meanings. If it's not finished, it's not RTM no matter who the hell says it is.

... and yet, at the same time, if you pick up a brand new PS3 or XBox game on the release date and shove it in your console, the first thing it does is download an update. People have come to not only understand day-1 patches, but almost expect them. And yes, that sucks for developers, because while you and your customers may be fine with a day-1 patch of your software as the price of install, you still need to write that patch on a stable code base.

Issue is overblown (2, Insightful)

readingaccount (2909349) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693055)

The APIs were in the CTP. If nothing changed it shouldn't be as scary as the story indicates. Though it does make for good MS bashing, which is why it's here.

Re:Issue is overblown (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693107)

ummmm.....CTP RTM. Code needs to be tested.

Re:Issue is overblown (1)

slack_justyb (862874) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693243)

Rarely are APIs stable between preview and RTM. Unless Microsoft has also done a 180 turn for stablilty between the two points, which from the article doesn't sound like the case, I wouldn't bet on APIs being stable between the two.

Re:Issue is overblown (0)

readingaccount (2909349) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693519)

Well that's interesting, since my comment is almost a word-for-word copy of the first comment on the respective ArsTechnica article of this story, and that comment got a large number of upvotes and not a single downvote.

So I'm betting I'm right.

we're all developers. (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693073)

One commenter, 'brianjsw,' said, 'In the real world, developers must have access to the RTM bits before [general availability]. The fact that Microsoft no longer seems to understand this truly frightens me.'"

in the real world, everyone is a developer.

How are we all developers? (0)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693247)

Anonymous Coward wrote:

in the real world, everyone is a developer.

How so? In comments to stories about cryptographic lockdown policies sometimes called "walled garden", some users (who shall remain nameless for the moment) keep claiming that the vast majority of users of computing devices have no desire to learn a programming language or do anything else commonly associated with job titles that fall under "developer". This is why the lockdown inherent in game consoles and devices running iOS doesn't hinder their adoption by the general public.

Case in point: The forthcoming Xbox One console is believed to run a customized build of Windows 8 alongside the "Windows XB" used by games. If "everyone is a developer," who will have access to the Xbox One SDK?

Re:How are we all developers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693633)

not everything is about the xbox, idiot.

Re:we're all developers. (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693523)

Is everyone paying thousands of dollars for a MSDN subscription now? News to me...

Windows 8.1 is just a service pack (4, Informative)

linebackn (131821) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693105)

Keep in mind that Windows "8.1" is really just a service pack for Windows 8. Only the marketing department ran amok and decided to bump the version number to make it look like this "rapid release" shit.

It is hilarious watching all the betaz folks getting all crazy excited over a damn service pack.

Re:Windows 8.1 is just a service pack (1)

Wingman 5 (551897) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693453)

I would not call anything that bumps the kernel a minor revision number [wikipedia.org] "just a service pack".

Re:Windows 8.1 is just a service pack (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693613)

But that's kinda the point. We don't know. Linus could go and make the next kernel version 4.0.23 for all that version numbers matter. Okay in the considerably more public system that is the Linux kernel there may be push back but when it comes to Microsoft? Version numbers are hogwash. So is this RTM or we are going to start preloading a beta quality so it is out the door to meet some arbitrary holiday deadline?

Dont Care (4, Insightful)

stanlyb (1839382) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693159)

Simply put, you, the developer, are out of picture. MS, simply, don't, care, about, you, anymore. Period.

Re: Dont Care (4, Funny)

Teresita (982888) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693255)

Microsoft got burned by all those developers bad mouthing Win8 for months before it came out, which killed sales, and they won't let that happen again. It's a Google conspiracy, you see. Because Win8 is actually a great OS. Who doesn't want to sit in the office all day swiping tiles until their arm breaks off? It's good for your triceps.

Re: Dont Care (2)

AHuxley (892839) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693309)

Exactly, Windows 8 starts up fast on a SSD, the productivity and games run well with new the fast new gpu and cpus, the computer shuts down fast too.
8.1 will bring back the look and feel older people where missing and everybody will be happy.

Start screen != Start menu (3, Insightful)

tepples (727027) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693363)

8.1 will bring back the look and feel older people where missing

How so? I've read that 8.1 just brings back a visible button in the lower left to open the Start screen. It still has the same problem that the Start screen entirely covers up the applications you were using on the desktop, breaking subconscious continuity, unlike the Windows 7 Start menu or the Classic Shell Start menu that sits in the lower-left corner and leaves what you were working on visible.

Re: Dont Care (1)

mcl630 (1839996) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693579)

Because startup and shut down speed are the most important aspects of an OS? FYI, Windows 7 starts up quite fast with an SSD too, and faster GPUs and CPUs will help no matter what OS you run.

Re: Dont Care (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693645)

Uh Windows XP starts up fast on an SSD and runs well on the latest gpu and cpus. Also I can pull the plug faster than the Windows 8 machine in the office can shutdown. But no Windows 8.1 will not make everyone happy. If it truely is like the preview then it's still bad for businesses, people just trying to get their email and well basically anybody who thinks windows is a reasonable choice.

Re:Dont Care (0)

Shoten (260439) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693345)

Simply put, you, the developer, are out of picture. MS, simply, don't, care, about, you, anymore. Period.

Actually, this may not be entirely inaccurate. It seems overall that Microsoft has lost touch with what their products are supposed to fucking DO in the first place.

Exhibit A: Windows Mobile ad that shows people changing from A to B and trying to associate it somehow with Windows being part of it all. From delivery driver to stunt driver? WTF? No, this is not how it works. Stunt jobs are not in the career path that contains delivery driver, idiots. And even it they were, WINDOWS HAS FUCKING NOTHING TO DO WITH IT.

Exhibit B: That Surface RT ad that takes place in a big conference room with a round table. Holy balls. Did that group of about two dozen people do more than a millisecond's work while they were circlejerking like that?

Now, compare and contrast this with Apple's latest ad campaign about the iPhone. Put aside any IOS/Android rivalry for a moment, and look upon it with clear eyes. It says...nothing, until the end when it just says "iPhone." But what it shows, for the entire commercial...is people listening to music with headphones on. A dancer in a studio listening to a piece, looking like she's either finding inspiration or learning the music...either way she's happy. A guy on the Staten Island ferry, probably going home at the end of the day, looking out over the water at the skyline as he chills out to music. And so on. You watch it, and at least half of the experiences you see you immediately identify with. Not a word is said...and not one needs to be said. You know exactly what they are doing, and how they feel. You've been it, you've seen it, and you want to feel it again. Brilliant.

A hell of a lot more brilliant than some faggot in a suit bouncing up and down in the middle of a conference table on one hand as an argument to use a product for business, I'll say that much.

Re:Dont Care (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693463)

Missing Ballmer already?

No Worries (1)

Ed The Meek (3026569) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693197)

Microsoft still has that brilliant cash cow and business stronghold - Office - to power them through these tough times. /sarcasm

that's how you know it's quality code (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693303)

Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached RTM, subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17, saying it was not finished

if the code isnt finished, it's beta software at best.

MICROSOFT, YOU ARE SELLING BETA SOFTWARE.

Seriously (1)

stormesj (701697) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693333)

Wait there are really people developing for Windows 8?

It's not devs, it's FUD mongers (0)

elabs (2539572) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693359)

The people complaining are not Microsoft fans. Let's be honest, they had no intention of writing apps for Windows 8.1. They just wanted to get their hands on the final bits early so they could raise fear, uncertainty and doubt before the general public saw the final product in hopes of thwarting MS again. I think MS is doing the right thing by releasing to everyone at the same time.

Re:It's not devs, it's FUD mongers (3, Interesting)

mlts (1038732) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693495)

There are some exceptions: We poor IT people who see Windows Server 2012 R2 and its bump of Hyper-V heading right for our data centers, and want to be able to start testing on it as soon as possible.

A preview release won't do, as there almost definitely will be changes between it and RTM versions.

Yes, on Windows 8, it is a lot of cosmetic changes, but Windows Server 2012 R2 has a number of new features that need to be evaluated and scoped out, testbeds created, tickets to vendors made (so they can fix incompatibilities), build documents updated, AD policies checked, tests to see if the OS will work on existing hardware, and so on.

All this OS testing has to be done and well documented before anything hits the production floor. Yes, one can sit on Windows Server 2003 and not bother trying to throw anything newer, but things change, and even though ESXi might be the mainstay of virtualization now, the deduplication and VM handoff (similar to vMotion) capabilities of the 2012 R2 Hyper-V will make it extremely attractive as a competitor. This all has to be well tested and documented.

Not doing so will eventually result in a day when the auditors come by, find obsolete versions on products, demand they be upgraded... which forces the business to go head-long to the latest OS or else. Might as well ease the pain and take time to get things tested, bugs found, and workarounds documented as early as possible.

Of course, this varies from business to business. Some companies can remain on NT 4.0 and be well off. Others have lots of software and regulatory issues, which means that not keeping updated means failing security audits.

This would have never happened... (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693419)

This would have never happened and Ballmer.

But it is finished (1)

jones_supa (887896) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693481)

On Tuesday, however, Microsoft confirmed that although Windows 8.1 has reached RTM, subscribers to MSDN will not get the final code until the public does on Oct. 17, saying it was not finished.

I don't understand. RTM is the golden master which is finished.

Don't Complain (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,4 days | (#44693513)

If you walk in the woods, then you feed the mosquitos. So it goes.
If you don't like the way Microsoft treats their developers, then develop for some other vendor (or for yourself).

Could Apple buy Microsoft? (1)

Neo-Rio-101 (700494) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693533)

Do they have the cash?

I'm just thinking that it would be a fitting end to a decades long rivalry.

MS just can't stop stepping on their dicks. (1)

Chas (5144) | 1 year,4 days | (#44693615)

Hell, at this point, they're so far along they're wearing golf cleats and standing in a puddle of salty vinegar.

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