Despite evidence to the contrary lately (at least with regards to never actually delivering us a Windows 8 device despite multiple promises), Microsoft is very smart. Thy understand that the key to a successful platform lies with the developers who are creating apps that work on it; if you don’t have any useful software that runs on your operating system it becomes very difficult to persuade users your direction!
With the release of a case study, Microsoft has set out to show developers how much easier it could be to work with their platform instead of (or in addition to) Apple’s.
By first branding Apple and their iOS platform as “fun and engaging”, Microsoft tries to capitalize on that association by insinuating that Windows 8 (Consumer Preview) is all that and more. The case study is basically a marketing effort to romance developers by trying to prove that they can easily make the transition to their platform by translating “common user interface and experience patterns found in iPad apps to Windows 8 Metro style apps.”
While the case study does a nice job of showing how easy it may be to transition apps from iOS to Windows, they fail on a number of levels to be terribly persuasive. While they try to sell ‘substance over beauty’ through the entire document, they forget that developers really don’t care about that. Users might. Though the fine finishings are what has rocketed Apple to the top of the charts and Microsoft may do well to try and emulate that instead of scoff at it. Nonetheless, the bottom line for developers is whether there will be a user base that demands their app and just how much money it will make them.
For now, as a developer myself, I’m intrigued but so far Windows 8 is unproven. I will say this, in a mobile market largely dominated by Apple products with the strongest ‘us vs. them’ competition coming from Android devices currently, Microsoft has potential. Regardless of what people may say about them, there is a remarkable adoption rate for new versions of Windows even when they are deemed to be entirely unstable and less than user-friendly.