Why you should not develop apps for Windows 10



  • A Windows 8 app developer (who ranted about W8 app limitations before) gives up on Windows app ecosystem entirely.


    Me: Hi, since Windows 10, my apps cannot be found in your App store anymore. Please help, and please don't send me that "we have no control over the search results" text you seem to just paste into the forum.

    Microsoft: Hi, we don't have any control over the search results in the app store.

    ...

    So it seems like they don't care. The quality of the App Store is extremely low - no wonder - there are probably nice apps in there, but they cannot be found at all. Why should any developer create an app for Windows 10, if the sales will likely be zero?

    ...

    With Windows 8, the process of creating software for their app store was really nice. The documentation is great, signing, testing, verifying and uploading was a piece of cake. And the website for managing all this (named 'Dashboard') and looking at your sales was impressive. With Windows 10 thing got worse. There is no way to update your Windows 8 (.1) C++ project to Windows 10. You have to manually edit your solution and project files with a text editor at a few dozen places to make them work. And they replaced that Dashboard with a new version, which is barely useable, shows only half of the information and only works if you have a very big screen and surfing with a browser made full size. Really strange.

    ...

    Whatever the reason for all this is, I won't develop any apps for Windows 10 anymore, since I cannot make any money with them.


    Whatever slight chance there was for MS to turn the ship around with W8, it seems even less likely for that to happen now. Only their increasingly improving hardware can potentially save them now.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    The only Windows 10 app I installed from the store was:

    • probably just a Win8 app either poorly ported or using some kind of compatibility layer. I suspect the latter because it had a "go to fullscreen mode" button (:fa_compress: but with arrows outward) which I saw nowhere else, and multiple people confirmed they haven't either
    • was just a browser embedded into a window
    • DIDN'T FUCKING WORK! The main part of the application is a canvas or something (didn't check). No mouse events were registered - clicking, scrolling, nothing. Meaning it was completely unusable, all I could do is log in and that's it.

    Ended up using the "web" version (read: same shit, just in any browser), as crappy as it was, at least it worked.

    As much as I hate the idea, MS needs to go the Apple way, or at least review apps with enough low ratings in a certain period or something. They have provably broken shit in there, and they can't afford such blunders if they ever want to grow the ecosystem.



  • When VSCode team picked GitHub's electron instead of Microsoft's own "universal" app framework, it tells you all you need to know about the future of that platform.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    To be fair, I thought that was a multiplatform concern.



  • @Onyx said:

    To be fair, I thought that was a multiplatform concern.

    Universal app is supposed to be multiplatform as well. There must be such a stench spreading from that hotspot internally, that the VSCode guys quietly slithered away towards a sane solution.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    When sane solution's description is "Build cross platform desktop apps with web technologies" and involves running Node.js, I think the stench already spread too far...


  • sockdevs

    @cartman82 said:

    When VSCode team picked GitHub's electron instead of Microsoft's own "universal" app framework, it tells you all you need to know about the future of that platform.

    "Universal App" means it'll run on PC, tablet, and phone, but they're still limited to just Windows; there's a reason they're called Universal Windows Platform Apps.
    VSCode however runs on Windows, Linux, and OSX, so by definition has to use something else, in this case Node.js.


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    I like that Skype abandoned the "modern" app in favor of the old, legacy desktop app.

    And that Windows RT tablets (now deprecated!) included the desktop environment too because they couldn't be arsed to finish porting their apps (specially Office) to the new platform.

    A clusterfuck of platforms, Microsoft-style™.



  • @anonymous234 said:

    I like that Skype abandoned the "modern" app in favor of the old, legacy desktop app.

    A clusterfuck of platforms, Microsoft-style™.

    Yeah, even Microsoft pressing down from the top couldn't force them to swallow that turd.



  • @Onyx said:

    a "go to fullscreen mode" button (:fa_compress: but with arrows outward) which I saw nowhere else, and multiple people confirmed they haven't either

    That’s a common symbol on OS X for that function. Or was, anyway, before Apple repurposed the green button in the title bar for the same thing.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I have seen the symbol on some themes / WMs on Linux as well.

    The important part is that it makes it go in "Metro" fullscreen: no taskbar, no titlebar, nothing. Apparently "proper" Win10 apps don't do this. Or so I've been told.



  • It's like the clusterfuck that was the mobile 7 to 8 transition, and now the 8 to 10 transition. Microsoft are manhandling their ecosystem so fucking badly, it seems like they are actively trying to scare people away.



  • I haven't really installed any Windows 10 apps[1] and I did have to uninstall some junk ones (Candy Crush, Skype); but one app I do like is Films & TV (the new video player). It actually allows you to press space to pause the video like YouTube (and probably most other video sites) and unlike Windows Media Player.

    [1] I did install Minecraft Windows 10 Edition to see if I could decompile it, but it turns out that it's a native application rather than a .NET one so I didn't bother (I'm not entirely sure if all apps are compiled to native code). This does make sense since it's a port of Pocket Edition, which is written in C++.


  • area_deu

    @anonymous234 said:

    old, legacy desktop app

    Try holding Ctrl and scrolling the mouse wheel while on Skype's home screen.



  • @cartman82 said:

    Hi, we don't have any control over the search results in the app store.

    They are MS. They built W8 and W10. They control how compatible apps are between W8 and W10. They control the search algorithm for both.

    In short for MS to say they don't have control over the software they developed is to say they're shit developers.

    Anyone see anything wrong with this logic? Is there a variable I missed?


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @anonymous234 said:

    I like that Skype abandoned the "modern" app in favor of the old, legacy desktop app.

    They didn't. You can now install a phone app, a video chat app and a messaging app on your Windows 10 device. All 3 are connected to your Skype account.

    Yes, that's worse than the previous situation, but I guess they wanted to unify the Windows 10 UI/apps somehow (same apps on PC and mobile).


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @aliceif said:

    Try holding Ctrl and scrolling the mouse wheel while on Skype's home screen.

    Does that reorder the messages so they're in chronological order again?


  • Notification Spam Recipient

    Well that's just confusing. Maybe they should try explaining it somewhere? Because I sure wouldn't have figured it out.

    And it's only true for Windows 10. 8.1 came with a modern Skype app that no longer works, you have to use the desktop application.

    Also, in my Windows 10 system, there's a "Get Skype" app that redirects you to the website to download the desktop app... so :wtf:?



  • @Shoreline said:

    They are MS. They built W8 and W10. They control how compatible apps are between W8 and W10. They control the search algorithm for both.

    In short for MS to say they don't have control over the software they developed is to say they're shit developers.

    Anyone see anything wrong with this logic? Is there a variable I missed?

    I would not be surprised if the Windows Store's search functionality was built on top of something which they acquired a long time ago (such as FAST Search) but is now split out across a plethora of products, none of which are maintained actively anymore. And even if they are, the Windows Store guys depend on the availability of the Search engineers. Which is probably just a handful of people because most have moved on to greener pastures.



  • @Onyx said:

    As much as I hate the idea, MS needs to go the Apple way, or at least review apps with enough low ratings in a certain period or something.

    I can assure you, that Microsoft does review the apps, at least the ones phones. And they reject apps for reasons like uploading screenshots taken on different platform (recognized by wrong status bar; the app looks the same everywhere otherwise). But how much they really test the app, not sure. Probably they don't.

    In fact, I would argue they are following Apple closely and that they should do so less. See, Google Play does not review the apps, but while it is full of shite too, it has enough good apps that nobody seems to complain much. It is the lack of good apps for Windows that is the problem, not the existence of crappy ones.


  • sockdevs

    I find it interesting so many are so willing to criticise MS's search, and yet ignore the fact the apps may simply not be tagged correctly.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    Well, apparently I'm not the only one for whom that specific app didn't work so... whatever happened, it resulted in an utterly broken app.



  • @Onyx said:

    I suspect the latter because it had a "go to fullscreen mode" button (:fa_compress: but with arrows outward) which I saw nowhere else, and multiple people confirmed they haven't either

    I've seen that on several W10 apps, it's fairly standard.

    @asdf said:

    They didn't. You can now install a phone app, a video chat app and a messaging app on your Windows 10 device. All 3 are connected to your Skype account.

    Install? They're bundled with Windows 10 now, no installation necessary. They just weren't in the first public build of Windows 10. Okay, so I guess you have to "install" the update that will upgrade your system if you got Windows 10 before then.



  • I am not saying the reviewers actually test the application thoroughly. They apparently don't, if they test it at all. They are picking nits (not that apple ones did anything else).

    Also clearly there are incompatibilities between Win8 and Win10.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    I find it interesting so many are so willing to criticise MS's search, and yet ignore the fact the apps may simply not be tagged correctly.

    If the article in the OP is to be believed, the app couldn't be found by searching for any of the words in its title, description or keywords.

    I've never actually tried to find anything in the Windows Store, so I have no idea how often this happens.


  • sockdevs

    The article also clarifies a certain point:

    Update 2: The way they say they have no control over the search results was also quite shortened by me. Their exact words are: "Please note that we do not control or guarantee the way an app is found within the store. There have been some changes made to the search algorithms and [...] we have no impact on how apps are found."

    In other words, he changed the quote to fit his narrative.



  • @Choonster said:

    If the article in the OP is to be believed, the app couldn't be found by searching for any of the words in its title, description or keywords.

    Well, if the application was incorrectly tagged, the search would filter it out as incompatible, so it would not be found. The :wtf: is the support saying they have no control over the search results instead of giving some hints including one to check the tags.

    @RaceProUK said:

    In other words, he changed the quote to fit his narrative.

    Not in a way that would change the basic fact that the response was useless though.



  • @Bulb said:

    Well, if the application was incorrectly tagged, the search would filter it out as incompatible, so it would not be found. The :wtf: is the support saying they have no control over the search results instead of giving some hints including one to check the tags.

    When you say tags, are you talking about keywords (e.g. "productivity", "spreadsheets") or compatibility (e.g. "Compatible with Desktop, Tablet and Mobile")?


  • sockdevs

    I'm willing to bet they get thousands if not millions of similar 'issues' reported every week; if they responded to each one with a full investigation, they'd have no time to sort out the real issues. Plus, it's fairly obvious the guy isn't using a paid support line; if he was, he'd have got a better response i.e. you get what you pay for.



  • @Choonster said:

    When you say tags, are you talking about

    compatiblity, e.g. "Compatible with small screens", "compatible with large screens", "compatible with touch", "compatible with mouse", "requires position" and such.

    @RaceProUK said:

    if they responded to each one with a full investigation

    I am not saying they should do full investigation. I am saying they should have an actually helpful response along the lines of "application not being found might be because of this, that, compatibility tags, etc." instead of what is essentially "we don't know what the search does either".

    @RaceProUK said:

    Plus, it's fairly obvious the guy isn't using a paid support line; if he was, he'd have got a better response i.e. you get what you pay for.

    That's all fine and everything, but it is Microsoft's best interest to have many apps including many free apps and they won't get free apps without providing at least somewhat useful free support.


  • sockdevs

    @Bulb said:

    That's all fine and everything, but it is Microsoft's best interest to have many apps including many free apps and they won't get free apps without providing at least somewhat useful free support.

    I wouldn't expect MS to invest much time and resources into helping people with free apps, given how little they'll be making off them. Same for Apple and Google, and anyone who runs an app store sort of thing.



  • Apple could afford fucking with developers, because they started first and so could not be easily ignored. Google can afford ignoring developers, because they have the largest marketshare, and because they at least cared for them by providing fewest entry barriers. But Microsoft does not have either. They want to catch up and to do that they need the 3rd party developers.

    Microsoft is a large company. Some parts of it seem to realize this, others don't.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    In other words, he changed the quote to fit his narrative.

    I don't see anything there that changes the narrative. The details left out seem totally superfluous to me. Can you explain why you disagree?

    EDIT: And it frankly sounds like what you get when you call an automated call handler that always tells you that the options have been updated in an attempt to get you to listen to them.


  • sockdevs

    His shortened quote implied that MS have no control over how the search works, which is obviously :cow::poop:; the longer response states that MS has no control over how the users use the search, which is correct.



  • He doesn't mention, but also the App Store seems prone to breakage on computers upgraded to Windows 10.

    My step-sister had a computer on Windows 8.1, and she liked the Store to download little games for her young son. She upgraded, and now it no longer works with a vague error message.

    Kind of a shame, but not a surprise. I don't think Microsoft ever seriously had their heart in it, Gabe Newell's irrational worry aside.



  • @swayde said:

    Microsoft are manhandling their ecosystem so fucking badly, it seems like they are actively trying to scare people away.

    Hm. They're still good at what matters.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    His shortened quote implied that MS have no control over how the search works, which is obviously :cow::poop:; the longer response states that MS has no control over how the users use the search, which is correct.

    I guess we'll agree to disagree, but I see how you could interpret it that way.



  • @Choonster said:

    If the article in the OP is to be believed, the app couldn't be found by searching for any of the words in its title, description or keywords.

    Looks like they use Bing's search engine :wink:



  • @cartman82 said:

    A Windows 8 app developer (who ranted about W8 app limitations before) gives up on Windows app ecosystem entirely.
    ...
    The quality of the App Store is extremely low
    ...
    Whatever the reason for all this is, I won't develop any apps for Windows 10 anymore, since I cannot make any money with them.

    OK. Their app store sucks.

    How did Windows developers make money before the App Store? Isn't it possible to do the same thing today?

    This isn't an iPhone where there App Store is the only way to install third-party software into a (non-hacked) device. Windows users can still download your installer from your own web site or from third-party software sales/distribution sites.


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @David_C said:

    OK. Their app store sucks.

    How did Windows developers make money before the App Store? Isn't it possible to do the same thing today?

    This isn't an iPhone where there App Store is the only way to install third-party software into a (non-hacked) device. Windows users can still download your installer from your own web site or from third-party software sales/distribution sites.

    Then why the fuck even bother building an app store if you are going to half-ass it and make a pile of :hankey:?



  • All the Dev stuff is still good, but the political things are...



  • @Polygeekery said:

    Then why the fuck even bother building an app store if you are going to half-ass it and make a pile of :hankey:?

    That's Microsoft's problem. There is no reason developers have to put up with it if it's broken.


  • sockdevs

    @swayde said:

    All the Dev stuff is still good, but the political things are...

    No different to any other big company



  • @David_C said:

    OK. Their app store sucks.

    How did Windows developers make money before the App Store? Isn't it possible to do the same thing today?

    They packaged a bunch of floppy disks into a carboard box. Then threw in a paper manual and registration card, and shipped it off to a brick and mortar store. Then people walked in, paid for the box with their paper money, carried it home and installed the software.

    That's not coming back.



  • @RaceProUK said:

    any other big company

    I miss sun



  • Does WinZip rings any bells?



  • @Polygeekery said:

    Then why the fuck even bother building an app store

    Well, it's the only (realistic) way of distributing metro/universal apps... (you're really going to try to explain to a non-computer person how to side-load? That'll be entertaining!)



  • @cartman82 said:

    They packaged a bunch of floppy disks into a carboard box. Then threw in a paper manual and registration card, and shipped it off to a brick and mortar store. Then people walked in, paid for the box with their paper money, carried it home and installed the software.

    I'm talking about what was done 2 years ago and you're talking about what was done 20 years ago.

    There are plenty of other download sites for software. Some run by the developers or their publishers, and some that aggregate content from a lot of developers. Why is that unacceptable just because Microsoft says they want to be the only game in town?


  • Grade A Premium Asshole

    @dcon said:

    Well, it's the only (realistic) way of distributing metro/universal apps... (you're really going to try to explain to a non-computer person how to side-load? That'll be entertaining!)

    Yeah, I had not considered that as I never use any of those type of apps. They could shitcan the entire Metro interface and I would have a better experience.


  • Impossible Mission Players - A

    @dcon said:

    That'll be entertaining!

    False, the aftermath actions of said non-computer person will end up as an Article!


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