Mobile Developer News Roundup for Friday, May 25, 2012

The Verge have published their review of the Samsung Galaxy S III. Their score: 8.5 out of 10, with the good points being unequalled performance, excellent camera, functionally sound design and “Android tweaks have mostly been for the better” and the bad points being “aesthetically challenged”, TouchWiz takes getting used to, S Voice is no less of a gimmick than Siri and “Samsung has a history of failing to update phones on time”.

Neowin are reporting on Dell’s upcoming Windows 8 tablet, a 10.8″ device with an Intel Clover Trail Atom Dual Core processor, 2 gigs of RAM, SSD-based mass storage options with sized up to 128GB and two sizes of removable battery. My favourite comment to the article is the first one, which is pretty much what I thought when reading the article: “All for the price of $1,500” (Dell haven’t announced the price of the tablet yet, but it’s a good bet that given the problems that PC manufacturers now have competing with Apple on price and that it’s part of Dell’s Latitude — business — line, it’s going to be pricier than any iPad.)

Express versions of Visual Studio 11 will be for Metro and web apps only. If you want to write a command-line or old-school Windows desktop app, you’re going to have to shell out about $500 for Visual Studio Pro or qualify for one of the “Spark” programs for students, startups or other demographics to whom Microsoft is willing to give their IDEs for free.

Ars Technica says that this change is a bad one, particularly for those who are just getting started out programming because there will be no current tools with the ability to develop simple command-line “Hello World”-style apps. I disagree; it’s possible to build GUI-based versions of “Hello World” that are still simple to implement, and I’d even argue these days that it’s necessary, given that when people think of “apps” these days, they think of the things they see on phones, not on the command line. I can see why Microsoft is doing this — it’s to foster the development of more Metro apps as well as to get more people to think of Windows as a web platform too — but I also think it’ll drive more people to Ruby, Python, PHP and other languages where the IDE doesn’t rule all. I just don’t think it’s the complete disaster that Ars Technica and others make it out to be.


3 replies on “Mobile Developer News Roundup for Friday, May 25, 2012”

I think you have been mislead by the Ars Technica article.

Command-line and old-school Windows desktop apps can still be authored using the Visual Studio 2010 Express versions. It means that you must target .NET Framework 4.0 rather than 4.5 but they still work. You do not have to shell out for the Professional SKU.

“If you would like to use a language specific Express edition (C# Express, Visual Basic Express, or C++ Express) without specialized tooling for the latest platforms, you can use the Visual Studio 2010 Express editions, which will continue to be available as free downloads.”

I have a hunch that they will appear later. The focus is on getting a free IDE out that supports Win8 development and a paid one with more features. Once the dust clears on VS11 and W8, they might come. Of course, I could be wrong … I have no inside knowledge.

Eddie Butt: Like you, I agree that Ars Technica are making too big a deal of the Metro- and web-only compiling for Visual Studio Express.

I just think that people, especially in the Windows world, like working with current toolsets, with all the features they offer, with not just the IDE, but languages and frameworks. I also forgot that Microsoft actually does have a track record of keeping earlier versions of Visual Studio Express around and relatively easy to find.

I think a good compromise might be an Express version that lets you build command-line apps in addition to Metro. For Express, I don’t think not being able to build old-school desktop apps is much of a loss.

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