October 26, 2012 saw the next generation of Windows operating system released to the public. Windows 8.0 introduced a revolutionary change in Windows: the ability to run on ARM devices, tight integration with touch, and a desktop side that greatly improves on the advances of Windows 7. Less than a year later, on October 17, 2013, Microsoft released Windows 8.1. In operating system terms, this is pretty close to the speed of light! Even more surprising, it is a free upgrade, readily available from the Microsoft Store.
From a developer perspective, there are a lot of improvements (and some breaking changes). Please see our blog posts starting with http://blogs.telerik.com/windows8team/posts/13-08-19/what-s-new-in-windows-8-1-for-developers-part-1 to get more information on what’s new.
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions
What’s a developer to do? Upgrade to the latest and greatest and use Visual Studio 2013 to build for Windows 8.1? Or stay with Visual Studio 2012 and target Windows 8.0? Actually, that decision is much more straightforward than what we are usually faced with such as WinForms vs. WPF, or WPF vs. Windows 8 Modern Applications.
While Windows 8 (all versions) adoption is not what the press and pundits expected (although it is on par with Windows XP adoption in its first year), an overwhelming number of Windows 8 users are upgrading to Windows 8.1. It’s free, easy to install, and it returns the start button! The users have spoken with their upgrades. Windows 8.1 is the clear choice for Windows 8 users.
Looking at the Data
Here at Telerik we pay a lot of attention to data. While we are at events, we are talking to, and more importantly listening to, you about your development joys, pains, likes, and dislikes. We look at what versions and tools are downloaded from our site (trials and purchases). We look at support tickets to see where the issues are and what versions people are using. Don’t worry - we are not tracking this at the individual level. But the patterns and numbers help us make decisions on what matters most – making you the developer even more productive.
The Numbers Are In
We had a decision to make. Supporting both Windows 8.0 and Windows 8.1 development with our Windows 8 Controls (both XAML and WinJS) would take significantly more effort than just moving the Windows 8.1 versions forward. And that extra effort would have been duplicate work in parallel code bases, detracting from advancing the products to better meet your needs.
We looked at the numbers, and it was obvious. Our developers are already overwhelmingly using the Windows 8.1 versions of our controls. Does this mean we are getting rid of the Windows 8.0 versions? NO! Of course not. They will both still be available for download. But starting with 2013Q3SP2, we will only be updating the Windows 8.1 versions of the controls.
Download your free evaluation of our Windows 8 Controls now!