Which company has not one, not two, but three operating systems being actively developed at the same time? Microsoft does, and they’re getting tired of it.
The strongest suggestion of this comes with Microsoft executive Julie Larson-Green’s statement that “We [Microsoft] have the Windows Phone OS. We have Windows RT and we have full Windows. We’re not going to have three,” at the UBS Global Technology Summit last week. The straightness of the statement strongly hints at a potential axing of an existing OS. And given each OS’s relative success, it’s not difficult to surmise which.
Although the bluntness may come off as rather shocking, we all should have seen it coming sooner or later, with trails of bread crumbs here and there. This is evident with comments made by Terry Myerson, executive vice president of Microsoft, who said that “We [Microsoft] should have one set of developer APIs on all of our devices. And all of the apps we bring to end users should be available on all of our devices,” in September.
So which OS will be axed? Well, all the fingers point towards Windows RT, the lonely and confusing child that never quite knew who it wanted to be. And Microsoft doesn’t know either, with Larson-Green admitting “We didn’t explain [Windows RT] super-well. I think we didn’t differentiate the devices well enough.” She went as far as saying that “[Microsoft] should not have called it Windows.”
Windows RT will most likely be ‘gently’ merged with Windows Phone rather than suffer an immediate death. According to the Verge, Windows RT in some shape or form will be seen on mobile devices in the future, with Myerson complimenting the long battery life and large connectivity options and potential of ARM-based devices, on which Windows RT runs.
Despite this, troubling comments have been uttered by Larson-Green at the same summit that will possibly impact the potential of Windows and any future Windows OS being developer-friendly, or at least to an extent that is remotely close to Android. As she explains,
“you look at iPad in particular, and it’s a turnkey, closed system. It doesn’t degrade over time….It doesn’t get viruses. It’s not as flexible, you can’t do as much with it, but it’s a more seamless experience, even though more simplified….So we believe in that vision and that direction and we’re continuing down that path.”
This is a strong hint that Windows will probably be trying to keep to themselves in the corner of the room, much like Apple. It doesn’t bode well for developers who are hoping that maybe, just maybe, Microsoft may make Windows more open to development.
What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s vision and future plans? Have they gotten it right, or are they just digging themselves a deeper hole? Share them with us below.
October 17, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
If you’re a Spotify user running Windows 8/8.1 or RT, you may have noticed that there’s currently no official offering available in the Windows App Store. While x86 users can simply download the official client directly from Spotify’s website, ARM-based users aren’t so lucky.
To alleviate this, XDA Forum Member hsalps created Spotlite and uploaded it to the Windows App Store. The application supports x86, x86-64, and ARM processors.
In addition to allowing Spotify members to listen to music, Spotlite lets you play playlists, search for songs/albums/playlists/artists, and it gives you personalized recommendations based on your listening habits. Initially, the app only allowed users with Spotify premium memberships to listen to music. Now, however, Spotlite allows free Spotify users to login and play music.
If you’re a Windows on ARM user, or even if you’re an x86 user looking for a different experience, Spotlite may be worth a look. Head over to the application thread to get started.
October 7, 2013 By: Will Verduzco
Some time ago, we took a look at a simple, open source application for Windows 8 by XDA Senior Member Beatsleigher that returned CPU information on demand. Telling you all sorts of parameters, the application was useful for all of us looking to learn a little more about the architecture used in our desktop-class processors.
Since then, Beatsleigher has received many requests to port the application to C++ or C# in order to allow other developers to create an app similar to the admittedly awesome CPU-Z. Rather than simply porting the app, Beatsleigher instead created a .Net library that has most of the functionality of DetectCPU, and then some.
SysLib was created using Visual Basic .Net, and it can be used in any .Net application. This includes apps coded with Visual Basic .Net, C#, and Visual C++. Currently, it features three classes: CPU, motherboard, and battery.
Using the library is simple. First off, you need to have .Net 2.0 or higher and use the framework in your app. To get started, add the DLL as a reference to your program. Then, import the library to your app’s classes. Finally, add the class as a variable.
If you’re an app developer looking to read CPU, motherboard, and battery data, SysLib has the potential to make itself quite useful. Head over to the original thread to get started. And if you’d like to take a look at the source code, Beatsleigher has it available over on his Github.
June 3, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
Get started with Windows 8 development with a handy tutorial. That and more are covered by Jordan, as he reviews all the important stories from this week. Included in this week’s news is an article about connecting certain Samsung devices via USB Mass Storage protocol and adding a physical camera button to your Sony Xperia Z.
Jordan talks about the other videos released this week on XDA Developer TV. XDA Developer TV Producer Jayce released a video on salary negotiation tips and tricks, which was followed up with a video on tips and tricks for the toughest job interview questions. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 17, 2013 By: Former Writer
One of the main limitations of Windows RT is that most 32- and 64-bit applications aren’t compatible. Therefore, if you are buying a Microsoft Surface and intend to install all your favorite Windows programs, then you’re going to have a bad time. To remedy this issue, XDA Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie has begun an initiative to get some desktop apps compiled for RT users.
So far the initiative has gotten attention from a number of users and developers. To begin with, everyone has been focusing on re-compiling free, open source software to work on Windows RT. Here is the current list of applications that have been ported already:
Bochs. x86 Emulator. Known issue: no network support.
TightVNC. VNC server and client.
PuTTY Suite. SSH/Rsh/telnet client and helpers. Printing fixed in this build.
7-Zip. Utility for file archives and disk images.
Notepad++. Powerful but simple text/code editor. New direct link:
SciTE. Code editor (Thanks to XDA-Devs member FearTheCowboy)
IP Messenger. Peer-to-peer chat/file transfer.
Unikey 3.1. Vietnamese character entry tool. This version is out of date, but is the latest with full source code available.
Unikey 3.6. Known issue: without RtfIO, the “Toolkit” and “Conversion on the fly” features won’t work. (Thanks minhtuan99bk)
CrystalBoy. Nintendo Gameboy emulator. Known issue: uses GDI+ instead of DirectX, may reduce performance. Reported issue: JIT is broken so games don’t actually play (unconfirmed). Thanks to DXA-Developers member daveoggy.
In addition to working on the porting, GoodDayToDie is also keeping a running list of applications that work without modification. These include Mouse Without Borders and Keepass Portable. This is a great initiative by everyone involved, and it continues the great development currently in progress for Windows 8 and RT. Also, do check back on the list frequently, as both lists are sure to grow.
For more details, check out the original thread.
January 14, 2013 By: Jimmy McGee
How to increase touch screen responsiveness on the Microsoft Surface is one of the stories from this weekend on XDA-Developers. Also, you can calibrate Windows 8 touch screens with more accuracy. However, other news items happened this weekend. XDA News Specialist Jordan covers some of those stories. He talks about cleaning bloatware and adding some Android 4.2 apps with PalaTool.
In XDA news, Jordan talks about his Huawei Ascend Mate Hands-on video. Also, Jordan mentions securing Android devices with SecDriod. Finally, all in one toolkits were released for the HTC Explorer, Desire V and Desire S. Pull up a chair and check out this video.
January 13, 2013 By: Former Writer
Despite not being an actual mobile OS, Windows 8 has seen a surprising amount of development here at XDA. Whether it’s because of the Windows App Store or the Microsoft Surface is uncertain, but users and developers alike have been adding some great content for Windows 8 users. There is now a tutorial that will allow for more than four calibration points on touch screen devices running Windows 8.
XDA Senior Member young blade posted the tutorial for a number of screen resolutions. Users who use it will be able to break free from the usual four points to as many as 150 points. As young blade explains:
4a) As mine touchscreen is 22″ 1680×1050 I calculated the folowing line to get 150 calibration touch points:
4b) If your screen resolution is 1280×800 and you want 36 calibration see the following line:
There is support for other resolutions as well, but anything below 1280×800 requires a little additional work on the part of the user. None of it is overly difficult, and most of it takes place in the command prompt. Once done, however, the touch screen should be easier to use—especially for older applications not optimized with larger touch targets.
For the full tutorial, check out the original thread.
January 10, 2013 By: Former Writer
While some have many bad things to say about Windows 8, others are doing what they can to make the experience more enjoyable for everyone. Thus, Windows 8 has received an unnaturally healthy amount of development from XDA community members and developers, despite not being a mobile OS. One limitation is that Microsoft doesn’t allow use of most of the Win32 API. There is now a way around that.
The workaround was written by XDA Recognized Developer mamaich, a known legend whose development here dates back to 2004 when he overclocked the successor to our namesake, the XDA2. Here is mamaich’s more in depth explanation:
As we know, MS prohibits using most of standard Win32 API in Windows Store applications. Obviously there are lots of ways to overcome this limit and to call any API you like, if you are not going to publish your app on Windows Store. And here is one of them.
Idea is really simple and rather old (lots of viruses use it): search for kernel32.dll base in memory, then parse its exports for LoadLibraryA and GetProcAddress, call them – and get profit.
Writing here so this post can be indexed by google.
So far, users have reported that the hack works quite well. It’s been tested on x86, x64, and ARM processors, and is confirmed working on all of them. There are still some limitations with official Metro apps, but this does help open possibilities quite a bit. To learn more, head over to the original thread.
January 8, 2013 By: Former Writer
Since SSDs are becoming increasingly affordable and commonplace, computer enthusiasts have been adding them to their computers in greater frequency. And for those who dare, RAIDed configurations yield even more insane speeds (albeit without TRIM on all but a handful of SSD and chipset combinations). However, because they are still somewhat expensive, most buy smaller SSDs and a larger storage HDD. With the release of Windows 8, came the Windows App Store. This by default installs Metro Apps to the main drive. This can fill up a SSD rather quickly, and now there is a method to get around it.
XDA Recognized Developer GoodDayToDie has written up a tutorial on how users can get Metro Apps to install to a different hard drive so that the SSD doesn’t have to hold all of those apps. Initially, it was an answer to a question asked by XDA Senior Member trettet.
The method isn’t time consuming or very difficult. Fans of the command prompt should have no trouble whatsoever. Because Windows 8 doesn’t give users the option to choose which drive to install apps to, users have to create a symlink. They copy the original Metro Apps folder to the other hard drive, delete the old one on the C Drive, then create a symlink to the newly copied folder on the other hard drive. From then on, Metro Apps should be installed on the other drive.
For all the instructions, check out the original thread.
Windows 8 packs a lot of differences from Windows 7. The absent start menu is perhaps the most noticeable, and many consider it to be a misstep for those not lucky enough to be on a touch screen device. However, one of the better features of Windows 8 is the incorporation of an app store, which allows users to more easily obtain applications in a manner similar to Android, Mac OS, iOS, and of course most distros of Linux. Now, there is an app for Windows 8 devices that gives you quick access to the latest and greatest on the XDA Portal.
XDA Forum Member kuartz developed a quick and simple application that gives Windows 8 users quick access to the latest content on the XDA Portal. It goes without saying that this is one of our favorite Windows 8 apps developed so far (wink, wink). It really is a pretty simple application that’s easy to use. It is important to note, however, that this third-party and not an official XDA app.
To install, users simply enter the Windows App Store, find the application and install it. A tile gets automatically placed on the start menu. Then, users can click on the icon and the latest articles and XDA TV videos will be right there for your enjoyment. Click on one of the article tiles and it’ll open right up in the app. So far, the only bug found has been that XDA TV videos aren’t viewable like they are in web browsers. So if you see a video you gotta see, just head to the Portal itself to view them.
For a link to the app in the Windows Market and for more details, check out the original thread.
December 17, 2012 By: Former Writer
Android has enjoyed a myriad of emulators for quite some time now. There are emulators for SNES, NES, Genesis, PlayStation, N64, and many more. With the release of Windows 8 RT, developers have a chance to introduce the emulator goodness all over again. Microsoft Surface owners can now get their hands on a SNES emulator.
XDA Forum Member Vdek has posted about a SNES emulator found on the Windows Store. Here is the brief description and feature list from the Windows Store:
Snes8x is a Super Nintendo emulator for Windows 8 and Windows RT. The app is based on Snes9x, a free and portable SNES emulator.
Play Super Nintendo games
Support for virtual touch controls and keyboard input
If you were a SNES buff and you own the Microsoft Surface, prepare to go hunting for ROMs because now you can play your old favorites all over again. Also in the app description, it mentions support for ARM, x86, and x86-64 instruction sets. So if you’d like to try this out on a laptop or desktop running Windows 8, you can go right ahead.
For the Windows Store link, discussion, and additional info, check out the original thread.
December 3, 2012 By: Jimmy McGee
The HTC HD2 lives on, and more, in today’s news round-up with Jordan. In this episode, Jordan talks about the HTC HD2 getting a Windows Phone 8 port. In other news, Jordan talks about the HTC Desire HD getting a source-built 4.2.1 ROM and kernel. Jordan also talks about adding your own toggles in Android 4.2 Quick Settings.
Jordan talks about being able to restore the internal SD card after a bootloader unlock on the Galaxy Nexus. Also, Jordan mentions UnBrickable SD for the Samsung Galaxy Camera by XDA Elite Recognized Developer AdamOutler. Pull up a chair and check out this video.