Redmond, Washington -- It is not surprising that the Redmond Vole has already ruffled more than a few feathers with the exclusionary potential of its impending Windows 8 operating system, but recently, in a drastic move that has surprised and shocked users more, is that Microsoft has confirmed that as of Visual Studio 11, it will be pulling development of desktop applications from its free Express Suite, leaving those who are looking to write apps that are not full-screen Metro to look towards Visual Studio 11 Professional, which starts at around £350.
Developers grumble that they are hugely disappointed that Microsoft will not permit them to use the free version of the latest Visual Studio Express to create apps for Windows 8. The simple and greedy reason this time has been its Visual Studio 11 product line, new details about which the company published earlier this month.
In fact it is pretty obvious that Microsoft wishes to promote indie groups and users just becoming familiar with Windows programming to write apps for Metro, spreading the love to tablets, which have to compete with the huge stock of existing apps present on iOS and Android.
Specifically, the company recently presented its plan for the new iteration of Visual Studio products, but alterations to the way the tools can be employed are only just surfacing.
However, now with the recent Microsoft edict, it looks like the free, Express version of the forthcoming new product--widely used by many developers to create open source desktop applications for Windows--will no longer offer support for desktop-style applications. Instead, Visual Studio 2011 Express edition will only allow developers to build touchscreen-friendly programs for the new Windows 8 Metro UI, according to the software's product page here.
In a move seen as petty by the hobbyists on the receiving end of the announcement, Microsoft is insisting that developers wanting to write desktop apps obtain the professional version of the software, which costs $500 (over £300).
Sadly, coders will have to fork out hefty amount for Visual Studio 11 Professional or higher if they want to build anything other than the webbified fondleslab apps for Windows 8. A release candidate for the new operating system is due to be delivered in the first week of June.
Pricing for the professional edition starts at about £300 ($499).
Keeping the lid slightly open, Microsoft will, however, continue to make elements of Visual Studio 2010 Express available for free download--this includes Visual Basic 2010 Express, Visual C++ 2010 Express, and Visual C# 2010 Express.
“I was looking forward to the release, but this is really a punch in the face. I know Microsoft is pushing Metro like crazy, but I never expected that you would leave all desktop hobby developers,” a poster called Trillian X wrote on a Microsoft forum.
Further information on pricing and policy have yet to be released. Though, it is worth noting that Microsoft operates a scheme called WebsiteSpark which 'entitles Web designers and developers a jump-start by providing the tools and resources needed to build great websites, free of cost'. Worth having a look.