Microsoft Blows

By | 2012-05-30

Microsoft Delivers a Blow to Open Source with Visual Studio 11

When I read this headline, I thought, “oh, oh, Microsoft are going to try and compete with the open source compiler by giving away Visual Studio 11”. After all, they’ve got the money for it, and charging developers to write software for your operating system has always seemed a pretty crazy idea to me. After all, how much money do they really make from selling a few copies of Visual Studio versus the number of people who are stuck with Windows because their favourite applications run on it? It’s applications that are the key… the more the better.

Fortunately, Microsoft are insane.

Specifically, it looks like the free, Express version of the upcoming new product—widely used by many developers to create open source desktop applications for Windows—will no longer offer support for desktop-style applications. Rather, users of Visual Studio 11 Express will only be able to develop Metro applications.


They’re making the product worse as a way of competing with the open source applications? I bet “open source” is quaking in its boots now.

If you want a compiler for Windows, that isn’t crippled in any way, you can get the GCC Windows cross compiler, MinGW ported to Windows. For free.

If you want a nice IDE to go with it, CodeBlocks is perfectly acceptable.

Honestly: I write both Linux and Windows software all day. I write for PCs, for Arm CPUs, for 8051s and AVR microcontrollers; I write embedded applications and full-blown desktop applications. I use GCC, MinGW, and SDCC. All of which are free as in freedom and free as in beer. I have an order of magnitude fewer problems with these tools than I did when I used to use Microsoft compilers/languages. When MS upgrade something, you must dedicate a few days just to checking everything works as it did and that they haven’t deprecated half of your work flow. I upgrade my compilers between compiles and barely blink. I use the same code base on multiple architectures without breaking a sweat.

If you are a developer, you are making your life harder by sticking with Microsoft (even if you are a Windows developer).

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