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Windows 8 from a Developer's Perspective Post-BUILD

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Carol Haynes:
If PC hardware gets locked to MS products there will be massive protests and regulatory intervention - particularly in Europe. If that happens I wouldn't be surprised if the EU competition commission didn't mandate that EU governments are not allowed to use Windows and force the use of open source OS and applications on government systems, a bit like some US states are already trying to do. Anti-competitive won't be the word used by then it will be pure monopolistic behaviour and if the hardware manufacturers collude it will breed huge class actions against an open and notorious cartel.

^I fervently hope so.  I just wonder if governments can resist the siren song of all the opportunities this new vision offers for control and survelliance of the general population. Especially now that so many legislators are beginning to wonder if this technology is a little too powerful to continue to be allowed into the hands of it's citizens without some overarching technology in place to monitor and, if necessary, intervene.   8)

Carol Haynes:
There was an article I read today about the German government/law enforcement deliberately infecting computers in Germany to monitor what they were up to!


^ Ummm... what does this have to do with the thread?  I was hoping to keep this separate from the other more general Windows 8 thread, and get more to what it means from a developer's perspective...?

^ Ummm... what does this have to do with the thread?  I was hoping to keep this separate from the other more general Windows 8 thread, and get more to what it means from a developer's perspective...?
-wraith808 (October 10, 2011, 07:10 PM)
--- End quote ---

I don't think it's possible (or advisable) to completely divorce any technology - especially computing technology - from the social context it will be working in. I say that because most technologies we're using (or developing for) are not being driven by technical merit or engineering considerations, but rather by politics and legal maneuvering. And this is a harsh reality that won't go away any time soon.

Windows is NOT just an operating system. It's a factor in human society that dictates much of how things get done. And to a certain extent, much like like Tron's Master Control Program it also defines the scope of what it is possible to do.

That's why as significant a change as Metro (and the way Microsoft intends to license and control it) has to be taken into consideration in any technical discussion. As does the actions of governments in response to these technologies.

Think of it like firearms. If you're a manufacturer, a seller, or an owner of guns, you'll soon discover that your involvement with  something as simple (from an engineering perspective) as a gun has ramifications which go far beyond what is necessary for a device that shoots bullets. These ramifications can take the form of regulations (i.e. registration or licensing requirements; restrictions on sales, ownership, or concealment; etc.) or actual physical modifications (i.e. mandatory inclusion of trigger guards and safeties; maximum magazine capacity; minimum barrel length, etc.) of the product itself.

Nor is this a farfetched analogy. There are categories of software that have been classified as munitions and restricted for export under US law.

So while I agree that we shouldn't get overly bogged down in all the the "social" stuff and nonsense surrounding Windows 8, I still don't think we should completely ignore it or gloss it over.

Especially since we are discussion this from a developer's perspective. ;)


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