Monday, September 16, 2013

Windows 8.1 only available for Software Assurance accounts

Microsoft apparently is having huge issues communicating and making up their minds. Windows 8.1 which was first decided to not be available to developer prior to release was changed to become available for Technet and MSDN subscribers. However, now, apparently Windows 8.1 will only be available for volume license customers with a Software Assurance account.

worst windows 8.1 release msdn technet
Microsoft is certainly not making the lives of developers easy. With the Windows 8.1 release date only one month away, Microsoft apparently has decided that providing Windows 8.1 app developers with a final version to ensure that functioning apps will be available upon the official Windows 8.1 release is not all that important. The situation is made even worse with the extremely poor communications made by Microsoft. Let us take a look at the history.

First of all, Microsoft announced that no RTM or final Windows 8.1 version will be made available to developers. This was later retracted following massive protests where Microsoft made it to be believed that Technet and MSDN subscribers will have access to the final Windows 8.1 version during September. Now, Microsoft has announced that this is not the case at all, and only volume license customers with a Software Assurance account will have access to the final version prior to the official release date of October 18. 

In essence, this shuts down the possibility for most developers to test their apps against a final Windows 8.1 version, something will definitely cause frustrations both to developers and to consumers upon Windows 8.1 release. Potentially, this could result in either a large shortage of apps, or even worse, a large number of incompatible apps or buggy apps on the Windows Store. Being under heavy pressure on all fronts, one could believe that Microsoft would at least value the little support they still have from certain developers. However, apparently, Microsoft is running its own agenda that is not disclosed at the moment.

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