Software // Operating Systems
News
4/3/2013
09:38 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Microsoft Sells Out Mac Developer Deal

Mac developers scoop up Microsoft's $25 offer for Windows 8 and Parallels Desktop 8 licenses in mere hours. Will this help address Windows 8 app woes?

10 Great Windows 8 Apps
10 Great Windows 8 Apps
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
Microsoft, in its newest bid to cultivate developer enthusiasm for its platforms, announced Tuesday that it would be giving away Windows 8 and Parallels Desktop 8 licenses in exchange for a $25 donation to charity. The combination is intended to help Mac Web programmers test their sites for compatibility with the most recent versions of Internet Explorer, which Microsoft has made substantially more compliant with open standards but which is still catching on among both general users and website builders. Developers evidently found the deal quite compelling, as it sold out within a few hours.

In a blog post that introduced the offer, Internet Explorer GM Sandeep Singhal wrote that developer feedback indicates Web programmers "test across browsers ... through virtualization of browser and operating system combination," adding that the "costs to purchase software and licensing can be difficult" for startups. By making the licenses, which normally cost around $200 combined, more easily accessible, Microsoft is encouraging Mac developers to include Internet Explorer and Windows in their testing routines.

When the deal promptly sold out, Singhal updated the blog with a promise that Redmond "will be making other offers available in the near future."

[ Is this deal another sign that Microsoft is back on the right path? See 4 Signs That Microsoft Finally Gets It. ]

Tuesday's effort to bring more Mac developers into the Internet Explorer fold follows several initiatives intended to increase app-makers' enthusiasm for Windows 8's touch-oriented Modern UI. The company has recently revamped virtually all of its flagship products in an effort to build a more cohesive ecosystem.

Internet Explorer obviously isn't isolated to Windows machines, but the more developers Redmond has in its corner, the better, especially with earlier versions of Internet Explorer having been somewhat derided for their incompatibility with current standards.

Additionally, recent rumors about Windows Blue, Microsoft's impending update to Windows 8, suggest that future Internet Explorer releases will allows users to seamlessly transition online activities from one device to the next. Given this, it appears Redmond wants to ensure that Internet Explorer be a robustly supported platform, not only for the browser's sake, but also to further improve the evolving appeal of Windows 8.

To Microsoft, the enthusiastic response to the cheap licenses is no doubt encouraging. Still, it remains to be seen if that energy will translate to Windows 8's Modern UI, which currently offers fewer apps than competitors such as Apple's iPad. Microsoft has recently made concerted efforts in this regard, including greater involvement with external developer communities, campaigns that offer programmers bonuses for app submissions, and improved versions of Windows 8's core apps. The software giant has also suggested it will pitch developers on its Windows Blue vision during a pair of conferences scheduled for June.

In the meantime, developers who missed out on the license offer can still check out other tools Microsoft made available alongside the sold-out deal. These tools include, among other things, new virtual machines for running different combinations of Internet Explorer and Windows versions.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Threaded  |  Newest First  |  Oldest First
DDURBIN1
50%
50%
DDURBIN1,
User Rank: Ninja
4/3/2013 | 6:38:11 PM
re: Microsoft Sells Out Mac Developer Deal
A one time deal that sells out in hours isn't going to help much.
Michael Endler
50%
50%
Michael Endler,
User Rank: Author
4/3/2013 | 7:50:43 PM
re: Microsoft Sells Out Mac Developer Deal
That's true, and some have already expressed their frustration that the deal was over before word had even gotten out. Still, Microsoft promised similar deals will follow, so theoretically it shouldn't be a "one time" offer. Now that demand has been demonstrated, I think Microsoft can satisfy developers as long as it follows through.

Michael Endler, IW Associate Editor
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Government Tech Digest Oct. 27, 2014
To meet obligations -- and avoid accusations of cover-up and incompetence -- federal agencies must get serious about digitizing records.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
A roundup of the top stories and community news at InformationWeek.com.
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.