If, as rumored, Microsoft brings back the Start button in Windows 8.1, codenamed Blue, what will that mean for developers?
The answer depends on how the Start button will work. If it takes users to the more familiar traditional Windows desktop, it could result in less of a market for Windows 8 (a.k.a. “Metro”) apps. However, if the Start button takes users to the Metro Start screen, that wouldn’t create the same problem for developers who have created new touch-based Windows 8 apps.
Of more significance for developers may be changes to supported programming languages and frameworks in Windows Blue. According to Mary Jo Foley, Microsoft will likely release a “Visual Studio Blue” before the end of the year, and it will probably bring Windows 8 and Windows Phone 8 development into closer alignment. She quotes an anonymous source who said, “The holy grail is to fire up Visual Studio, create a single app in any language you want that works on both platforms, with UI and functionality that adapts to the form factor and features of the device, and with one click submit to a unified store.”