How Windows 8 Changes the Game

Traditional software company Adage Technologies adapts to the sea change that is Windows 8.

You know, of course, that Windows 8 is just about here. But your shop is still making its money by building desktop/laptop software. What do you do?

You might do what Adage Technologies is doing. This Chicago-based outfit, started in 1999, continues to churn out line-of-business (LOB) apps as its bread and butter. But, says Pat Emmons, cofounder and director of professional services, Adage is also dipping its toe in the Windows 8 waters.

For a traditional code-focused company like his, one of the major changes is the emphasis on design. Previously, Emmons says, "We thought our code carried the day." Not so with Windows 8. "You make design a big part of it from the beginning," he adds.

It's a far cry from Visual Basic 6, which Adage used for years. "The shift to XAML has been a big learning curve. It's kind of like the anti-Visual Basic 6," Emmons says. Many of the programs written in Visual Basic 6 look the same, he explains, but that "function over form" mindset is becoming obsolete.

Windows 8, Emmons says, is "all about branding and the UI experience." That comes through in the Windows 8 marketing-speak: "I've been doing [Microsoft-focused development] since 1995, and 'fast and fluid' was never part of the conversation," he says.

Now it's the conversation, and requires attitude adjustments. "You can do so much with [Windows 8] that it's hard to get started," he says. A developer can no longer "just grab a button and throw it on the page."

Even though Adage's core business will be its LOB apps for the near future, Emmons knows that change is a-comin', and he intends to see that his company is on board, starting with Windows 8. But that's not a bad thing. "That's the awesomeness of the tech environment," he says. "There's always this rebirth."

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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