The highly-anticipated arrival of the Windows 8 operating system has local app developers excited about Microsoft's latest major offering, but some have expressed reservations on the tech giant's ability to penetrate a market dominated by Apple and Google.
Keeran Janin, co-founder of startup Mesixty Sdn Bhd, was among the few who are excited about the new platform, which is expected to be released worldwide in October this year.
"We've been trying out the developer preview since it was released are are really impressed with the fresh take on tablet and touch UI," said Keeran.
When asked whether he sees that Windows 8 as a potential platform for app development, Keeran gave a resounding yes.
"It's a bit like how I felt when the first iPhone came out, it's very different but quickly set new standards. I'd hope the same for Windows 8 and its metro interface," he said.
As an incubatee at the iCentre, Mesixty has developed apps such as Chatworthy and the Discover Brunei iPad app for the Brunei Tourism Board.
Rano Iskandar, a well-known blogger, also shared his excitement about the new operating system and its unique features such as the intuitive Metro User Interface which he said will appeal the mobile generation.
Although the system will promise another platform for local app developers, he said that the success rate will depend on the number of users of the new platform, said Rano.
"It will depend on the demand of Windows 8. Right now (with) the dominance of Android and iOS, it will be difficult to penetrate."
Rano is behind the LoveFoodHateWaste.org project, a blog about Ramadhan promotions. His team has developed a condensed mobile web version of the website to cater to readers on smartphones.
Ak Mohd Khairi Pg Hj Metussin of PHMD Publishing also shared the same sentiment on Windows 8's tablet market penetration.
"The competition is too intense with Apple and Android dominating the market right now. I wouldn't go for Windows just yet," he said.
He said that the quality of the apps developed for the operating system will either make or break the platform.
"It will depend on how good the apps will be, whether it can entice people to actually use Windows 8," he added.
PHMD Publishing is an iCentre incubatee that is currently hard at work developing interactive ebooks for tablet devices.
Last week, Microsoft Brunei showcased a live demonstration of the new Windows 8 operating system during a partners meeting at the Radisson Hotel.
Azizah Ali, the country manager at Microsoft Brunei, said that Microsoft is looking to spark interest among app developers to get on board the Windows 8 app development bandwagon when the new operating system hits the mass market later this year.
"We see a possibility of localised apps for the Windows 8 platform that will take advantage of the system's versatile Metro UI (User Interface)," she told The Brunei Times last week.
Microsoft claims the new Metro interface, which features a new tile-based start screen, is designed to better suit touchscreen input, along with traditional mouse and keyboard input. Similar to the mobile OS ecosystem such as Apple's iOS and Google's Android, Windows 8 is expected to have its own app ecosystem through the Windows Store.
Windows 8 reached Release to Manufacturing (RTM) status last week.