Windows 8 already does a fairly good job of allowing for development using a number of programming languages. That is one of the biggest advantages it brings for developers, and will definitely do a lot to draw people into designing Metro UI applications. Despite the success so far in making this work, the company is looking to draw in more support and therefore more developers.
At the April 3rd Lang.Next comference, Martyn Lovell (Development Manager for the WinRT team) made an appeal for developers to create new languages with WinRT in mind. He explained that the overall philosophy of WinRT’s production has been to have native, managed, and dynamic languages all receive attention and support. The philosophies explained at the September 2011 BUILD conference remain in place, they are just being elaborated on and explained more thoroughly as time goes on.
There will certainly be at least some delay in many instances while people wait to see if Windows 8 catches on. There is no shortage of critics willing to express their opinions about the inevitable failure of any desktop operating system that accommodates touch interface. We can definitely expect that to turn around if the explosion of Windows 8 popularity expected by Microsoft manifests.
The biggest advantage Microsoft has always had in trying to create something like this, which can at once compete with both iOS on tablets and manage to provide superior function on PCs, is in the ability to fold in their existing developer base. If they can get everybody on board, especially with Metro and the Windows 8 app store, then it will be difficult for anybody else to compare. Given this, it is not particularly surprising to see this sort of request being made.
The Metro style UI, despite being incredibly polarizing, provides an excellent touch interface that translates extremely well to mouse use. Once there has been more time for the consumer base to get used to the new look, I think it is fair to say that it will be widely embraced. The performance improvements alone would be enough to make significant headway, but Windows 8 brings the first major change of direction in use style that we’ve seen out of Microsoft (or at least the first since Windows introduced a graphic interface to replace MSDOS as the default). Customers are going to eventually move toward the new idea and developers who are ready for them will benefit.