Developers are lining up to create new apps for Windows 8. Aren’t they?

After Microsoft’s BUILD conference last fall much of the buzz around Windows 8 was generally positive. The “reimagined” OS would provide a seamless experience to users across mobile and desktop use. The user interface resembled something closer to Apple’s LION than Windows 7. There was talk about the touch interface coming to desktops – or even a gesture controlled interface with the integration of a Kinect-like sensor.

Windows 8 looked to be something truly new and developers and IT insiders shared their excitement with the community. Most reports still couched their reviews in a “We’ll wait and see what really turns up in the beta” type attitude. After all, the BUILD version was pre-beta and much of the functionality was still missing.

Since then the story has changed. Earlier this month the developer beta was released. By all reports developers found it lacking. It didn’t have all the tools developers needed to start creating Metro apps (applications that work on the Windows 8 OS). Theoretically, a developer’s release is intended to give developers a head start, so applications will be available when the OS is launched to consumers. Many developers are turned off. They say they’ll wait for “Windows 9”. Or that Windows 8 will be a “skip it” version – just like Vista. Visit any forum or blog post on the subject and you’ll see the comments yourself.

But all those sentiments might change in a few weeks. The next beta Windows 8 is slated for release. Some say it is being called the Consumer Preview release. Some developers are taking that in stride, others are offended. It is unusual to push a new OS out to consumers before giving developers their time with it. So why is Microsoft doing it?

Because they are behind. They can’t afford to have another Windows Vista failure. The rest of the OS software world, in both the mobile and desktop environment, is beginning to take off on their own. Android adoption alone proves that if consumers like it, developers will come. It is a risk. But then this is Microsoft we’re talking about. Even with Apple making moves on enterprise businesses, Microsoft still commands about 90% of the desktop market. Eventually, sooner or later, most of us will be forced to concede to the new OS. In the mobile world they will be playing catch up, but hope that offering a consistent look and feel across all your devices will sway you.

Of course there are so many nuances and details to this story that are impossible to address in a single blog post. What do you think is the biggest problem or the biggest benefit of Windows 8 (based on what we know so far)?
Will you be downloading the Consumer Preview?