"I don't think developers are ever fans of big shifts in their platform--but so much of it depends on how much the APIs underneath forcibly change, and how much the tools help them navigate or migrate through those changes," Miller continues.
"If Microsoft keeps the SDK stocked with similar languages, it shouldn't cause too much ire," Moorhead says. However, he cautions that the possible specter of yet another new SDK looming so shortly after the release of the Windows 8 SDK could convince hesitant developers to sit on the sidelines until more details emerge--especially since Microsoft will allegedly stop accepting apps programmed for Windows 8 alone when it releases Windows Blue's SDK.
The last thing Microsoft needs is another excuse for developers to take a "wait and see" approach, which would be killer given the Windows Store's woeful app situation. Windows 8 needs more apps, and Windows 8 needs big-name apps, and Microsoft needs those apps to appear long before the summer of 2013 if it wants Windows 8 to be successful.
A negativity-tinged thread about Windows Blue's possible SDK changes has already popped up on Microsoft's TechNet forums.
Before you get too excited about Windows Blue (or depressed, if you're a developer who was about to get started on a Windows 8 app), Rob Enderle brings up another important consideration. "The question is, is Windows Blue pre- or post-Sinofsky?" he asks. "A lot of this stuff is in flux given his sudden departure."
Windows Blue may or may not be real, but the ideas behind the alleged upgrade hold some real potential for Microsoft's future--if the company plays its cards right. The folks in Redmond need to prove they have the institutional flexibility to implement worthwhile yearly changes, and more importantly, Microsoft absolutely, positively, utterly, indubitably must implement any new SDK changes in such a way that doesn't alienate developers.
If Microsoft can manage that, and if the Windows Blue rumors prove true, a ubiquitous cross-platform SDK combined with yearly OS releases could just be the shot in the arm Microsoft needs to finally gain a foothold in the vaunted mobile market.
If the rumors are true, however, it's also another sign that Microsoft won't be turning away from the divisive modern UI, no matter how much desktop enthusiasts bemoan the finger-focused interface. Deepened ties between Windows 8 and Windows Phone no doubt rely on Live Tiles being universal.