Thanks for writing, and I apologize for the delay with getting back to you. I had notifications turned off by accident.
You are always welcome to ask me about my take on the future! I think there is a place for business apps using Windows 8. The reason for the change in focus might not be what you think. When I wrote the Silverlight book, I had several years of experience
building exclusively enterprise line of business applications. I had the experience and case studies to support taking on what I felt for the key ingredients and patterns for being successful in that space. With Windows 8, because it is completely new, there
simply aren't existing applications, so I didn't feel it would be justified to try to tackle "Windows 8 for business" when it will take some time for businesses to start adopting.
There are definitely line of business scenarios. Our company has done quite a few proof of concept, pilot, and actual hands-on development projects building line of business Windows 8 apps. Most of them are under NDA and I can't talk much about them but
you may have heard about the Rooms to Go app or watched the demo at Tech Ed. We took a lot of what we knew from building Silverlight apps as well as cross-platform apps that shared code between Silverlight and Windows Phone to build the Windows 8 apps using
best practices and patterns, but I feel this is an area where it will take some time to mature and truly see the effective patterns and use cases, so I simply don't want to write a book based on speculation, only on what I know and have experience with first
hand. Make sense?
I intend to follow-up either with a deeper book that dives into very advanced features, or possibly with a more business-focused book (who knows, maybe both?) so stay tuned.
Side-loading does not require Active Directory. A simple PowerShell script and administration privileges are all that is needed as I cover in Chapter 9 - and PowerShell is included with every Windows 8 install. I don't think it's a super-secret inside scoop,
I think it's just a new area evolving ... this is something I know works because it's how we deployed many of our pilot projects.
There are no automatic updates for Windows Store apps. These will simply appear as a badge on the Store tile and then give the user the ability to update their version. It's a broadly accepted model and in use with smartphones and mobile phones so I don't
see major challenges with this on the platform moving forward.
Thanks for your questions - I always welcome feedback and discussion!