But we are faced with developing to the current OS, Windows 7
(understandably, some may argue the current OS is still XP) ...and
maintain legacy code for the outgoing OS, WinXP.
The only people who say this are just asking to fail so their argument is flawed, in other words, they are unlikely to change and are stuck in their ways. This means you can ignore them without a great deal of risk, I mean look at what Apple has done to the "the market previously known as the tablet market", all the companies that ignored what we wanted are throwing the entire pot of noodles at the wall. I would argue the iPad is not a Tablet, I only say this because, you would be hard pressed to replace a standard computer with it. I would call it a multi-purpose computing touch device, I think thats fair, I have yet to see a tablet from anyone that can replace the standard personal computer.
So, Windows 8 and all the Win R/T goodness flares the imagination and
you can't help but ask yourself, "what will still be relevant in 5
years?" Well, at least I can't help but ask the question.
This question cannot be answered. Who would have thought that 5 years ago we would have mobile phones that could access your desktop just like you would as a desktop at home, I know I didn't think the iPhone was going to come out, let alone the iPad or the Kindle Fire.
During periods of rapid evolution of an OS, what considerations do you
plan for in application design, libraries, frameworks, and choosing
development environments; and, in doing so, how do you determine the
length of relevance a particular design will have?
You continue to look at ways to improve your user interface, you design everything else so it can accept different forms of input, because voice, touch, and inputs like Kinect are not going away.
I think we are at least a decade away from the science fiction inputs described in so many movies over the last 3 decades.
Adobe is example they after how many years just released a mobile version of Photoshop. This might be a horrible example because its a complete translation of their full suite, who knows if the programs we have come to use every single day will ever get full translations so touch/voice inputs can be used.