The Unofficial Windows 8 Developer FAQ

Early this week I’ve been talking to a few current and former Microsoft staffers about all things Windows 8. In my discussions I’ve started to gather some gossip in around what happened to Silverlight and lastly the specifics around the DevDiv fall out between Steve Sinofsky and Soma. Should I share the chat logs it is an entertaining read however what did struck me throughout the conversations was how much positivity Microsoft has been squandering due to petty internal squabbles or “dare not speak of that, for the overlord Sinofsky shall smite thee down for saying the nameless one out loud”. Today, I’m going to attempt to do something Microsoft staff should have done long ago or didn’t do correctly or simply were held back from doing so. I’m going to release the Unofficial FAQ on “What Just happened” in Microsoft for developer(s) worldwide. Note: This is all based off internal gossip, second hand information and blah blah, so if you want to call bullshit on the below do so but back it up with specifics on what actually happened – don’t just say “that’s b.s” as we’ll take that as a deflection attempt at setting the record straight. Ready.. (Remember this is from the perspective of “if I was still a Product Manager at Microsoft positioning not official etc.). The Unofficial FAQ

Q. Is WPF Dead?

A. Yes and No. Yes WPF as you see it before you is end of life that is to say no more code will be written for the “platform” given Windows 7 and Windows 8 have different DNA going forward. No as in when we decided to move everything over to leaner Windows 8 platform we had to put both Silverlight and WPF on a diet in order to get Mobility parity / compatibility in check. The Upside is we’ve fixed some of the UI rendering issues that have plagued you in the past; the down side is we’ve had to sacrifice features here and there in the process.  

Q. If I make an Application today in WPF it won’t work in Windows 8 tomorrow.

A. Not correct. Expression Blend uses WPF still in Windows 8, so in a way you’re covered as long as VS2012 and Blend continue to take their cue from the previous XAML Rendering that has been in place since Windows 7. There are certain things you can’t do in Windows 8 going forward though, that is to say new features won’t work in both Windows 7 and Windows 8 for obvious reasons. If they aren’t obvious then …stop coding now.  

Q. Do I have to learn HTML5 or C++ in Windows 8 now?

A. No. The neat trick here is that we took the body of work found in Silverlight and made it handle the rendering of XAML. Now we didn’t take it as-is we again had to scale it back and use it as a starting point for a reboot of WPF/Silverlight to ensure two things happen going forward. The first is that we have WPF/Silverlight parity issues resolved in terms of performance and developer centric API changes whilst at the same time we had to find a way to make Steve Sinofsky believe that Silverlight was killed off. The last point wasn’t a technical issue it was more of a political one and so in order to help give him the illusion of Silverlight’s death we renamed a few namespaces and adjusted a few features here and there to give the appearance of “new” on the “old”.  

Q. Why did you change so much in Windows 8 to confuse us all on old vs. new?

A. We had to find a way to put Internet Explorer back into the hands of the masses in a more aggressive manner. In order to facilitate this internal metric we needed to also scale back Silverlight’s popularity given when you think about its future roadmap and Internet Explorer the two will end up competing with one another. Having Internet Explorer start taking over the HTML5 discussion would also help us win hearts and minds with the non-.NET crowd which would then help boost our internal metrics around Linux, Php, Apache and MySQL/Oracle compete (that has often plagued us for many a fiscal year). Once we’ve placed Internet Explorer onto many devices worldwide we will then ask developers to fork their beloved HTML5 in a way that lets them access Windows 8 further. This in turn will help us regain the lost dominance we once had before all of our Internet Explorer staff left the company to work for Google Chrome. Additionally, it will help us with our many year attempts at attracting more developers to our Windows Server & Tooling business units. Now to answer your actual question it’s important to know the previous strategy for Internet Explorer as now the problem we face both internally and externally is how we are going to balance Internet Explorer’s future with XAML given the old “Silverlight” concept was directly competing with this strategy. In short we had to make it feel there was a lot of change in the room and decided that letting you believe that what’s really happened is that WPF & Silverlight were merged as one and that Silverlight 5 wasn’t the last release as really Windows 8 is Silverlight 6 Desktop. Letting you believe that would keep you preoccupied with that branch of thought where what we need you to do is come back to the Internet Explorer way of thinking – there is no plugin only a browser.

Q. So… you saying Windows 8 is really Silverlight 6?

A. Yeah in concept yes. Technically no, but if you take a step back from our bad messaging, public relation screw-ups and lastly our idiotic executive we pretty much did what you asked – we fixed WPF and Silverlight parity & performance and we made it also work on both desktop and mobile. I give you Windows 8.  

Q. Well ..why didn’t you just say that? Why did you scare us with C++ or HTML5 rhetoric?

A. I have no answer suffice to say there was lots of infighting going on and I don’t see Soma and Sinofsky sharing a beer or two at a BBQ in the near future unless the bottle was broken and one has the other pinned down with a desire to kill..  

Q. You said mobility and parity are you saying Windows 8 is compatible with Windows Phone?

A. Yes. Windows Phone 7 was kind of a hold our place in the line while we figure out what to do next release. It was badly marketed and in the end we were too late to enter the market – not to mention we weren’t ready to talk about the work we were doing with Windows 8. Now that we’ve finally hit reset on Windows Phone via our 8.0 releases we’ve now found a way to put the XAML rendering we have in Windows 8 onto the phone. Well to be fair we really kept Silverlight’s DNA alive in both which has now let us enable you to write applications on both platforms via our new upgraded API’s and tooling (again to give the appearance of new). This is in part why you can’t use Windows Phone 8 code on Windows Phone 7.x compatible devices,  Additionally you would see how we swapped the two out and start to guess what really happened during the Soma vs. Sinofsky fight.

Q. I don’t think that’s technically correct.. if you look at Windows Phone 7 and then look at…

A. I’ma let you finish by stating that the phone may not have changed radically but Windows did that is to say if you were going to drag Silverlight’s work into the new Windows 8 whilst releasing Windows Phone 7 previously then which of the two do you change? The phone or operating system? – Answer is you do both but incrementally.

Q. Hang on so all of Windows 8 is now Silverlight? That doesn’t make sense..

A. No. Windows 8 core is,  (as the messaging and PowerPoint decks say,) new. Now the XAML piece that bolts on top of that core is what I’d call “Silverlight 6” that is it’s all the work that has been done on WPF/Silverlight since their birth converging as one.

Q. Why did Sinofksy and Soma duke it out?

A. It comes back to Sinofsky’s dislike for Silverlight that was in place years before Windows 8. Internally what had happened was the Windows 8 Planning teams felt that Microsoft had lost its way on the importance of web both from a tooling and platform perspective. Silverlight was simply a distraction that got out of control and what they felt was that HTML5 was getting more and more market acceptance. As such it was time to put the genie back in the bottle and double down on Internet Explorer again with an eye this time on integrating the web with the operating system via some minor fork in both JavaScript and HTML5 (eg iecompatiability tag) This of course didn’t go down well with Developer Division as this in turn meant that they had to scrap all the work done with Silverlight to date! The Silverlight team then went to work proving that both options are still viable and that for XAML, Silverlight would be a better candidate to ensure that path continues to occur. Essentially it was an internal two horse race for a while with the deciding vote going to Sinofsky. Unfortunately it was an unfair race given his alleged dislike towards Silverlight, so this in turn become a tense standoff between the head of DevDiv and the head of Windows. It’s rumoured that Soma and Steve had a huge falling out over settling old scores and as a result Silverlight was put into a “do not talk about it” status mode. Despite the executive fallout the Silverlight team (aka XAML team) were moved under the Windows org chart and put to work dragging the old into the new but with a clear direction to forever wipe the name Silverlight from their minds. It’s rumoured that in planning meetings the words compatibility and Silverlight were no-go words. It’s all gossip in the end, but that’s what’s being said at the local water fountain anyway. It could explain why Scott Guthrie went over to Azure. It could explain why you see some of the old Silverlight bloodlines talking in the Windows 8 presentations but finally, it could also explain why the “strategy has changed” remark got former Executive Bob Muglia in a whole world of trouble. Summary Look. The above could very well be fiction and time will tell exactly what has happened here but the more I think about Windows and it’s Phone counterpart the more I start to think what has really happened is a clean reboot to WPF/Silverlight has occurred for the greater good. The downside is that we’ve all been preoccupied with the new UI of Windows 8 and lastly the community wanted to know what the future of the brand Silverlight/WPF was per say (this is awkward). Instead of getting actual answers they were given deafening silence and finally, to this day the overall developer relations overall from Microsoft has been both lazy and poorly executed. What we are seeing is Microsoft power brokers asleep at the helm, specifically their evangelism is dead and lastly their messaging around the transition for Silverlight/WPF has been fumbled to the point where it’s easier now to believe Microsoft has hit “Shift+Delete” on these two products rather than to read the above (too much carnage on the roadmap now). If Microsoft had of come out and said something to the effect – “Look you asked us to fix WPF and Silverlight. We did that, we came up with a way now that lets you develop for our platform in three ways. The first is C++ if you want deeper access to Windows then we’ve tided up our Com++ API’s to a way that C# developers have found palatable. If you don’t want to do native code then you can build applications like you have done with Silverlight in the past, but the difference is it will now  Windows only (sorry). If you then want to build apps that are cross-platform then again we’ve got HTML5 and Internet Explorer story brewing, whilst it’s important to understand that we will not be looking to expand our developer story beyond Windows anymore (there is a certain amount of control HTML5 will give but we still believe Internet Explorer is a better bet overall). Then they show a few slides on how you can write-once deploy to both Desktop, Tablet and Mobile via the XAML/HTML5 and C++/C# story then it becomes a bit of a consolidation discussion vs. a “they’ve killed my favourite toy” discussion we see today. They didn’t do that. That would require actually someone in the company with a backbone or marketing muscle that goes beyond ass kissing to Sinofsky. The problem we have right now ladies in and gents is we are all suffering from Microsoft’s internal bickering and as a result companies are looking to seek alternative to Microsoft for fear that this petty squabbling will continue to spread from not  only the mobility market share losses but to potentially the operating system as well. Microsoft also has to figure out how to also re-engage their hardware vendors going forward given their failure rates in Windows Phones weren’t profitable for these guys and now with Microsoft Surface sending mixed signals it well has now turned into a bit of a question mark above the companies head around whether it can survive beyond its current dominance of desktop market share. Inside Microsoft Server share has dropped significantly and it’s why you see a lot of effort in the web platform stack around enticing Php and MySQL folks back to the logo. The only thing left for Microsoft to control is Office, Desktop and XBOX. Beyond that, they don’t have dominance anymore. Again someone explain to me why Steve Balmer is good for the company?  

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  • Colin E.

    A useful and amusing FAQ. Also, an interesting idea, Win8 marketed as a WPF/SL reboot … “we fixed WPF”, might have actually gone down well with the dev community.

    (And the pedant in me has to point out that it is ‘per se’, not ‘per say’).

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  • Jon S.

    I’m sure that from the perspective of a Microsoft manager the platform is “Windows”, and it seems it’s from this perspective this article is written. That is, from Sinofsky’s viewpoint it doesn’t matter as long as users flock to “Windows”, but from a desktop developer’s perspective (mine), it isn’t that easy. We now have two distinct platforms. WinAPI and WinRT. Okay, Silverlight/WPF reboot is all fine and dandy but it’s only for WinRT, the unproven, limited and right now rather vilified (with both good/bad reason) WinRT. Add closed-garden, non-cross platform and 30% profit cut there. WinAPI developers are still screwed over, and unless they’re planning on adding a ways to make actual desktop (WinAPI) apps with WinRT (basically attaining reasonable feature-parity, or at least an interop story, which is missing right now), there’s no good alternative to WinForms/WPF/WRT/MFC which are all very unmodern and mossy. If they’re planning on doing it, great, but it’s still what, 5 years before that could practically become a reality?

    I’m sure Sinofsky hopes that Metro apps (yeah yeah, I know) are the future, and he wants to retire WinAPI, and he thinks he’s got it all solved, but that’s not going to happen. At least not until Windows 11, earliest (if ever).

    Been thinking of looking into Qt for our Windows desktop needs, though I’m sure that brings with it its own share of problems… At least its future doesn’t look as grim now that Nokia has shown that it won’t bring Qt down with it in its own plunge down the abyss.

    I’ve long said I don’t trust people without hair, and there’s a distinct lack of that going on with the Microsoft Steves…

  • cnahr

    The WinRT and WPF/Silverlight APIs are so different that every application needs a rewrite, never mind the loss of target platforms and Windows Store distribution. Selling Windows 8 as a Silverlight reboot only makes sense from the usual autistic internal MS viewpoint that totally ignores the perspective of external developers.

    As a side note, developers looking for desktop UI alternatives should check out the current Oracle Java release with the XAML-inspired JavaFX. If you’re going to switch APIs anyway you might as well go whole hog…

  • Andrew

    I do not understand why they struggled so much to make Windows 8 look like it’s both for desktop and tablet.
    There’s a whole bunch of negative reviewsarticles on Win8 now circulating on the internet.

    To me it looks like they struggled too much to come up with something very different and new.
    Overall, Win8 has some very nice optimizations, new features, polishing, lot of things which everybody(including MS haters) recognized. So it’s a step forward for Windows as an OS!
    Wouldn’t that suffice for a new version of Windows?

    Why didn’t they make Win8 for desktop without the MetroUI?
    Why didn’t they just make a separate UI for the tablet? For people who want to play with it on desktop, have a setting to switch it on.
    From the hardware point of view, the Surface looks like an awesome product and with MetroUI it looks great, plus you can bring your desktop apps on Surface table which is also great(not the WinRT version of course).

    If they wouldn’t have put MetroUI on desktop, people wouldn’t have much to complain about.
    Surface looks very promising, by having the MetroUi on desktop, Win8 starts to look bad and they kill some of the excitement.

    Am I mistaken? I would love to hear other’s opinions.

  • cnahr

    Indeed. One plausible explanation I’ve seen is that MS firmly believes its Windows/Office profit centers must move to tablets, so they want to push users towards Metro & Surface ASAP in order to catch up with iOS. In other words, Windows 8 is so unappealing on the desktop because MS doesn’t actually want you to use it there. Users who don’t switch to tablets might as well switch to Linux for all they care. MS seems to believe desktop Windows is already a zombie that will survive only in some professional niches — such as programming those tablets.

  • Andrew

    So what you mean is that MS thinks that tablet is the (near)future of computing for the masses. With the right hardware, it’s true, it’s obvious.
    But it still does not make sense why MS did not give an option to switch Metro off on desktop. Why risk of getting such amount of negative reviews from Win8 launch?
    Maybe it’s a stupid question but might this be a way to make masses buy their new shiny Surface tablet?

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  • Hassan

    Why didn’t they make Win8 for desktop without the MetroUI?</quote?

    I believe this is because sooner or later, desktop users are gonna wanna run Metro Apps too since a lot of developer focus will shift towards Metro development.

  • mmcconnell1618

    Microsoft is schizophrenic right now. You’ve got Scott Gu churning out open-source goodness in the world while Dev-Div has fragmented the Visual Studio product line in an effort to monetize developers while the Windows team has decided that developers will follow them wherever they say (i.e. WinRT).

    I’ve watched as ASP.NET got really good tracking only to be thwarted by new SPLA licensing requirements for Windows Server. I’ve watched as developer tools that were once generously and liberally supplied to any and all comers have been turned into a profit center with artificially restricted functionality. I’ve watched as LINQ to SQL, XAML, Silverlight and a host of other technologies have been heralded as “the future” only to be killed off a few short years later.

    From a developer perspective it really feels like no one is leading the company. It’s perfectly understandable why developers (even long time Microsoft only devs) are seriously trying out IOS, Mac, Android and other non-MS alternatives. If Microsoft wants to stem the slow slide into IBM-land they need to bring developers back on board.

  • guest

    Sounds a lot more plausible than the corporate PR line.

    In any event, MS is in trouble. Dell’s numbers make it impossible to hide the fact that tablets are destroying PC sales (now up to 22% of total PC shipments this quarter). And as you indicate, MS hasn’t been able to create much outside of Desktop, Office, Xbox. And Xbox is still underwater over its lifetime and back to losses currently. When W8 fails to put Windows back on a growth curve, I think you’ll see a [further] collapse in MS’s stock price and the most pressure to date for Bill to finally cut Steve loose, which is something that should have been done at least half a decade ago. Interestingly, a W8 failure will also take Sinofsky out of the running as heir apparent. So maybe that’s the point where shareholders finally force their own external candidate and we get either an IBM-style recovery or the Yahoo death spin.

  • My guess is that it’s because WinRT apps will be available primarily/exclusively (not sure which) from the Window store. The WinRT store guarantees MS commission on app sales and unlike music, movies, and books where they’re competing against Apple, Google, Amazon, etc., they won’t face much competition selling Windows-specific apps.

  • guest

    Execution aside, because I agree the final result is disjointed and jarring, they probably made a realistic assessment that a) mobile is the future of computing (no surprise there, Gates originally touted that vision back in early 2000’s) b) MS now has no position there (thanks to Ballmer/Bach/Sinofsky blowing a decade’s head start in phones and tablets) c) they’re now way late with the iPad having had THREE YEARS to consolidate its leadership and Android firmly established as the number two d) a prerequisite for competing successfully is a credible ecosystem which iOS and Android have in spades but MS doesn’t. So they looked around and said what leverage do we have? Ans: W32. Hence the merging of wRT and W32. There’s also some technical logical support for the “why make tradeoffs (OSx vs iOS, for example) when you can get the one OS that does both?”. And obviously if you’re MS, that’s the attractive marketing argument to make. Just as if you’re Apple, with around 5% ww PC share after several decades, you prefer to make the “PC is dead, we’re the post-PC leaders” argument.

  • guest

    None of this is new. MS was one of the original tablet visionaries. Long before iPad, back in the early 2k’s, Gates was predicting that tablets would be 50% of PC sales within 5 years. Turns out he was a little early on when it would start, but may end up right about the ramp from there. And of course he assumed MS would be the one taking that 50%, where now it looks to be iOS and Android.

  • Scott Hanselman

    “We had to find a way to put Internet Explorer back into the hands of the masses in a more aggressive manner.”

    you guys are fuckers.

  • Arnaud

    Thank you so much for that straight talk. My dad should have done that. ^^

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  • Fizzal

    Just when I was able to shut the Java guys up by calling them Oracle devs, MS goes and kills Silverlight and my write-once cross platform world disappears.
    Oh great and powerfulf Bill, pause trying to save the world and save us poor .Net Devs first.

  • Well Scott, that makes more sense then anything else I have read on the matter. Thanks for sharing.

  • How would I launch apps without “MetroUI”?
    Using the “Start Menu”? Don’t make me laugh. I will never use that small 3-inch windows into an unwieldy collapsed tree of app folders. You need minimum 5 clicks to launch an app via start menu. With the Start Screen I only need 1.
    1) click Start
    2) click “All Programs”
    3) click scroll bar
    4) scroll to locate app folder
    5) click to open folder
    6) locate app shortcut and click it
    1) Press Win key
    2) click on app

  • D

    Once again – lovin’ the insight and thoughts. This nailed it for me:

    “Once we’ve placed Internet Explorer onto many devices worldwide we will then ask developers to fork their beloved HTML5 in a way that lets them access Windows 8 further. This in turn will help us regain the lost dominance we once had before all of our Internet Explorer staff left the company to work for Google Chrome whilst at the same time will help us with our many year attempts at attracting more developers to our Windows Server & Tooling business units.”
    It’s all about selling the OS and that’s been the model from the beginning. Nothing has changed. It almost did with SilverLight being cross platform compatible, but then the heresy chants began and it’s all over now. They’ve dug themselves into this mess and with the recent surface slap at the OEMs. How long before those guys(OEMs) start cutting costs on units by using Linux to make consumer sales? People are willing to fork over big money for Apple products, so what will be the selling point for the OEMs to keep them in business with the consumer? Windows 8 will not be the answer for OEMs. For desktop development that targets all platforms, I started using the realsoftware product(I don’t work there nor make any money from them, just found them to be an affordable choice and worked with my existing knowledge base). I’m done with WinForms and never headed into WPF because SilverLight was the better play for LOBs. That’s all gone now so I’m entrenched in ASP.NET until they kill that with another ‘shift change’. Once ASP.NET becomes the next victim, and I think it has already begun, then I’m going full bore open source and will leave the Windows stack and take my team with me. It saves the business money and might save our jobs for a while. Just waiting to get more tell tale signs from M$ on when ASP.NET is put to pasture.

    Thanks to Scott B for the thought provoking material.

  • >Do I have to learn HTML5 or C++ in Windows 8 now?
    >A. No.
    Why not tell us the truth? The truth is that on Surface we can only write games in C++, web applications in HTML5 (and no serious/full apps). You cannot use XNA, Silverlight, WPF and .Net on Surface.
    P.S. I wonder why the Suface !Pro! was shown most of the time, but we will only receive Surface in October.

  • Andy Bolstridge

    wha? Usually on the start menu – the app is pinned in your “most recently used” list so it becomes ‘press windows key (or ctrl+esc) then click app’. Of course if its a little-used app you have to search for it…. but guess what – using Metro you have to do exactly the same if it isn’t one of the ‘most recently used’ apps that are displayed on the front page. At least try to show you have an unbiased option.

    As it is, someone suggested an improvement for the start screen when called from the desktop – by making it transparent and overlaying it on the desktop. This means there wouldn’t be a cognitive dissasociation with your current task… but I think the desktop is now legacy (like XPMode for Windows 7) so MS really doesn’t want you using it at all.

  • Andy Bolstridge

    forget the JavaFX thing – go Qt with its QML tooling. Or just learn javascript and write code for html5 with canvas/webgl GUIs.Find a js library you like and go…

  • Someone with a brain

    >implying anyone is going to actually fucking use Windows 8 for anything but tablets
    >implying anyone gives a flying fuck about the shite that is Internet Explorer

  • Alexander Moshe

    Hi there.
    ” WPF as you see it before you is end of life “…. ok, so Windows Forms is also dead.
    But there is no successor of WPF, so what should i take for Windows-Software in the next 5 Years?
    Wpf was the best Framework in the World, the most advanced. Why not use WPF for the normal Windows-Development in the next 9 Years (Win 8, 9, 10).
    The Windows RT can not be used to develop Standard-Applications.

  • pbasch

    Maybe it’s irrelevant to the point about Microsoft, but could you (a) hire a copy editor? Your spelling and grammar are ATROCIOUS! It hurts my brain, and insults English. Also, (b) what’s with the italics? Especially on screens, they are to be used sparingly, if at all, and only for emphasis. On screen, colored text is nicer than italics.
    As far as the content goes, very interesting. I hope I can skip Win8.

  • prodigydk

    Thanks Scott. This convinced me to go ahead with Silverlight on a large project for now. Nice to hear that the dev team at Microsoft is still in love with XAML 🙂

  • The XNA/C++ part is not entirely true. ARMED! on the Windows 8 “Metro” game portal in the app store was written in C#/Monogame (platform independent version of XNA)

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  • EJ

    I’ve got two copies of WIN8Pro to upgrade my machines. I am afraid to install them for fear of no clear road back if I hate it… My one machine is a SSD and there’s insuffiicient room on it what with the exisiting system present. So now I’m stuck again..
    Gee’s you would think they could do this without co exisiting both OS side by side…

  • Sean

    God this is so confusing. I hate you guys!

  • see what your talking about recent used is basically what the start page is that same function but with live tiles. The search function is the same on the start page as the start menu, the problem is many people never knew how to use it (I work at a college you would not believe how many instructors would think a program was not installed it was not on the desktop) The start page is exactly the start menu minus little organized folders that got too complicated that developers started placing shortcuts outside the organized folders so what was the point anymore. In the end though, to Microsoft it was about a unified experience with the start page throughout all products. Phone, tablet, laptop and pc’s.

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  • Yeah This convinced me to go ahead with Silver light on a large project for now. Nice to hear that the dev team at Microsoft is still in love with XAML. As a Freshman, I am always searching online for articles that can help me get further ahead.

  • Noemata

    Exactly, WinRT is the ever so useful sidekick to the desktop and cannot be put into a desktop window yet (not being sarcastic by the way).
    Desktop development is far superior from a utility/capability perspective. Fortunately, for the users that have become accustomed to paying 2 bucks for a point solution that is specific to their needs, the comparatively expensive monolithic monsters that represent typical desktop applications are now out of fashion.
    That’s the irony of the current situation. We can do so much more on the desktop. Users want dumbed down, focused and cheap applications that sit comfortably in their hands.
    What do we do. We do it all. Tablet, phone, desktop in such a way that you get as much or as little as you need in a way that is seamless across form factor resource constraints.
    Eventually, the slugs will move their way up the food chain as they evolve. The bottom feeders will inherit the desktop, we just have to help them evolve quickly.

  • Well both haven’t gotten any work done to them so it’s really a case of Use at your own risk from hence forth. That or use until Windows 8 dies? as the humorous part of all is that as long as Windows XP -> Windows 8 exists so does WPF/WinForms. The downside is nobody inside Redmond gives a shit about either of these two code bases unless it is considered a security exploit / risk to the OS itself.

  • Windows RT is like a third nipple or in many ways “Active Desktop” rebooted and flattened out. The issue with WinRT is the developer pipeline doesn’t add up, in that if dev’s today sitting on Windows 7 and in parts Windows 8 can’t target the RT way of life (ARM or Intel) then it’s still born until that tide rises.

    I predict the gaming markets will win this discussion before business/enterprise figures it out. Right now the gaming scene is getting easier to produce games via the various tooling/engines available. Given the market for gaming exists in a variety of forms (devices, consoles etc) they in turn need to find a middle ground that can allow developers/designers to not only collaborate together but also deploy (write once use everywhere). Basically they don’t have loyalty to any one language/brand or tool so it will be interesting to see how this pans out given they have a lot of $$ to bankroll their needs (in fact in Silverlight we considered the casual gaming market to a likely candidate to drive developer uptake and ubiquity metrics).

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