Microsoft Responds to Horrified Developers on Future of Windows 8

A few weeks ago Microsoft released a preview video of Windows 8. Almost immediately developers all over the internet became enraged that Microsoft (with Windows 8) was leaving behind the platform and framework that they have been working with for a decade … all having hedged their bets on: win32 or .NET Framework + C# (language).

Except that Microsoft made no such moves. And no real developers were “horrified”, because a real developer knows that HTML is just a markup language and JavaScript is not a replacement for the CLR + .NET Framework.

At least that was what I thought!

Microsoft has now released a video demonstrating what Windows 8 is about.

The simple truth is that Windows 8 is a re-imagination of the desktop … geared towards the mass market which primarily uses their systems to browse the internet, post on facebook, check their email.

Windows 8 can run tailored apps where HTML and JavaScript widgets replace the traditional desktop window for the benefit of the user.

The underlining platform does not change. We simply get a new fancy UI option that uses a DLL shared with IE 10.

4 thoughts on “Microsoft Responds to Horrified Developers on Future of Windows 8”

  1. He mentions html and javascript a lot, but I don’t believe I heard anything about .NET. It may be there but, this isn’t Microsoft’s attempt at reassuring anyone about it in the meantime. (Well I suppose the fact that that piano app ran on both ARM and Windows.)

  2. I kind of thought this was obvious from the first video. I’m not a .NET developer but I can see why they would be annoyed that to develop these new “immersive” apps they have to learn yet another toolkit. It would be nice if they could (since it’s built on IE) also allow Silverlight apps.

    I’m all in favor of them trying to use more open technologies though.

  3. Microsoft’s adoption of HTML5 and JavaScript is a necessary step into the future, because that’s what is (or will be) running on most mobile devices. If MS is going to make inroads in that direction, it needs to ditch .Net and adopt a ‘write once/run anywhere’ development platform. Although the .Net framework was in theory designed to be platform-agnostic, it never really turned out that way.

    I never liked .Net anyway, even if I have been using it for ten years. It has a bloated object model that minimises any offsetting gains in application development efficiency, because it takes a long time to become familiarised with the model. HTML5 used in conjunction with JavaScript libraries like JQuery don’t present the same learning curve.

    Also, the .Net postback and viewstate were corruptions of the W3C standard for HTTP, which is supposed to be a stateless protocol. Hopefully, the end of .Net will return HTTP to its original intents.

    I won’t be weeping any tears for .Net.

  4. .NET doesn’t mean simply Windows forms.
    Windows apps are just a very small piece.

    I don’t see any threat to ASP.NET, Entity Framework, WCF, Windows Identity Foundation etc.
    Microsoft always release many forms of programming. For example we exposed Azure through REST, we follow WS TRUST. Even .NET had options of many languages right from very start. Has that ever been a threat to .NET? Never!

    When talking about design and architecture, I see that through this Microsoft has only added a new capability to UI layer, none of the other layers will be affected.

    If a person has to develop a UI meant for standards he anyway have to chose HTML 5 and Javascript, if he wants to do something extra to Macintosh he has to chose SL (not Javascript) if he has to develop for Windows 8 he now has MANY options and if someone chooses HTML + Javascript that would be either because he wanted that to be standards based OR he is good at that. For sure WPF and WinForms will now be an ioption that one would use only if he wants to use existing rich UI controls.

    I would never imagine a person to access Windows 8 platform capabilities through Javascript because he cannot anyways use that JS code anywhere else. It would only be because that developer is comfortable with JS. Everyone else would still choose C#.

    XAML vs HTML is a race now and windows 8 has got nothing to do with it. If Microsoft can continue to keep SL ahead of HTML standards, people will chose SL for sure if they are not looking for absolute interoperability.

    Rahul Gangwar

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