Update on the recent craze in mass media to call the new era “post-PC” by Frank X. Shaw Microsoft Corporation [19 Aug 2011 3:37 PM]:
In the past year, and again in the past few weeks, I’ve seen a resurgence of the term “post” applied to the PC in a number of stories including The Wall Street Journal, PC World and the Washington Post. Heck, I even mentioned it in my 30th anniversary of the PC post, noting that “PC plus” was a better term.
… eReaders, Tablets, Smartphones, Set top boxes, aren’t PC killers, but instead are complementary devices. They are each highly optimized to do a great job on a subset of things any PC can also do. …
I’ll be the first to admit that these new “non-PC” objects do a great job at enabling people to communicate and consume in innovative and interesting ways. That’s not surprising, because they were expressly designed for that purpose. But even their most ardent admirers will not assert that they are as good as PCs at the first two verbs, create and collaborate. And that’s why one should take any reports of the death of the PC with a rather large grain of salt. Because creating and collaborating are two of the most basic human drives, and are central to the idea of the PC. They move our culture, economy and world forward. You see their fingerprints in every laboratory, startup, classroom, and community.
At Microsoft, we envision a future where increasingly powerful devices of all kinds will connect with cloud services to make it all the more easier for us social beings to create, communicate, collaborate and consume information. I encourage you to tune into our BUILD conference in mid-September where our vision for this world of devices will become clearer.
@TrooperKal — we finished Windows 7 in July of 2009 and had started our long lead work on Windows 8 a little before that. That’s similar to how we worked on Windows 7 relative to the previous release.
[Re: TroperKal’s question: “It is pretty obvious from your team structure and the already discussed features of v.8 that work has been underway for some time. Just for curiosity’s sake, when did work properly begin on this new version?” ]
Windows 8 for software developers: the Longhorn dream reborn? [by Peter Bright, June 23, 2011]
Windows 8 will ship with a pair of runtimes; a new .NET runtime (currently version stamped 4.5), and a native code C++ runtime (technically, COM, or a derivative thereof), named WinRT. There will be a new native user interface library, DirectUI, that builds on top of the native Direct2D and DirectWrite APIs that were introduced with Windows 7. A new version of Silverlight, apparently codenamed Jupiter, will run on top of DirectUI. WinRT and DirectUI will both be directly accessible from .NET through built-in wrappers.
WinRT provides a clean and modern API for many of the things that Win32 does presently. It will be, in many ways, a new, modern Win32. The API is designed to be easy to use from “modern” C++ (in contrast to the 25 year old, heavily C-biased design of Win32); it will also map cleanly onto .NET concepts. In Windows 8, it’s unlikely that WinRT will cover everythingWin32 can do—Win32 is just so expansive that modernizing it is an enormous undertaking—but I’m told that this is the ultimate, long-term objective. And WinRT is becoming more and more extensive with each new build that leaks from Redmond.
WinRT isn’t just providing a slightly nicer version of the existing Win32 API, either. Microsoft is taking the opportunity to improve the API’s functionality, too. The clipboard API, for example, has been made easier to use and more flexible. There will also be pervasive support for asynchronous operations, providing a clean and consistent way to do long-running tasks in the background.
DirectUI is built around a core subset of current WPF/Silverlight technology. It includes support for XAML, the XML language for laying out user interfaces, and offers the rich support for layouts that Win32 has never had. This core will give C++ programs their modern user interface toolkit and, at its heart, it will be the same toolkit that .NET developers use too. (DirectUI is a name Microsoft has used before, internally, for a graphics library used by Windows Live Messenger. The new DirectUI appears to be unrelated.)
Jupiter is essentially Silverlight 6; a fully-featured, flexible toolkit for building applications. The exact relationship between DirectUI and Jupiter isn’t entirely clear at the moment. It’s possible that they’re one and the same—and that DirectUI will grow in functionality until it’s able to do everything that Silverlight can do. It’s also possible that DirectUI will retain only core functionality, with a more complete framework built on top of its features. Another option is that Jupiter refers specifically to immersive, full-screen, touch-first applications.
XAML and the WPF-like, Silverlight-like way of developing GUIs are going to be absolutely central to Windows development in the future. Testament to their new importance is a reorganization that occurred at the start of this week. Instead of operating under DevDiv’s roof, the XAML team has been broken into three parts. The group working on XAML and related technology for use in Windows has moved to WinDiv, and the group working on it for Windows Phone, Xbox, and the browser plugin has moved to Windows Phone. Only the group that works on the developer tools—including Visual Studio and Expression Blend—is staying behind in DevDiv. The internal Microsoft e-mail announcing the change notes that the XAML team has been working with the Windows team for the duration of Windows 8’s development; this move simply makes them a formal part of the UI team.
Far from being a developer disaster, Windows 8 should be a huge leap forward: a release that threatens to make development a pleasure for native, managed, and Web developers alike. The unification of the .NET and native worlds; the full hardware acceleration; the clean, modern APIs; Avalon as the primary solution for creating Windows UIs—this is what Longhorn’s WinFX promised all those years ago, and this time around it looks like it might actually happen.
Microsoft splits up its XAML team: What’s the fallout? [June 23, 2011] (emphasis is mine)
… Microsoft on June 20 split up its XAML team, sending part of it to Windows, part to Windows Phone and leaving part in the Developer Division, according to an e-mail from Developer Division chief Soma Somasegar dated June 20. …
From: S. Somasegar
Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011
To: Client and Mobile Team
Cc: Developer Division FTE; Steven Sinofsky; Julie
Larson-Green; Terry Myerson; David Treadwell
Subject: Bringing together client platform efforts
Over the last couple of years, our Client and Mobile team has done a fantastic job of building a number of XAML related technologies that have been a huge value add to the Microsoft client platforms and an instrumental part of delighting our developer customers. The agility and customer focus that the team has demonstrated over the years has been a pleasure to watch.
Today, we are making some organization changes to bring our platform technologies under a single management structure. These changes are centered around three focus areas:
• The team working on XAML technologies for Windows will move to Windows.
• The team working on XAML technologies for Windows Phone, Xbox and browser plugin will move to Windows Phone. [Microsoft Mobile Communications Business is now the Windows Phone Division [by Mary Jo Foly in ZDNET, June 16, 2011]]
• The Client and Mobile tools teams, including Windows Phone tools and XAML tools, will stay in DevDiv.
These changes are all effective immediately. From a performance review perspective, we will do this year’s performance review underthe DevDiv organization model.
I want to thank Kevin Gallo [publicly so far: General Manager on Silverlight, he was originally writing the graphics engine of WPF but by 2007 was already product unit manager for Silverlight, now he has been moved to the Windows Phone where the Silverlight heritage will continue to live] and the team for all the great work that they have done over the years. Moving forward, I’m very excited to bring the client platform efforts closer to the platform teams. There is a lot of very exciting and critical work underway as part of our next wave of platform releases and I am very eagerly looking forward to seeing the team’s work in the hands of our developers and customers.
The follow-up emails will provide more details on thechanges to those impacted. Please join me in wishing Kevin and the team all the very best as we move forward. If you have any questions about this change, please let your manager or me know.
Please welcome the XAML platform team to Windows! [by Scott Barnes, June 24, 2011] (emphasis is mine)
From: Julie Larson-Green Sent: Monday, June 20, 2011 9:35 AM To: Grant George; Jon DeVaan; Julie Larson-Green; John Cable; Yves Neyrand; Craig Fleischman; Bambo C. Sofola; Scott Herrboldt; Greg Chapman; Julie Bennett; Jeff Johnson; Ales Holecek; Mohammed El-Gammal; Chuck Chan; Michael Fortin; Eric Traut; Jensen Harris; Linda Averett; Alex Simons (WINDOWS); Gabriel Aul; Dennis Flanagan; Iain McDonald; Samuel Moreau; Dean Hachamovitch; Michael Angiulo; Antoine Leblond; Tami Reller; Chris Jones (WINDOWS LIVE); Jonathan Wiedemann; Ulrike Irmler; Adrianna Burrows Cc: XAML Team; Kevin Gallo; S. Somasegar; Terry Myerson; Sharman Mailloux Sosa; Brad Fringer; Steven Sinofsky
Subject: Please welcome the XAML platform team to Windows!
We’re pleased to announce the transition of the XAML platform team from the Developer Division to the Windows team. While the team has been working side-by-side with the Windows team for the entire project, this step brings them into our team formally.
The team will continue their work on Windows 8 as planned and will join our Developer Experience (DEVX) team. This transition allows us to bring together our platform development team in a single-management structure.
The dev, test, and pm leaders who will be leading the team reporting to AlesH, YvesN, and LindaAv are:
- Sujal Parikh, Development Manager
- Eduardo Leal-Tostado, Test Manager
- Joe Stegman, Group Program Manager
The leads and individuals joining our team are receiving this mail and have received communication on next steps.
These changes in leadership and organization are effective today. For the purposes of finishing out the fiscal year and the performance review process the team will operate under the existing management structure.
There will be an informal Q&A session today to welcome everyone and answer any questions that folks might have.
– XAML team welcome – 2:00-3:00 in building 37/1701Please join me in welcoming these folks to our organization! Julie
Somewhat may be related: Non-iPad tablet vendors likely to launch new Wintel-based models to compete with Apple in 2012 [June 24, 2011]
Intel and Microsoft are jointly touting a new Wintel-based platform for tablet PCs, raising hopes among non-iPad tablet PC vendors that they may be able to compete more effectively with Apple in the segment in 2012 with models other than ARM/Android-based products, according to industry sources.
Most non-iPad table PC vendors have been frustrated recently due to lower-than-expected performance of their tablet PCs built with ARM/Android. While attributing the slow sales to the instability of Android and the strong brand image that Apple enjoys, some vendors have also begun mulling new strategies to strengthen their competitiveness.
Knowing the demand from tablet PC vendors, Intel and Microsoft have recently revealed a roadmap for their Wintel platform to production partners, said the sources, noting that the new platform will come with a less than 5W low-power CPU from Intel paired with Microsoft’s Windows 8 OS.
While Intel is also expected to lower prices for its new CPUs, tablet PC vendors also hope that the new Wintel platform will help them tackle the compatibility issues found between Android 3.0 and 3.1.
Premature cries of Silverlight / WPF skill loss. Windows 8 supports all programming models [by David Burela, June 14, 2011]
A few people have been digging into the Windows 8 Milestone 3 leak and peeking into the UI framework and .dlls that exist. The most vocal of these have been @JoseFajardo and people in this forum thread http://forums.mydigitallife.info/threads/26404-Windows-8-(7955)-Findings-in-M3-Leak
The first piece of the puzzle comes from the new application model for creating applications. There are a number of codenames here that need to be sorted out
- DirectUI: The underlying framework that creates, draws the visual elements on the screen.
- Jupiter: The new packaging format of applications on Windows 8. Allows apps to be written in language of choice.
- Immersive applications: Current theory is that these are apps that execute within the ‘new shell’ in windows 8. And are aware of being split paned and resized. Like was shown with the RSS feed reader.
Direct UI has been around since Windows Vista days. Previous is seemed to be focused around UI basics for the OS such as theming app windows in the ‘new vista style’ vs. classic theming in WinXP. http://blog.vistastylebuilder.com/?tag=directui
Now it seems that Direct UI is being overhauled to have additional functionality to load XAML applications, new animations, etc.
interesting rumor fact : WP8 rumored to be codenamed Apollo, and Apollo is the son of Jupiter Jupiter being the new UI framework of Win8
…Jupiter is shaping up to be a very very lean SL/WPF implementation
…your SL/WPF skills will be invaluable for DirectUI apps, and you get a new framework that is seriously lean!!!
DirectUI.dll is basically Silverlight (agcore.dll) ported to Windows/WinRT
Jose Fajardo has been a great source of information on Windows 8 leaks. From information he has dug up, as well as information on the forums, it seems that the new Jupiter programming API is a mashup between WPF & Silverlight.
While the new Jupiter programming model may not be a direct continuation of WPF or Silverlight it does seem to have a lot of code from both technologies. Jupiter instead seems to be a ‘Next generation’ XAML based framework. A framework that can be targeted against by all main current languages used by the typical .Net developer (C#, HTML, etc)
*speculation* This could be because of the calls from the development community to make WPF & Silverlight more aligned. Perhaps we’ll see an updated ‘Silverlight’ framework when Windows Phone 8 is released that is compatible with Jupiter.
Creating applications with Jupiter
As further evidence that Jupiter applications can be created with your language of choice, and that it has roots in Silverlight, here are some examples of how to create applications.
C# & XAML
Here is an example of using C# to invoke a new Jupiter based application. The really interesting thing to notice here is that the loading screen has the iconic Silverlight loading animation!
Example of an application being created in C++ with a single call to CreateImmersiveWindowFunc
There are some initial attempts at getting HTML working with the new frameworks. The apps and manifests have been created, but a few more hooks may be required to get a fully working version
There is some confusion over the distinction between a “Jupiter app” and an “Immersive app”. Immersive apps require a call to CreateImmersiveWindow and can make calls to the new immersive namespace
Immersive applications are ones that were shown to live inside of the new Windows 8 shell. Examples of functions that an immersive app can do can be seen with the RSS reader app. When it was docked and resized, it knew to display its data in a different format.
- Classic / Jupiter applicationswill run in the ‘classic windows’ desktop view that was seen when they fired up excel
- Immersive applications will be embedded within the new shell
Will this work for existing applications?
There is evidence that existing applications can be wrapped up in the new packaging format.
So while existing applications may not run with the new Direct UI framework, it seems they will still be able to be packaged and distributed through the Windows 8 App store. This was discovered by Long Zheng a few months ago.
The AppX format is universal enough so it appears to work for everything from native Win32 applications to framework-based applications (WPF, Silverlight) and even *gasp* web applications. Games are also supported.
While Microsoft only showed off the HTML hooks into Jupiter, I am a LOT more excited about the upcoming XAML based framework.
If you are an existing WPF, Silverlight or Windows Phone 7 developer, it seems that your XAML based skills will carry across fine to the new development framework on Windows 8.
My thoughts are that Microsoft announced that applications can be created in HTML in the same way that they announced it in WindowsXP with active desktop, and then again in Vista with “HTML based sidebar gadgets”. It was a way of saying “hey you can use your existing web skills to create applications on Windows 8.
And that Microsoft plans on unveiling the new Jupiter SL/WPF hybrid framework for all of the “Real developers” at BUILD in 3 months.
Hmmm… my memory is flooding mah brain with “remember…” moments… Before I left the team etc I remember hearing the windev teams wanted to put a 3rd Animation framework on the market. At first we laughed and ignored it with “oh great, what well need…a third option to confuse the already converted..”
Now thinking on it more, me thinks its this mystery framework coming to haunt us all. Now, i’m thinking this concept has existed but was already ported across to the XAML way of life around Windows 7 timelines (memory is sketchy on this one). If that’s correct then i think this is an official code-reset on WPF/Silverlight but with reduced capabilities (ie less the bloat).
Question is how mature is it compared to the two? it’s all well and good to throw a FILE->NEW->UX Platform onto the table, but if it lacks parity with the existing? what have we gained?….performance?…i’ll wait until i see how the fundametals found in most photoshop effects filters gets applied here and performs under what i call “developer-art load”….lots of glows, dropshadows and crazy ass animations..
Win8 M3 (7955) findings relevant to Managed .net & WPF/SL developers [[Jose Fajardo] June 14-17, 2011]
[Forum discussion on comparing WPF UIElement, Silverlight UIElement, WP7 Silverlight UIElement and WinMD(DirectUI)]
@vbandi András Velvárt
Don’t worry abt Silverlight! Jupiter has dep props, similar API & layout logic, RenderTransform, UIElement, etc http://bit.ly/mdL06i [Win8 M3 (7955) findings relevant to Managed .net & WPF/SL developers]
16 Jun via MetroTwit
Continuation of that: Win8 M3 (7989) findings relevant to Managed .net & WPF/SL developers [[Jose Fajardo] June 19-24, 2011]
SilverlightWPF [Jose Fajardo] 21 Jun 2011 11:27 AM
- God, this article got so many things wrong, or I should say I beg to differ so here is my take
http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/…-trenches/9738 [Under the Windows 8 hood: Questions and answers from the trenches [by Mary Jo Foly in ZDNET, June 20, 2011]]
- I guess there are two possible meanings for ‘Jupiter’, it could be the DirectUI.dll, or, it could be the whole api framework that exposed by WinRT/WinMD, includes DirectUI.dll and Windows.*.dll and some more. so basically Jupiter == DirectUI eitherway.
- essentially Windows Runtime is just ‘Modern COM’, which is just an interface for exposing code. its not an actual ‘runtime library’ like CLR. I think you can expose code written with any ‘runtime library’ as WinRT components, just like you can write COM components in C/VC++/VB6/Delphi/.NET/etc.
- DirectUI applications live in a HWND with a class called ‘JupiterWindowClass’ and a caption ‘Jupiter Window’, personally I think this IS strong ‘correlation’ betwwen Jupiter and DirectUI. and, as far as I can see there is ‘no direct correlation’ between DirectUI.dll and the old ‘DirectUI’ in dui70.dll which uses the ‘duixml’ markup.
- and I have never seen any connections between SLR/WCL and ‘everything else’. wcl*.dll exposed as WinRT ? where ? Windows Runtime is the marketing name for the SLR ? where does that come from ?
Jupiter could be an entire ecosystem too, could be the tooling + api that goes into creating jupiter apps.
Jupiter could be the next marketing buzz world, like “Silverlight” was!
Who the hell knows! I know I’m not confident enough to say that Jupiter==DirectUI!
Nor am I confident in saying WindowsRuntime is COM version next..
Regardless it’s all interpretation until MS come out and explain themselves.
Power to you if you can conclude all this, personally I only talk about things i know are factually correct that I’ve chased down to registry settings, code in exe’s/dll’s, or reproduced in code myself.
June 1 – June 3 and 6:
TINY FACTUAL INFORMATION FROM MICROSOFT
(say just HTML5 for now, not a bit more)
ilyen világos megfogalmazásokban én ezt mondanám:
– azt is láttuk, hogy amikor “az Interneten végzendő teendőkhöz nincsen ehhez az új UX környezethez szabott (“tailored”), új stílusú (“new style”) alkalmazásunk”, akkor az IE9-hez képest “touch first”-re áttervezett IE10-et használjuk
– ebben ugyanúgy vannak “odatűzött” webhelyek (“pinned sites”, vagyis URL-ekkel azonosított webalkalmazások vagy webhelyek), de vagy a Start Screen csemperendszerében vagy egy teljesen új kialakítású, amennyire meg tudom ítélni dinamikusan megjelenő (pl. “Frequent” illetve “Pinned” listák a képernyős billentyű felett) task bar-on helyezkednek el
– az új UX környezethez szabott (új stílusú) alkalmazások a Windows eszközökhöz (facilities) — tehát a natív platform eszközökhöz — is hozzáférhetnek, tehát nincsen két shell, csak egyetlen shell
– ugyanakkor arra a kérdésre, hogy miért nem írja át az Office részleg alkalmazásait erre az új UX környezetre, a konkrét válasz: “Valamit lehetséges, hogy tesznek a jövőben, most azonban az volt a célunk, hogy megmutassuk, nem kell az embereknek a meglévő alkalmazásaikat, melyeket jól ismernek, feladniuk ahhoz, hogy egy mobilabb form factorhoz jussanak. Vagyis az embereknek egy billentyűzetet kell csatlakoztatniuk és használhatják [régi alkalmazásaikat] ugyanúgy, mint eddig.”
The factual details:
Metro styled new entertainment experience on Xbox 360 [June 6, 2011]
Metro Design Language of Windows Phone 7 [on-line tutorial from Microsoft, Dec 5, 2010]
Building “Windows 8” – Video #1 [June 1, 2011]
– related press release: Previewing ‘Windows 8’ [June 1, 2011
… a few aspects of the new interface we showed today:
- Fast launching of apps from a tile-based Start screen, which replaces the Windows Start menu with a customizable, scalable full-screen view of apps.
- Live tiles with notifications, showing always up-to-date information from your apps.
- Fluid, natural switching between running apps.
- Convenient ability to snap and resize an app to the side of the screen, so you can really multitask using the capabilities of Windows.
- Fully touch-optimized browsing, with all the power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10.
… we have much more to reveal at our developer event, BUILD (Sept. 13 – 16 in Anaheim, Calif.)
Microsoft’s Steven Sinofsky, live from D9 [June 1, 2011]
Microsoft’s Windows 8 Demo From D9 (Video) [June 1, 2011]
Microsoft Unveils ‘Windows 8’ to World on 2011 Computex in Taiwan [June 2, 2011]
… everything that users see in the demo videos will actually make it in the RTM Build of Windows 8, otherwise, Steven Sinofsky, President, Windows and Windows Live Division would not have allowed it to be made public, per the translucency communication strategy he implemented even before Windows 7.
In the end, I think it’s a safe bet to expect Sinofsky to underpromise and overachieve with Windows 8, just as he did with Windows 7.
Office and other apps:
Why not the Office team will rewrite the Office into that kind of aproach?
[Walt Mossberg, [6:45-6:51]]
They may do something in the future but we don’t think people should give up everything they know online just to get to a more mobile form factor. So people can plug-in a keyboard and use just like they would use otherwise.
[Julie Larson-Green [6:51-7:06]]
Windows 8: It’s the Applications, Stupid! [June 3, 2011]
It’s a huge question. While Larson-Green said that the current version of Office would behave in touch-friendly fashion in Windows 8, it’s obvious that it’s not going to feel like it was written for the new interface. (You could tell that when she fumbled with Excel as she tried to drag it off-screen with her fingertip.)
I imagine that the real answer to Walt and Kara’s queries is that yes, of course, Microsoft is going to reimagine Office for Windows 8. But even then, it’s not obvious whether the company is going to give Office a truly touch-centric interface as the default. (Sounds hugely risky and probably impossible to do well–all the Office apps are rife with features that will never work well without a mouse and keyboard.) Or mirror what it’s doing with Windows 8 and give Office two different interfaces. (That also sounds extremely tricky.) Or do something akin to what Apple did with its iWork suite, and build a separate version of Office with fewer features and a wholly new interface. (That sounds like it could make sense.)
Every other significant software developer is going to have to deal with similar questions. It’s not yet clear what the right answers are–it’s possible that Windows’ new look will be a bust and it’ll be silly to invest energy in supporting it. And the right answers will be different for different companies. But ignoring Windows 8 won’t be an option.
I caught Sinofsky after his D9 talk and asked — would Windows 8, the full-blown operating system, be running on future phones?
Sinofsky smiled, and smiled big, but he only said that’s not something Microsoft has announced yet. So, we wait to see.
What if it happens? Getting to that unification “first” doesn’t necessarily mean that Microsoft somehow “wins” in doing so. For one, would it really run that well on phone-sized devices? That remains to be seen.
For another, it also means that Windows 7 Phone users would be upgrade-orphaned. The apps they have for that platform probably wouldn’t run on Windows 8 devices.
Does this [BUILD] event replace PDC this year and in the future?
Dr. Know said on June 2, 2010
BUILD isn’t a replacement of the PDC but a new event that takes a broader view of a developer community that now extends far beyond the realm of just “pro developers”. From hardware, to the web, to software and the PC … BUILD is the key developer event you should attend in 2011 (there won’t be a PDC this year).
Jennifer Ritzinger [Microsoft] said on June 3, 2010
BUILDing a bright future [June 1, 2011] (emphasis is mine)
… At BUILD, Microsoft will show off the new app model that enables the creation of web-connected and services-powered apps that have access to the full power of the PC.
The conference name, BUILD, reflects a call to action for the more than one hundred million developers driving the pace of technology: build experiences with the next version of Windows that will transform the computing experience for billions of people across the globe. …
Today, everyone can be a developer; the most tech-savvy generation we’ve ever seen is fueling demand for new tools and technologies. Many of the developers building web sites and apps that make an impact have no formal education in computer science or engineering. BUILD will be a gateway to new opportunity for all developers.
The professional developer community continues to be a vital part of the Microsoft ecosystem. We value the longstanding and deep relationship with this group and will continue to engage with this important audience in a way that best meets its needs. For these developers, BUILD connects Microsoft’s past to Microsoft’s future.
June 1 – June 6:
UPHEAVAL OF ENORMOUS PROPORTIONS (or more questions than answers)
- Food for harsh criticism because of absolutely no communication for the previous dev stories [ENORMOUS LENGTH]
- From a quite opinionated but quite unsatisfied previous insider: http://twitter.com/#!/MossyBlog[ENORMOUS LENGTH]
Food for harsh criticism because of absolutely no communication for the previous dev stories:
Windows 8: A missed opportunity. [June 3, 2011]
So the rumors were true. Microsoft was planning to radically reimagine Windows as we knew it. It would feature a modern, fluid touch interface, it was to be heavily inspired by Metro on Windows Phone, and it was to have an app store.
Good. Right? Not exactly. Its a bitter sweet outcome, because another rumor ended up being true. This one started by Scott Barnes, the sometimes controversial, seemingly always right former Silverlight PM. This rumor said that there was an internal struggle inside Microsoft, and the factions at war were the .NET/Wpf/Silverlight heads versus the Windows division heads.
The war is over. We lost. In an ironic, but telling turn of events, hot of the heels of the Mono guys forming a start up based around .NET, the inventors of the technologies themselves have seemingly given up on the platform.
Sounds dramatic, even outlandish right? Well so did the rumors about Silverlight, WPF, et all’s death. Yet here we are, and its sad because it represents a monumental missed opportunity.
Consider the following:
Microsoft had rare opportunity to throw backwards compatibility to the wind and make a clean cut. A fresh start. A new Windows.
Microsoft had the chance then to simplify and unify their developer story. Slim down .NET, remove the legacy cruft (Winform, older depreciated APIs) and simply call it “Silverlight”. Make it the de facto development platform on Windows, like it is on Windows Phone.
Say to developers: Here’s our Windows App store. The ONLY way to get published on the app store is to write a cross platform Silverlight application. This application will work on x86, x64, and ARM based environments. Its resolution independent, completely hardware accelerated, and secure.
You do many things at once: You simplify, unify, and move forward your developer story. You ensure a verifiable, secure execution environment on Windows 8. You solve the cross platform problem. You KEEP YOUR DEVELOPERS HAPPY. People who have invested years into your technologies do not appreciate being essentially shown the door.
Its fine to embrace HTML5/JS, if web developers want to cause themselves pain, then hey, thats them. Do NOT subject your loyal, devoted, armies of developers to the horrors of the web platform.
We dont just need to #fixwpf, we need to #fixwindows8.
Microsoft refuses to comment as .NET developers fret about Windows 8 [Tim Anderson, June 3, 2011]
There is a long discussion over on the official Silverlight forum about Microsoft’s Windows 8 demo at D9 and what was said, and not said; and another over on Channel 9, Microsoft’s video-centric community site for developers.
At D9 Microsoft showed that Windows 8 has a dual personality. In one mode it has a touch-centric user interface which is an evolved version of what is on Windows Phone 7. In another mode, just a swipe away, it is the old Windows 7, plus whatever incremental improvements Microsoft may add. Let’s call it the Tiled mode and the Classic mode.
Although D9 is not a developer event, Microsoft did talk specifically about this aspect. Here is the press release:
Program Manager Jensen Harris says in the preview video:
- We introduced a new platform based on standard web technologies
Microsoft made no mention of either Silverlight or .NET, even though Silverlight is used as the development platform in Windows Phone 7, from which Windows 8 Tiled mode draws its inspiration.
- My biggest fears coming into Windows 8 was that, as a mostly WPF+.NET developer, was that they would shift everything to Silverlight and leave the FULL platform (can you write a Visual Studio in Silverlight? of course not, not designed for that) in the dust. To my utter shock, they did something much, much, much worse.
- We are not Windows developers because we love Windows. We put up with Windows so we can use C#, F# and VS2010. I’ve considered changing the platform many times. What stops me each time is the goodness that keeps coming from devdiv. LINQ, Rx, TPL, async – these are the reasons I’m still on Windows.
What is curious is that the developer tools division at Microsoft, part of Server and Tools, has continued to support and promote .NET; and in fact Microsoft is soon to deliver Visual Studio LightSwitch, a new edition of Visual Studio that generates only Silverlight applications. Microsoft is also using Silverlight for a number of its own web user interfaces, such as for Azure, System Center and Windows InTune, as noted here.
Now, I still expect that both Silverlight and native code, possibly with some new XAML-based tool, will be supported for Windows 8 Tiled mode. But Microsoft has not said so; and may remain silent until the Build conference in September according to .NET community manager Pete Brown [response #1 to the Silverlight Forum discussion [06-02-2011 6:44 PM]]:
- You all saw a very small technology demo of Windows 8, and a brief press release. We’re all being quiet right now because we can’t comment on this. It’s not because we don’t care, aren’t listening, have given up, or are agreeing or disagreeing with you on something. All I can say for now is to please wait until September. If we say more before then, that will be great, but there are no promises (and I’m not aware of any plans) to say more right now. I’m very sorry that there’s nothing else to share at the moment. I know that answer is terrible, but it’s all that we can say right now. Seriously.
While this is clearly not Brown’s fault, this is poor developer communication and PR from Microsoft. The fact that .NET and Silverlight champion Scott Guthrie is moving to Windows Azure is no comfort.
The developer division, and in fact the whole of Server and Tools, has long been a bright spot at Microsoft and among its most consistent performers. The .NET story overall includes some bumps, but as a platform for business applications it has been a remarkable success. The C# language has evolved rapidly and effectively under the guidance of Technical Fellow Anders Hejlsberg. It would be bewildering if Microsoft were to turn its back on .NET, even if only on the client.
In fact, it is bewildering that Microsoft is being so careless with this critical part of its platform, even if this turns out to be more to do with communication than technical factors.
From the outside, it still looks as if Microsoft’s server and tools division is pulling one way, and the Windows team the other. If that is the case, it is destructive, and something CEO Steve Ballmer should address; though I imagine that Steven Sinofsky, the man who steered Windows 7 to launch so successfully, is a hard person to oppose even for the CEO.
Update: Journalist Mary Jo Foley has posted [June 6] on what she “hears from my contacts” about Jupiter:
- Jupiter is a user interface library for Windows and will allow developers to build immersive applications using a XAML-based approach with coming tools from Microsoft. Jupiter will allow users a choice of programming languages, namely, C#, Visual Basic and C++.
Jupiter, presuming her sources are accurate, is the managed code platform for the new Windows shell – “Tiled mode” or “Tailored Apps” or “Modern Shell – MoSH”; though if that is the case, I am not sure whether C++ in this context will compile to managed or unmanaged code. Since Silverlight is already a way to code using XAML, it is also not clear to me whether Jupiter is in effect a new Windows-only version of Silverlight, or yet another approach.
Microsoft needs to tell Windows 8 developers now about ‘Jupiter’ and Silverlight [Mary Jo Foley, June 6, 2011]
I’ve blogged before about the XAML layer that Microsoft is building for Windows 8 as part of its “Jupiter” initiative. Yes, it still exists, I hear from my contacts. And yes, this will enable support of native Silverlight applications. (Does this mean Windows Phone apps written using Silverlight will be able to run on Windows 8 with no/few tweaks? I don’t know.)
Microsoft is still going to support Silverlight with Windows 8, and not only as a browser plug-in, my sources say.
At the more granular and immediate level, Jupiter is the way that Microsoft is planning to get developers to write new “immersive” applications for Windows 8 that will use the IE 10 rendering engine while using the .Net and Silverlight technologies they already know. Jupiter is aiming to provide these developers with a managed code XAML library, so that developers can access the sensors, networking and other Windows 8 elements in a way to which they’re accustomed.
I believe Jupiter is key to enabling Microsoft to continue to insist that Silverlight’s not dead (as far as a development platform) — at least for now. But anything that’s not a new Windows 8 “immersive,” modern application, going forward, is now going to be considered “legacy,” from what I can tell.
All of what I’ve said here is from sources who have asked not to be identified, not from Microsoft officials associated with Microsoft’s Windows or Developer Division. Like many devs I’ve heard from, I don’t believe Microsoft can’t afford to wait three more months to let its developer base know what its intentions are. So far, however, ill-advised silence seems to be the Softies’ plan….
[Pete Brown had a numerous other responses on that thread [Windows 8 apps going html5, wtf [from 06-01-2011 8:06 PM to 06-03-2011 3:23 PM when locked by Pete Brown] as until 3 days later having enormous visibility of 10,030,100 views] but being just kind of moderation responses, including – not a usual thing – editing responses by other for “non-civil” words, and finally closing the first thread and responding to another one with same topic [Windows 8 apps going html5, wtf – part 2 [from 06-03-2011 3:46 PM still on] as until 3 days later having large visibility of 1,118,657 views].
Besides Pete Brown’s responses the enormous bad publicity caused by that huge developers visibility will cost Microsoft quite a lot as Steve Barns nicknamed MossyBlog [See also his other responses after Pete Brown’s responses] remarked quite well on twitter:
josephcooney Joseph Cooney by rickasaurus @ @MossyBlog The stats on this page say it’s 9M going on to 10M http://forums.silverlight.net/forums/17.aspx?PageIndex=3 8 hours ago
in reply to ↑
in reply to ↑
@MossyBlog Scott Barnes
I am so glad I’m not a Microsoft Evangelist still.. i mean..fark me.. talk about walking into the lions den. 8 hours ago via web
in reply to ↑
in reply to ↑
Back to Pete Brown’s real responses: I will consider his first non-moderating response on that as his real response #2 (almost a whole day passed between those, he probably got permission from the above to really respond):]
Pete Brown’s #2 response [06-03-2011 4:30 PM] (Microsoft Community Program Manager – WPF, Silverlight, XNA, Windows Phone, more) (emphasis is mine)
News outlets make assumptions. I can’t respond to that, neither does MS PR for reasons I don’t entirely fathom.
The press release shows only what we showed that day and is carefully worded to state as much. It doesn’t speak to Windows 8 as a whole.
I’m not a PR person. I don’t know why we word things the way we do, or why we show certain things. I’m just asking folks not to make assumptions here (one way or the other) based on information we haven’t actually shared.
We can’t say anything else until September. Trust me that the previous thread was visible at some of the highest levels inside Microsoft (one reason I edited to remove the trolls and insulting that was a problem and obscuring the message the thread was sending)
To be very clear: I’m not saying anything here other than “wait for //build/” and our press release is the official word until you hear otherwise from PR or top Microsoft leadership. There are no promises being made here. I’m not stating support or lack of support for any specific technology or group of technologies.
Pete Brown’s #3 response [06-03-2011 5:33 PM] (emphasis is mine)
Guys, don’t make it personal. It’s heading down the same road as next time.
Keep it to issues on topic. Keep it civil. Don’t be mean. Be respectful. Remember, we’re all peers here, not enemies.
Pete Brown’s #4 response [06-03-2011 6:32 PM] (emphasis is mine)
This makes zero sense to me and seems reactionary rather than a well-thought-out architectural decision.
You saw that you can write WPF apps for Windows 8. “Existing apps will run”. TBD if they can use the new shell, but they do run in classic mode at a minimum.
While I’ll be happy to be proven wrong, I’m going to go out on a limb here and say the majority of internal business applications are not going to make use of the new tile interface in a big way. Why? From my own informal surveys and 15 years in consulting (I’ve been at Microsoft just over 1.5 years), most business users, developers, and managers, are still stuck in “500 fields and a 100 column datagrid” mode when designing apps. It’s rare to find a team with a real UX pro involved up-front and who have the capability, skill, desire (and time/funding) to move beyond that. In addition, many businesses still run XP, or they run Windows 7 and will continue to do so for a long time. Windows 8 won’t be released for some time, and 7 is a very good OS with long legs. I’ve even seen businesses that require their users to stick with the classic Win2k style shell no matter what OS.
That all said, we’re squarely targeting WPF at ISV type applications, and Silverlight at business developers. I’ve been saying that one for a while now. That has no bearing on what we’re doing for Windows 8. Whether or not you can target the tile interface using anything beyond HTML/JS/CSS is a question for the //build/ conference to answer.
Silverlight 5 is still in progress. WPF v.next is still in progress. Both are scheduled for release. Both are real products with real features that real developers find really useful 🙂
Finally, we don’t have the full story. Making future architectural decisions based on assumptions from demos is irresponsible. Saying we should tell you more does not change the fact that you are making a decision based on a very minimal amount of evidence.
Pete Brown’s #5 response [06-05-2011 1:52 AM] (emphasis is mine)
In september I expect to see in Pete’s blog articles like “The Present of Silverlight and WPF!” and “A lap around HTML5!”
History will be the only thing that shows what I do in September. Anything else is just additional speculation.
Until then, fire away. Going after me is easy at the moment (as a community guy, I expect this), but unfortunately that’s doing nothing to further your purposes. I’m not offended, but I feel like if you’d apply that energy to a different approach, you might accomplish something.
FWIW, With the exception of the few posts that came in after the thread lock in the old thread (*I* think there was a race condition there, but the site dev team doesn’t quite agree<g>), I haven’t deleted posts criticizing me or Microsoft, just those attacking other members, and none in this new thread so far.
Pete Brown’s #6 response [06-05-2011 2:02 AM] (emphasis is mine)
Unless it came directly from the mouth of Microsoft – specifically through our press releases, it’s not “fact”. It’s “speculation”.
Unfortunately, that’s what news outlets do – it helps to pull in readers when they appear to be offering additional detail. They don’t have access to any more detail than the rest of the public.
Pete Brown’s #7 response [06-05-2011 2:48 PM] (emphasis is mine)
I invested 3 years of my life to study C#, XAML and Silverlight framework, MVVM pattern to build games. 2 Years ago, it was a party, was all super happy times, just before the damn iphone take foot along the market. And now “ipèd” too. Apple and Google have no dev tools, so they leverage the standard one just to not be pitiful, and they have had success, unfortunately.
Now, i’m ready to start a new company with a huge project, and i’m BLOCKED until September.
Why are you blocked? Why does an operating system your customers won’t have for years block you from using tools that are out *now*? Silverlight 5 will be released before end of year, as promised. Nothing has changed there.
While I know direction is very important for long-term planning, as developers we need to stop chasing the shiny ball and instead use what best serves us and our customers today. Keep an eye to what is in the future, but don’t block your current projects because of that.
It’s like buying PC components. I’ve built every PC I’ve owned since my last and only boxed purchase: an IBM PS/1 286 (which itself followed the Commodore 128 I got for Christmas). Each time I do that, I have to make a decision as to what CPU/memory/motherboard etc. to purchase as there is *always* something better coming down the pike. Those better chips often mean different memory architectures and lots of other things. However, if I waited each time instead of using the best of what I had right then, I’d still be running that 286 I had before I built my first computer, a 486dx33.
This is by no means a comment on how the message is being handled, nor am I downplaying the impact here. I totally understand what’s going on; I haven’t had enough Kool-aid to lose that 🙂
As a former consultant for 13 years (where I did VB4,5,6, SQL Server, .NET, WPF, Silverlight and more) and internal IT guy for 4 years before that (doing lots of projects in a mix of VB3, Powerbuilder, Delphi, dBase, FoxPro, QBasic, and Borland C++ – when was the last time our portfolios were that diverse?), I’m just hoping to offer a little perspective. We should work with what we have today, and with what we know for sure is coming short-term, especially when all we have to go on otherwise is speculation.
At its core, last week’s questions, votes, threads and more come down to:
- What can we use to write Modern / Immersive applications in Windows 8
- What’s going to run on tablets
I’m not sure that either of those impact that vast majority of business developers in a real day-to-day way other than peace of mind (which is important, but not business critical). For sure there will be lots of app developers targeting the new stuff, but for most, it won’t come for quite a while. There’s the Windows release schedule, then the adoption schedule, then the internal IT adoption schedule (which is always way behind), then the ramp up on taking advantage of the new features of the OS.
For a bit now, we’ve been saying “Silverlight for high-end media and business applications, HTML for broad reach and consumer-oriented stuff, Silverlight/XNA on phone, and WPF for ISV (big shrinkwrapped apps)”. I haven’t heard/seen anything that would make me change that recommendation.
For the people who are quick to jump on “Silverlight is dead” at companies, I can’t help you there. Those folks were looking for any excuse. Every nugget of news that comes out gets reinterpreted as that, despite Microsoft having come out and explicitely stated several times that these technologies aren’t dead. We had a Silverlight firestarter 7 months ago, and despite the HTML-heavy messaging at MIX, we also had a bunch of Silverlight 5 sessions *and* the release of Silverlight 5 beta.
And when things do change sometime in the future (eventually, everything has to change – nothing is forever, this is not a comment about anything short-term) you and your management should take a measured approach to transition to the new technology. This is no different than many other migrations. Heck, I’ve been trying for a while to get people to move from Windows Forms (a technology which is being maintained, but not enhanced) but folks want to stay there. When I give Silverlight talks at events like Tech Ed, the vast majority of the room is still doing Windows Forms projects, many on Windows XP or Vista. That’s the reality of what’s actually out there in businesses. You will have plenty of time to adapt as necessary (or not, as appropriate) and make reasonable and educated decisions about where you want to take your skills personally, and your company as to where it what it wants to leverage.
I have to question any time I hear rumors about projects being canceled or put on hold based on a rumor of where we may take a technology several years down the road. While some of those are certainly sound, the rest seem like either knee-jerk reactions, or the management wasn’t sold on the technology to begin with.
I don’t think anyone here has been wasting time learning these skills.
And while I don’t agree with the extremes on either side of this debate (the “nothing is wrong, why are you complaining” and the “I’ve wasted my career” sides) I do think that, as developers, diversifying your technology portfolio is always a good idea. Specialization can be good, but just like with stocks, if you invest too much in just one thing, your results are going to have lots of peaks and valleys instead of being more even. Of course, the person saying that has spent the last 4+ years deeply specialized, so take that as you will 🙂
Pete Brown’s #8 response [06-05-2011 2:53 PM] (emphasis is mine)
Why doesn’t the Silverlight.net home page get updated as often as it used to?
The blogs keep coming, but what about the News, Community Samples? There used to be loads of samples now theres about 5 a month if were lucky.
The showcase hasn’t been updated for ages, there used to be 10+ new showcases every 2 weeks or so, what’s happened to that?
Silverlight has a future I’m sure, I just wonder what exactly it is.
I curate a fair bit of this stuff. Here’s an explanation
Community Samples: They need to be written by the community. They’re just not coming as quickly as they used to. This is both because what’s there already covers almost all the easy scenarios, and because many Silverlight devs are doing WP7
Showcase: I took it upon myself to start weeding out old stuff, and to raise the bar for new submissions. Showcase needs to be showcase-level material, not a dumping ground. While I’m not yet where I want to be there, we have certainly rejected a lot more things than we had before. If the submission doesn’t meet the bar and they’re willing to include source code, I ask them to submit to the community samples.
Even blogging has slowed down. That’s partially because it’s the summer, partially because folks are waiting for the next release, and partially because many Silverlight devs are doing WP7 work.
FWIW, we’re also working on the next version of this site. Check it out at http://beta.silverlight.net
Just some insight 🙂
Pete Brown’s #9 response [06-05-2011 3:29 PM] (emphasis is mine)
Lure disheartened SL/WPF/.Net folks to Android world, “Look Java and C# are almost the same so there’s not much transition pain, and we are serious about supporting Android. We will not back-stab you guys like Microsoft just did.
I’m with you all in that we could have/should have handled this better. However, I don’t think we’ve back-stabbed anyone. No one at Microsoft said HTML is the only way to go here, it’s just an approach we’re highlighting at the moment.
Unfortunately, we have a long-standing policy of not responding to press rumors and whatnot, so we can’t say anything about the interpretations the press has put out based on this small demo. I’m not even supposed to be posting about this here, but as the community guy for SL/WPF etc., I can’t help myself.
Yeah, “Wait until September” sucks for people who want to know *now*, but it’s not backstabbing. Remember, most other companies simply tell you nothing until the product is launched. We tried to give some info about something that we know will excite a segment of the community. I’m very concerned that the backlash is going to lead to silence being SOP in the future. 😦 I’m not blaming anyone, just pointing out a possible outcome.
Pete Brown’s #10 response [06-05-2011 3:43 PM]
Just a quick reminder for folks to keep it civil. I’ve seen a few posts that are starting to lean a little too far over the edge. Let’s keep language wars out (you won’t resolve anything), and no personal attacks.
Pete Brown’s #11 response [06-05-2011 3:57 PM] (emphasis is mine)
If the above is true, there is nothing to be gained by keeping it secret. So we must conclude that it isn’t true, at least as of now.
We know we can get the “legacy desktop” experience. However, our customers are doctors who own the lastest Apple gadgets. They expect us to deliver the same experience on their medical devices. If we are confined to the legacy desktop, we won’t be able to do that.
If you’re planning to develop for Windows 8 tablets, you have plenty of time. The wait until September is pretty short in comparison.
You’re also making an assumption based on the absence of information. “I didn’t hear from Joe, so he must be dead.” seems far less logical than just keeping it unknown – well, until some reasonable period passes anyway. There’s something about a box and a cat that applies here, but I’m not going there 🙂
I know it’s going to be a long summer now, and I know this is very frustrating and has everyone on edge, but I encourage you to reserve judgment until //build/. Then, once we’ve come forth with a good and full picture of Windows 8 plans, rather than just a quick consumer-focused preview, make your informed decisions.
Pete Brown’s #12 response [06-05-2011 4:59 PM] (emphasis is mine)
I appreciate you trying to calm everybody down . You’ve been given an impossible task by your PR people.
Thanks. Not anything that was given me. In fact, we’re supposed to just be quiet. That’s not in my genes, though.
I’m not so much interested in calming folks down as I am interested in getting to the core issues here and getting folks to keep any criticism on target (not attacking HTML devs or Silverlight devs, for example). And, of course, to remind folks that we’ll be talking much more about Windows 8 at //build/
Pete Brown’s #13 response [06-05-2011 5:00 PM]
A more accurate analogy would be : “I know Joe and Jim were fighting in the parking lot, and Jim just showed up very happy, so Joe must be badly bruised.” 🙂
lol. You win that one 🙂
Pete Brown’s #14 response [06-05-2011 5:06 PM] (emphasis is mine)
A pretty, elegant or easy to use shell UI is can be a nice selling feature to end users. It does nothing for developers.
And here we get to the crux. That demonstration video was not for developers. //build/ is for developers. HTML was mentioned as pretty much everyone gets it, even non-developers. And, quite frankly, that’s pretty cool that we’re doing that; a company that has gotten (in some cases, deserved) flak for not adopting standards is now incorporating one into the heart of their flagship product.
Yes, we mentioned HTML, but no one showed code. If it was meant for developers, you *know* we’d have had someone up there with an IDE open.
So: that demo, the walk-through video, and the related press release were all for non-devs, //build/ is for devs.
Pete Brown’s #15 response [06-05-2011 5:16 PM] (emphasis is mine)
know it’s going to be a long summer now, and I know this is very frustrating and has everyone on edge, but I encourage you to reserve judgment until //build/.
What if we say no, and that that’s simply unacceptable? I for one am willing to withdraw my app from the marketplace. Anybody else?
That’s entirely your right. I just don’t think it’s a particularly savvy move given that it is based on speculation and rumor which themselves are based on a consumer-focused demo of an unreleased operating system and the related consumer-focused press release.
Pete Brown’s #15 response [06-06-2011 1:11 AM] (emphasis is mine)
Anyone knows if the Prism group (patterns & practices) is now working mainly on this Silk project (HTML5/JQuery) instead of Silverlight/WPF Prism?
If they stop committing to Silverlight/WPF Prism, I think we know what Microsoft is thinking now.
P&P is a peer team to mine (although much larger), in the same side of devdiv, called EPX. I believe they’re still working on Silverlight/WPF prism; I haven’t heard anything to the contrary. They’ve been beat up a bit in the past, however, for not having enough web guidance. Silk is part of the effort to make up the difference there.
That said, I’m not sure what else there is to add to prism. I haven’t looked at the backlogs, but it has to be getting pretty mature by this point.
The prism book was one of the hottest things at the Developer Guidance/P&P booth at Tech Ed 🙂
Pete Brown’s #16 response [06-06-2011 3:44 PM] (emphasis is mine)
FWIW, we don’t use third-party media outlets to announce things or do damage control unless it’s a quoted interview or video of MS folks. Even then, it’s rare not to have the real annoncement on our PR site.
Pete Brown’s #17 response [06-06-2011 9:29 PM] (emphasis is mine)
In case you haven’t seen this, Hanselman’s “Don’t give bile a permalink” is a good read.
[Why? For things like that: “If you’re a nudist and you give your technical talks on C# naked, I likely won’t be there to watch your talk. You may feel REALLY strongly about nudism, and I wish you well. You may believe in the legalization of drugs and prefer to give your technical presentations high, and I say, kudos, but I and others may not show. There are some social norms, and you should know what they are and know how strongly you feel about them when you take your message to a larger audience. ”]
From a quite opinionated but quite unsatisfied previous insider: http://twitter.com/#!/MossyBlog
Former Product Manager (Silverlight/WPF) Microsoft Corp, UX Specialist, The guy leading the mob on FIXWPF.org and blogging dude behind RIAGENIC.com
his response to the on going debate on Silverlight Forum
MossyBlog response #1 [06-06-2011 10:03 PM] (emphasis is mine)
A few points if I may:
- Not saying anything is one thing admitting it… dear god why. This isn’t directed at Pete to all staff members, if you can’t get involved in the discussion then avoid the discussion completely. Jumping into the fray and asking all to calm down while at the same time not offering answers is not wise. It only fuels further conspiracy theories for one and secondly it creates a focused point of frustration for all to increment geek-rage at. Either join the discussion or don’t but not half-way.
- Perception vs Reality. The amount of times when we use to deal with constant battles around Silverlight mainly from a perception base vs the reality was a daily occurenceso Microsoft Staff, while I admire your bravery here by jumping into the fray with “probably” correct is a diasterous way of handling the corporate communication(s). You’re actually doing more harm that way and if i was still in the Silverlight team i’d be making moves to put a gag order on you for it – its not your motivates aren’t righteous but you are actually now validating some of the speculation by keeping it half-yes half-no.
- New Joins vs Trolling. On one hand its great to see new members whilst on the other hand its sad under these circumstances. The point of order here is this, Corporate Comms 101 is a tire fire right now, people are frustrated and having an outlet like this to voice such concerns is a beast that well – staff – you created. If people are joining to either remain anonymous and voice their rage or so on, so be it all you can all do is reallly just sit and listen …that..or join the conversaton and start squashing some of the rumous / speculation mentioned earlier. Time to get involved.
- Moderation. If you have a situation whereby the villagers are going to storm your gates, its better to marshall them into an area you can control more to the point you can isolate. Having such a firm strict hand on a forum such as this isn’t smart as what you’re really saying to the hordes of both positive & negative emotion is “take your fight elsewhere”. You don’t want that, you want this isolated and pocketed to one area of the web as much as possible as when you do finally do your reveal in September you can then provide a much more sturdier platform to voice your smackdowns. Right now this is just plain stupid.
Pete. Personally I am fan of your work and will often support you even when I think you’re wrong because at the end of the day you work very hard to make a difference to communities like this. My personal advice to you is step aside, don’t take this bullet as the Windows team have some damage to fixand as some managers in the Silverlight team used to say “If you going to break up a fight, be prepared to be punched in the face”.
Let the horde vent their rage, its fast creating a marshalling point for you to provide some much needed corporate communication(s) to down the track.
To the masses here on this thread: You can argue amongst yourselves all you want, to what end? all you’re really doing is seeing who can bark the loudest.. the reality is this won’t have impact as the decisions around this entire messaging framework if you want to call it that goes much higher than those who moderate / read these forums. At best all staff like Pete can do etc is provide a thread or snippet of quotes to execs in a “quoted” format with “Please help me help you” call to action. It’s more than likely that email will be ignored.
My advice – wait this HTML5 bubble gum pop idea out as it’s one thing to say “all devs will create HTML5 apps” and its entirely another to have it happen. This is about the 4th time Windows team have tried to kickstart the HTML pipedream and what they fail to realise is that folks who do adopt Microsoft tech enjoy .NET [while] folks who don’t, just don’t like Microsoft as a brand and it mainly has nothing to do with technology discussion. Can’t imagine why they loose faith in the brand though? can you 😉
Former Product Manager (well 1yr ago lol) for Silverlight/WPF 🙂
To which came the following:
npolyak1 reminder [06-06-2011 11:29 PM]
And here is an article by Scott Barnes written last September warning everyone about what is coming (would we all listen to him)
npolyak1 addendum #1 [06-06-2011 11:40 PM] (emphasis is mine)
Excerpt from Scott’s article:
I’m simply about highlighting the disconnect here and if the Windows 8 / IE teams of today think that Silverlight / WPF is something they can deprecate because they dislike people in DevDiv or its current model then think again, as this is one of those rare moments in time where you have a hung jury in terms of which of the two is really the best bet.
npolyak1 addendum #2 [06-06-2011 11:41 PM]
Apparently Windows 8 / IE teams decided that they indeed can deprecate WPF and SL. Moreover, MS seems to allow them to get away with it.
npolyak1 addendum #3 [06-06-2011 11:48 PM]
Windows team seem to have gotten what they wanted – they destroyed the developer tools division, but they are also destroying a large part of Microsoft – in my estimate this crazy idea will cost at least $50 billion in market capitalization.
Drzog response to npolyak1 [06-06-2011 11:51 PM] (emphasis is mine)
Interesting article – it explains much, and is very disconcerting. Call it conspiracy theory, but I’ve noticed a number of HIGHLY VISIBLE Silverlight marketing links are not functional on the following prominent Microsoft websites:
(1) http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/ This is the entry point URL for anyone inquiring about Silverlight, and ranks first or second when searching on “Silverlight”. Guess what? Click the first thing you see — the “Play” button — and then “Launch Demos” and sadly, none of the first three video streaming examples work. SHAMEFUL.
(2) http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/future/ This is Microsoft’s “The Future of Microsoft Silverlight” page. Click the first call to action button “Watch the Silverlight Five Announcement” — guess what? NO VIDEO. Then try the “High Quality WMV” link. Guess what — staggered and strobed pixelation. SHAMEFUL.
These are Microsoft’s leading URLs for Silverlight information. Go figure.
Scott Barnes response to the erietta [user experience designer. news hound. art lover. in Sydney] 10 hours ago [vs 06-07-2011 11:00 CET]
So copied here: UI experts upbeat on Windows 8 preview [June 6, 2011] (emphasis in bold is mine)
But are icons more effective?
User interface experts have expressed surprise at the re-design of the Windows OS interface, giving Microsoft the thumbs up for touch-based gestures and use of web app development standards.
The new interface, previewed late last week, replaces menu bars and icons with tiles akin to Windows Mobile 7.
A panel of Australian user interface gurus told iTnews the preview was significant.
Whereas web applications were once developed to mimic richer desktop applications, users now prefer the simplicity and ease of navigation of web applications.
Today, the desktop OS attempts to mimic the web.
“Hallelujah, at last, someone got it!” said Anthony Colfelt, Creative Director at web user experience firm, Different.
Microsoft’s tiles “take the best from informational web-design and applies it to the main computer UI,” he said.
Colfelt said Microsoft was “finally attempting to lead in the area of UI and experience, rather than following Apple.”
“It has always been to Microsoft’s advantage to open up their system (for a reasonable fee) to the masses of developers and hardware manufacturers,” he said.
”Lots of programmers and machines equals lots of cheap programs and computers, and that means lots of accessibility for the consumer.”
Richard Edwards, Principal Analyst at Ovum said the preview proved Microsoft is still a “viable market-maker.”
Made for tablets
Shane Morris, director at UI specialists Automatic Studio said the interface “shows that Microsoft is serious about embracing touch and slate-based modes of use within Windows itself – as it should be.
“Clearly Microsoft has thought hard about how to integrate the casual consumption model of tablet devices with ‘real’ operating system features like multi-tasking, file system access and rich applications that require extensive user input, like Office.” he said.
“Why abandon the power and familiarity of Windows if they can possibly help it?
“The use of scrolling panels of tiles is a natural extension of the use of tiles and panning ‘panoramas’ in Windows Phone 7, which are proving popular with users,” he said.
“Swiping left and right to scroll through choices is a very natural action, and leverages both spatial memory and muscle memory to help users find and re-find what they need.”
But Morris pointed out that the preview did not reveal any on-screen cues to users to show them how swiping in from the edge of the screen could activate operating system features like task switching. This could prove a sticking point until users grew used to the concept, he said.
Colfelt also noted that many of these same interactions would “feel clumsy using a mouse.
“That could cause RSI if the user gets too excited about using them,” he noted.
The only point on which the experts disagreed was the use of tiles on the home page. Whilst Colfelt felt it was a solution to what he calls “information spelunking” (areas of a site easy to fall into and hard to find your way back out of), Morris felt Microsoft was abandoning icons that have historically proven far more effective.
Tiles, Morris said, are difficult to differentiate and can crowd the screen.
“The use of larger, consistently sized tiles containing dynamic content has the potential to create a vista that ‘yells’ at the user – and the demonstrated use of bright, saturated colours might actually make it difficult for users to discriminate between tiles and to focus on individual tile content,” he said.
“We know that people use various cues to search the visual field. Outline shape is one of the primary prompts to help people discriminate and identify objects visually. The dominant and consistent rectangular shape of the tiles themselves means Windows 8 users cannot use this outline shape as the primary cue. They must instead rely on colour and the actual tile contents. Compare that to the carefully designed icons in Microsoft Office products. Those icons present unique outlines – for good reason.”
Morris raised concerns as to whether Microsoft would continue to support stylus and other pen-based input as well as touch.
in reply to ↑ @MossyBlog Scott Barnes @erietta @colfelt @itnews_au i personally think the Tiles Windows8 concept is still unproven firstly & secondly it’s lazy design that furthermore, I don’t think as much thought as one is lead to believe has been put into the science behind it.. the design behind current MS Metro is a state of confused schizo ver of Intrinsic & Extraneous cognitive load. 7 hours ago
in reply to ↑ @erietta erietta @MossyBlog @itnews_au @colfelt This is the Scott I was looking for! Will be interesting to see if the process behind design is revealed. 7 hours ago
replies ↓ MossyBlog Scott Barnes @ @erietta @itnews_au @colfelt yeah i mean i feel like a crack record though on my metro insighs..basically i like its attitude not execution 7 hours ago
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