Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Has Microsoft initiated its own Nokia-ization?

Some MS officials, by recently saying that Windows 8 apps will be created in HTML5 and JavaScript and by deciding not to mention anything about .NET and Silverlight have fostered speculation and have introduced some confusion and chaos (see here, here, but mostly here).

Here is my thought about this Jupiter/windows 8 buzz/fiasco:

  1. XAML is not dead: even if the future of WPF seems highly compromised by the advent of Jupiter & windows 8, I think that the pattern of its declarative langage is not dead. The Windows team and their IE peers certainly want to kill Silverlight or WPF for different reasons, but Jupiter seems more like a "Next Generation" XAML-based framework, than a uniquely dedicated and optimized for HTML 5/Javascript UI platform. In that context, I found also very interesting to notice that the XAML team has recently joined the Windows one.
  2. .NET is not dead either: While it seems now realistic that the Windows 8 team will provide an alternative to WPF or Silverlight (with the help of their IE classmates, and surfing on the HTML5 wave), I don't buy the option where the Windows team may be confident enough to initiate the dismantling of the .NET platform (I wish them good luck if they want to offer an alternative to the entire .NET ecosystem built ​since 2002 ;-)
  3. But it's really time to adopt an SOA model for our desktop applications: The volatility of MS UI technologies is so important than we definitively have to avoid from putting all eggs in one (fragile) basket. Here is my advice for desktop applications: wherever it is possible, avoid from embedding business layers whithin them and limit them to consume services instead (whether web/WCF, or through a MOM). The responsibility of our rich desktop applications should only to provide the information in a nice, efficient and ergonomic way (which is all but simple). Note that I'm not talking about web app here (maybe within another post?).
  4. It seems now wise to wait the "Build Conference" in September, in order to have concrete and reliable information on this subject (and not rumors or blog noises)
Anyway, the future don't looks bright for MS with its internal wars/clans (Windows team vs Dev team) and the lack of legibility of its strategy (Silverlight? WPF?).

Microsoft sorely lacking a leader able to provide a vision and to bring every team into line. They definitively need a leader. Moreover, they probably need a designer at the head of their organization. Someone that will try to change people's lifes -whether for good or bad reasons-like Steve Jobs with Apple.

Otherwise it could be the beginnings of a (long) Nokia-ization for the Redmond giant...What a pity!

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