Tuesday, December 05, 2006

WPF/E - Microsoft is on a roll

(Skip this whole post if you don't care about software)

My work takes me deep into the stinky depths of low resolution audio and video so it was with much joy that I saw some demos for Microsoft's WPF/E platform this morning.

This probably doesn't mean much to you but it likely will over the long run as this new platform is Microsoft's answer to Flash. MS has been taking a trouncing for over a decade with Flash and in the past year or two, has been looking like it was completely clobbered with YouTube and pretty much every web video advert being dished up in Nth generation Flash. Next up were the gazillions of mobile phones which are quickly being Flash enabled and are without a doubt in my mind the platform for the future of computing.

So why is another Microsoft technology got a chance? Why is it not stillborn like the Zune or Frontpage?

Well MS keeps screwing it up on first try which is usually a decade after the incumbant leader set the pace. MS keeps at it for another decade at which point they get it right. Cases in point, Windows, Office, SQL Server, XBOX, IE etc. This time though, somebody really smart was in charge and they picked the same technology for the Vista UI as for browser rendering, multimedia and mobile UIs. That technology being Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) which is like the bastard child of Flash and XHTML.

Will it gain traction? Unfortunately or fortunately we have no choice - it's going to be the default presentation layer in every Windows device from here on in and MS will bribe us developers to adopt it while back at the deathstar they churn the wheels of 'platform adoption' once again.

The sneaky thing here is that there is a Firefox and Mac Safari version. MS, Yahoo and those Google guys are for sure up to no good on the back end - watch how fast your desktop, destop apps & storage gets sucked into the cloud. It's already started with stuff like this.

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