I apologize in advance for such a lengthy post.
I think that Microsoft has been sending a LOT of confusing messages to its developers regarding their long term strategy for Windows and Web development lately. Is anyone else getting this impression also?
First we are told that WPF is the future of application development on Windows, and Silverlight for the web. Microsoft made Windows Phone and chose to use Silverlight (and XNA) as its development platform. This is, I think, a great idea since it lets devs bring over their skills.
Today, Microsoft announced some of its plans regarding Windows 8 and its immersive tablet UI. See http://allthingsd.com/20110601/exclusive-making-sense-of-what-we-just-learned-about-windows-8/ and http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/features/2011/jun11/06-01corporatenews.aspx.
It seems like this will create a very fragmented development experience for Windows and raises several questions. Here are mine:
1) How can devs write apps for both Windows Phone and Windows Tablets? Surely you can't expect them to write their app in Silverlight and then write it again in HTML5.
2) Will the Windows Phone app platform also be based on HTML5 eventually?
3) It seems that HTML5 is soon going to be an important development platform for "native" apps in addition to web apps. Is Microsoft abandoning Silverlight/WPF in favor of HTML5?
As a developer, I am always looking towards the future to keep my skills polished. However, I am concerned over the lack of a clear direction from Microsoft.
Am I overreacting, perhaps? Thoughts?