I wonder... is the immersive shell a part of explorer.exe? Or is it a separate C++/DirectX app?
Definitely some interesting points of view here.
From your rant, it seems the only reason you need a "clear direction" from Microsoft is because you want to blindly follow whatever they tell you to do. Sounds like a case of the blind leading the blind.
You ought to be competent enough to make your own professional decisions.
My apologies if my post came across as a rant. I am really just seeking input from other developers on their point of view regarding these platforms in light of the available information from Microsoft.
I do not want to blindly follow what Microsoft tells me. I do, however, want to know if I should continue to invest in Silverlight. Not just from a developer skills point of view but also from the point of view of a decision maker. I can easily make my own decisions but I'd prefer to do so in an informed way. It's difficult to do this when the future of some of these platforms is uncertain.
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?
I agree. The message I'm getting is that Microsoft is adopting two platforms for the web. This is the shift in focus. Previously, Silverlight was the only platform they had to offer.
HTML 5 is great for cross platform and for making websites which include (limited) rich interactivity. HTML 5 raises the baseline of what the web is capable of. Its kind of a Tier 1 for the web.
Silverlight is Tier 2 for the web. It provides a premium experience for LOB/RIA, Media, and WP7 applications. Silverlight is great for targeting specific supported devices.
I can understand that people might be confused and think that the newest baby (HTML 5) is going to replace Silverlight. For me, recent comments from Microsoft employees have clearly explained this is not the case. My favorite comment is from Brian Goldfarb. I think he does a good job of sumarizing Microsoft's intended message:
"Silverlight is definitely alive and well and goes far beyond just WP7. I think that is pretty clear from Bob's post, but I'll reiterate it again. Silverlight will continue to be invested in across the board. It is the way to build Apps for Windows Phone 7, but it is also and will continue to be the best solution for premium media experiences and business applications both inside and outside the browser on Windows and the Mac. The key thing that has been clarified, is that we see HTML as the technolgy that gets you *everywhere*. In fact, for the broadest reach today the solution you should use is HTML4. But if want a richer, more tailored experience, on the devices and areas we support (and we are investing in this with Windows Embedded, Automotive, Desktop, Phone, and more in the future) both in and out of the browser than Silverlight was and continues to be your best solution.
Hope this helps!
-Brian Goldfarb (@bgoldy, firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director, Developer Platforms
Thanks a ton everyone for your responses! I am happy to report that my boss has seen Bob's response and has decided to continue with the development of our Silverlight RIA.
It made a huge difference that Microsoft responded to squash these rumors quickly.
Time for a happy dance! Our entire dev team loves WPF and Silverlight. The thought of having to abandon it for another (inferior) solution was dreadful indeed.
We are in the midst of developing a large rich web app for our company based entirely on Silverlight. Silverlight is an excellent technology and everything is going well. At least, until the recent scare about Microsoft abandoning Silverlight in favor if HTML 5.
Now, he is an inch away from scrapping everything we have done and starting over with another technology. He is convinced that Silverlight won't go away immediatly but that it IS going to go away. And he doesn't want to risk writing our company's flagship product in a technology that Microsoft plans on dropping support for.
We need a clear message from Microsoft on this issue. It seems that we aren't the only ones.
Charles (or anyone else at Microsoft) can you provide any official insight into this issue?
I am honestly of the opinion that crapware contributes largely to the negative perceptions of Windows in general (regardless of version).
In my experience, pretty much every version of Windows works just fine out of the box as long as you have the correct drivers installed. A vanilla Windows install "Just Works".
However, when people purchase an OEM machine, they don't get just Windows and drivers. They also get a bunch of poorly written resource hogging bloat and trialware that make the system unstable and error prone. The drivers that come pre-installed are almost always out of date. An OEM Windows install does not "Just Work".
Naturally, when I purchase a new laptop, the first thing I do is wipe it and re-install Windows and the appropriate drivers. However, the majority of users out there aren't technically savvy enough to do this. I understand that OEM's make lots of extra cash on each computer sold but I would rather pay them that extra cash myself and not deal with the bloat.
I believe that this is a large contributing factor for why OSX and Linux are percieved as "better". Those operating systems are almost always experienced through vanilla installations where Windows is almost always experienced through OEM bloat installations.
I wish Microsoft could do something about this problem but I don't see what they could do about it.
There is an icon/cursor plugin for Paint.Net that works really well. I have been using it for a while now.
It supports icon sizes 16x16 all the way up to 256x256. You can easily save any image to an icon including transparent PNG files.
My name is Jeremy. I have been checking this site for years but haven't bothered making a screen name.
I would just like to say that this is obviously some kind of PR stunt by the gadget website T3. I offer you 4 pieces of evidence I have gathered to support this claim:
1. The gadget website T3 is the only website that has details on the phone specifications. It claims that it doesn't know if the phone is real or not but magically knows that the phone has 32GB of storage space and a 5 megapixel camera.
2. If you go to the01phone website and look at the screen of the phone, you can clearly see the T3 website being used as an example for the web browser.
3. The the01phone website is registered by FuturePublishing which also owns T3.
4. If you look at the source code for the01phone website, you see that the embed tag which embeds the10phone flash file is named "T3_Phone".
This site is obviously owned by T3. Now whether or not the phone is real is another question. I am betting its not based on the iphone controls on the web browser.