2 hours ago, BlarfMarfle wrote I think we need to wait for the BUILD conference. Let's all just calm down a little- they aren't really talking about this stuff in detail yet,
As Steven said several times today: "Windows 8" is Windows. That should help answer your questions (so, what was shown today was not something other than Windows or some replacement or one-off variant of Windows), but you should really wait until September (and beyond) to hear it from the folks who really know...
Why? WP7 was announced without mentioning that compatibility with existing applications was broken (although for some good reasons imo) http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=634048 And that's exactly the problem with Microsoft today. Just tell us how apps for this part of W8 can be written: HTML5 and/or SL/WPF/.NET and/or native code (Maybe it is just SL with some apps using HTML+JS in a browser control). ARM vs x86/x64 is another thing where more information should be available already.
Some other points (that were already mentioned): There are too many (UI) frameworks: SL, native SL (native C++ on CE), SL on WP7, XNA, WPF, MFC now we get HTML5+JS (btw this is exactly what e.g. webOS is doing and what was used to create Sidebar gadgets) etc. But no signs of real unification although the underlying platforms are converging in terms of performance (ok, there is a minor one: Mango allows mixed XNA/SL apps). Support APIs both on the desktop/tablet and on the phone and vice versa.
Where are the real performance optimizations in the CLR or in native vs. managed D3D (or XNA vs. SharpDX) that bring native and managed code closer together? Now there is just another piece which needs heavy work to get reasonable performance.
Why are the releases not synchronized? .NET 3.5 was released one year after Vista RTM, 4.0 nine month after 7 was RTM. Nice that the WPF ribbon was released but two and a half years after the MFC ribbon (April 2008 MFC vs August 2010 WPF)? Both native and managed applications should be supported equally well when a new OS version is released.
To sum it up: Is switching from Win32/MFC to SL or from MFC to WPF/SL or HTML really that different than switching to a non Microsoft framework. Currently Microsoft has imo the better frameworks, tools and languages but for how long?