A Quick Look At "Windows 8"


Jensen Harris from the Windows User Experience team walks us through a quick look at "Windows 8". Also be sure to visit BUILDWindows.com for more information on our developer conference in Anaheim September 13-16.


UX, Windows

The Discussion

  • Sergii

    Awesome, and what about Silverlight/XNA apps on W'8?

  • Hallmanac

    And here we go. Not a peep about Silverlight or WPF in what's come out as of this post.  Microsoft, if your not going to ditch XAML based development in the next 10 years, please speak up about it. The messaging is really misleading about the dev story.

  • mdtauk

    Awesome, and what about Silverlight/XNA apps on W'8?

    Yes, and what about moving Windows Phone 7 apps over to Windows 8 Tablet UI

  • kimsk

    Windows 8 is still Windows, so it should run Silverilght and XNA applications.

    The questions are what need to be done to create touch-mode interface application. Silverlight still does not support Touch very well comparing to WPF and native Windows API. Hopefully, this will be changed. We should know more in September.

  • ryanhayes

    @kimsk: Exactly.  It's essentially a new UI in addition to the traditional Win7 one and I would think current apps should run as expected.

  • Deactivated User

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  • anym

    I know we devs dont have the whole story. but
    html and javascript (WTF)

    "This" better support silverlight and .net
    so closing to switching to "object c"

  • Noel

    This does not look good. I dont want a crappy touch based interface on my desktop. It looks loke 10 year old media center. And as a developer I dont want to build HTML, javascript apps. I want to build WPF/silverlight apps with real code. I am a big time MS supporter because I have built a career on there tchnology but this looks like a major blunder. I hope it turns out to be better than it appears

  • bitdisaster
    To make it clear once again. We don't want freaking html/js for app developement. I'm really pissed if this is the final story.
  • kimsk

    @ryanhayes: Actually, that might be half true. We can expect Intel-based Windows 8 to run anything that run on Windows 7. However, we don't know much about ARM-based Windows 8 yet. IMHO, it is impossible to have ARM-based Windows8 run existing Windows 7 applications (natively). All new applications have to be re-created for ARM-based Windows 8.

    Hopefully, .NET, Silverlight, and WPF applications can be write-once and run on both platforms.

  • kimsk

    , section31 wrote

    To make it clear once again. We don't want freaking html/js for app developement. I'm really pissed if this is the final story.

    I feel you. My heart stops every time someone from Microsoft eagerly promotes HTML5 and JavaScript.

  • KeremG

    When will there be a public beta, someone knows?



  • Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • PhilH

    I for one love this. I know touch based applications aren't going to translate well to the desktop experience, but the traditional laptop is morphing into the tablet for the future. I do a lot of travel as a consultant and every company I work with I see more and more meetings filled with iPads and android tablets. I'm seeing a lot of people taking these machines back to their desk and docking them with a full keyboard. This is the future direction and I'm extremely pleased to see Microsoft jump on board with a fluid UI of this caliber. I’m also seeing more smartboards and surface type displays. This new UI method is going to allow Microsoft Windows to navigate all of those mediums very well.

    Job well done team! I’m excited and look forward to the new OS and the development opportunities it will present. Now let’s get going on a true Windows App Store to compete with Apple, Google, and Linux.

  • Charles

    , section31 wrote

    To make it clear once again. We don't want freaking html/js for app developement. I'm really pissed if this is the final story.

    It's not the only story... It's a new one. One with great promise for the millions of developers who program in JS and design UI in HTML and CSS.. In some sense, it represents a democratization of Windows development: more developers will be able to build "native" Windows applications. It's just the story that was told today.

    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...


  • joeyw

    @Charles:Are you sure?  This is not the message from D9.  HTML/JS are said to be the only way to write first class Windows 8 apps.

    Forget your WP7 app investment. 

  • Charles

    @joeyw: "Windows 8" is Windows...


  • anym

    "It's not the only story... It's a new one"...

    I call BS on this. this is the reason Apple is winning. they have "ONE story"... object c. if you don't like it don't come to "idevices".

    Here's one... if we all start to develop for html5 why buy windows at all???

  • kimsk


    "It's not the only story... It's a new one"...

    I call BS on this. this is the reason Apple is winning. they have "ONE story"... object c. if you don't like it don't come to "idevices".

    Here's one... if we all start to develop for html5 why buy windows at all???

    Apple is not #winning because objective C but because of iDevices and iOS experience. They tried to promote HTML5 as well (remember Flash vs. HTML5?).


    I hope Windows 8 will reverse that trend. We should not need to be panic just yet until Build Event (aka PDC) in September.

  • Jarle Stabell

    To some extent I agree that the duct tape triad HTML/CSS/JavaScript represents a democratization. On the other hand, look at how much time Google spent getting a rather simple client app like Gmail fra beta to release. We all know that writing non-trivial software is hard, even when using proper tools and languages. For many developers, Javascript is really depressing, even though it has a few good parts. I like what I've seen today of Windows 8, but I'm afraid this will start another "Silverlight is dead" (or even ".NET is dead") panic, even though that's not the case.

  • joeyw

    @Charles:it may be underneath, but the new tile UI is HTML/JS.  Will the tile UI be compatible with the WP7 tile API in Mango?

  • joeyw

    After sitting through numerous reviews, SDRs, NDA customer feedback events I never ever heard any developer say "I really don't want to use C# and .NET I prefer to use HTML/JavaScript and CSS".

  • MossyBlog

    The sun..will come out tomorrow...you can bet your bottom dollar......*sob*...the sun will come out tommoz...you *sob* can bet your bottom dollar.... be as what may...

  • Nelson

    Don't care if it can run Silverlight/Wpf. I care that Silverlight/Wpf are the premier, first class methods for developing applications on Windows 8.

    Microsoft has got serious, serious problems with direction. Pick one story and stick to it. Dont tell me to go all in with Silverlight for Windows Phone, then royally screw me over with Windows.

    You're late to the party, and you're going to foster app development on Windows 8 with what is possibly the most frustrating incoherent mess of technologies the world has ever seen? SERIOUSLY? Javascript?

    FIRE (as in burn with fire) whoever came up with this idea.

  • sleepydaddy​software

    @charles what a lot of people are really asking is not if you can still run Silverlight apps in w8. We are asking if we will be able to write silverlight/wpf apps that run in the tiled/touch experience shown in the demo. If not, then .net apps in general (Silverlight or running on the full .net runtime) become second class apps. It simply doesn't make sense that Silverlight is not supported for the touch/tile experience given all the investment in Silverlight on wp7. Why on earth can't both models be supported?


    , Charles wrote

    @joeyw: "Windows 8" is Windows...


    @Charles:I think we understand that you can dump out of the immersive touch experience to the regular desktop and run Silverlight apps both in and out of the browser. You can also run Silverlight apps in the immersive UI version of the browser. It is Windows, and you can do that on Windows.

    What developers really want to know is: Can you write a touch based app in Silverlight that appears as a tile within the immersive UI and integrates with the whole experience, just like you can on Windows Phone.

    I actually made a post about this in the coffeehouse before I saw this thread. Though, it probably came off as a little too rantish and less "i want input". Bass flamed me for it a bit. Tongue Out

    Edit: sleepydaddy​software beat me too it!

  • mik

    I think it looks crap. Couldn't they have at least rounded the corners a little on those tiles. Haven't they heard of gradients, or perhaps you can't do a gradient in html?

    I hearby declare I am jumping off the MS dev ship. Whatever it takes. I can't be assed with it any more.

  • magicalclick

    HTML5 = Failed Vista Gadgets?


    I think it looks crap. Couldn't they have at least rounded the corners a little on those tiles. Haven't they heard of gradients, or perhaps you can't do a gradient in html?

    I hearby declare I am jumping off the MS dev ship. Whatever it takes. I can't be assed with it any more.

    To be fair, I think the reasoning behind this has to do with one of the core Metro design philosophies. The UI gets out of the way to showcase what the user really cares about: the content.

  • Bond

    Silverlight is being flush down the toilet....We first saw it last year when it was almost blurred out in PDC 2010 (Being shelved to focus on Silverlight for Windows Mobile 7, yea right!). We also see big companies like NBC and others abandoning silverlight and going back to Flash. Now HTML5 is out....need I continue?

  • Vic Klien

    I think MS is doing their "reveal" of Win8 in a poor way...

    But for SL/WPF/Native devs it's important to remember what the Windows-Experience VP says in the press release link (http://bit.ly/mDuSTr): "There’s much more to the platform, capabilities and tools than we showed today..." "We have so much more on the way..."


  • kimsk

    In other news, I recall the article my Mary Jo Foley about another XAML-based application model for Windows 8, http://www.zdnet.com/blog/microsoft/more-on-microsoft-jupiter-and-what-it-means-for-windows-8/8373. There is no information about it at all.

  • Deactivated User

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  • Noel

    You launch with the big time feature, not the back story. I for one expected that the UI would be more like windows phone 7, a UI built with Silverlight (or wpf), not more like a browser, a UI built on web technologies HTML and JavaScript.

  • Kevin

    Wow. The ultimate comeback of windows media center. The biggest success in the history of software. Thank God I can finally see what the weather is and get my stock prices.

    It appears MS is abandoning the only thing it had going for it: Namely, .NET with WPF/Silverlight.

    At best, MS will only lose half of their developer base with this move. And gain 0 developers from other platforms.

    Get an f'ing clue Microsoft. Developers do not want to switch runtimes every 2 years. You've left us holding the bag. Don't be surprised when we leave you.

  • sanatgersap​pa

    A brilliant piece of work. Don't understand all the negative comments. It's not like folks here don't know HTML5/JS. And nobody said the SL/WPF/whatever doesn't work - I mean, the excel app that was shown was definitely not HTML5.

  • Deactivated User

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  • Quooston

    Finally! Get out of my way Silverlight. WPF, you can stay.

  • yozik

    , bystander wrote

    We are not  Windows developers because we love Windows. We put up with Windows so we can use C#, F# and VS2010.  I've considered changing the platform many times. What stops me each time is the goodness that keeps coming from devdiv.  LINQ, Rx, TPL, async  - these are the reasons I'm still on Windows. I don't want stinking javascript to become my development platform. I'd rather do Android and Java.


    Well said, I can sign this as my own words...

    HTML5/JS trumpeting will lead to a creep of mediocre apps into Win 8 - all this while iOS will thrive on gradually improving native objective c apps.

  • Edward Moemeka

    I'm just curious because I have been having this argument all day listening to people saying "Silverlight/WPF is dead". They obviously shows WORD running and IE is a completely native application as well. IE had a tile that was in the touch UI. They then said "users will be able to pick what they want to pin to the start screen". SO what stops anyone of you guys complaining from just building your regular WPF app in full screen mode so that it looks like the HTML5 stuff they showed. Those just looked like any other maximized kiosk style WPF application with touch enabled. What's the problem here? Why is everyone stuck on the "No Silverlight" bandwagon ?!?

  • CodeViper

    I can't believe they're touting the use of HTML5/JS as a positive. We web developers use HTML, CSS and JS because we are FORCED TO, not because we like it!! If HTML and JS are going to become the primary framework for Windows then I might as well go write Objective-C...

  • CodeViper

    , Charles wrote

    It's not the only story... It's a new one. One with great promise for the millions of developers who program in JS and design UI in HTML and CSS.. In some sense, it represents a democratization of Windows development: more developers will be able to build "native" Windows applications. It's just the story that was told today.

    As I said above, we don't use JS, HTML and CSS because they're good tools; we use them simply because we're forced to use them because they're the only choice when writing for web browsers! I would most definitely prefer to code in Objective-C for iPad than be forced to write everything in HTML5/JS for Windows 8...

    If the reports are true that the new tablet UI only works with HTML5 and Javascript then the new UI will be DOA...

  • Deactivated User

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  • Deactivated User

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  • Kevin Daly

    HTML5 + JavaScript is a massive step backward from WPF and Silverlight (and .NET in general).
    It's irrelevant to say that the existing technologies will still run, when the new UI doesn't use them and they're obviously not being promoted.
    .NET has been badly served by the Windows team ever since the goals of Longhorn were abandoned - they seem to have an aversion to .NET while happily spewing out ever more COM APIs. And now we're told we should be using HTML5 and JavaScript. Frankly that leaves me with zero interest in developing for Windows
    Silverlight was the obvious choice (if there was some reason not to use WPF): it looks like the future for .NET developers lies with Mono and Moonlight...perhaps Microsoft will be able to attract some WebOS developers. Both of them even.

  • Stilgar

    Even if for some reason MS believes JS and HTML is the right way to develop windows stuff (ha ha!)  They'd better make sure there is not a single piece of Windows that cannot be developed using WPF/SL. Otherwise they will face the developers' RAGE. Remember the "our SL strategy has shifted" fiasco? Like this only much worse. Maybe some web guys will be happy to hear about HTML and JS in Windows but they don't like MS. They won't develop for Windows even if they could. Does MS really want to use the dedicated Windows devs?

    BTW I am an ASP.NET Web dev and I hate the web bullshit with passion. As a user I hate it even more.

  • antiufo

    So, Microsoft is ditching C#, LINQ, Async, in favor of JavaScript and HTML5, the buzzwords of the moment? I think I'll buy a Chromebook and start twittering "web 2.0", "cloud", "social".

  • CdM

    I really hope in the next videos you guys will say something about SL/WPF being the main focus of the new version of Windows.

    We have invested years building up our skills as a .NET professionals and the first video you make is all about JS/HTML5? This got to be a bad joke or a terrible betrayal of the hundreds of thousands of .NET consultants that supported MS in the last ten years or so.

  • Stilgar

    from Ars Technica:

    "I'm told by insiders that HTML5 and JavaScript won't be the only option, and that existing applications (native, Silverlight, and WPF) will be migratable in some way, but specifics are still lacking at this time."

    Let's hope the insiders are telling the truth:)


  • Sheepsteak
    I think HTML5/CSS/JS will be purely used to control the UI and maybe the actual logic of your app can be done with C++ or .Net. After all JS is just script and could be interacted with from any other language potentially. Also, they show IE10 and I seriously doubt they rewrote it from C++ into JS lol
  • Ian Trem

    As this is a "first look" I presume they're just showing us what's new, "Hey, there's a new way to develop for Windows", rather than telling us what's already there. If they had said "You can develop with WPF/Silverlight in Windows 8", there'd just be a chorus of "We know, show us the new stuff!"

    When they show of a new version of Windows to consumers you don't hear a cry of "Where the hell's Solitaire?"

  • MSfan

    Am I the only one who's been thinking more and more lately of going with Linux? I've always been a big Microsoft/Windows supporter, but with every new strange move that MS is taking I look for alternatives. Seriously, is this Windows 8?? It looks like a joke to me, somebody please pull the emergency break!

  • freefly

    HTML/Javascript ?? for UI's you got to be kidding me. Are we going back to windows 98 era ?
    Weird javacript errors and UI freeze up ????

  • Quppa

    Surely the reason people put up with HTML and JavaScript is that they enable cross-platform (that is, web) development. Should these languages really be used as a platform for Windows 8 applications when Microsoft already has C#/WPF/etc. with great IDE support?

  • freefly

    Javascript error!!!

    Description : Unknown

    Line No : figure out yourself !!!

    Possible cause : Good luck finding that out !!!

  • exoteric
  • Ian Trem

    Quote from the D9 conference where the "first look" took place:

    Q: Where is Silverlight in all this?

    Sinofsky: There’s still a place for Silverlight. The browser that we showed runs Silverlight and it will still run on the desktop.

  • jimmy

    Very disappointing :( Just another skin on windows... they will never learn.
    Look at the "classic Mode", it just does not include any metro. Just regular glossy Windows Vista style UI.
    Why can't they fix the "classic" UI. Here are some ideas: http://clindhartsen.deviantart.com/gallery/26049243

  • Ian2


    My guess is that before release time MS will have found a way to surface Silverlight & WPF apps as first class 'METRO' citizens (Desktop & Tablet UI) with an inclusive App store for devs (otherwise they have shot a whole bunch of us in the foot which I don't believe they will). 

    WP7 will follow the Windows 8 story with WP8  based on Win8 codebase in late 2012/Early 13.

    In the short and medium term Nokia will champion both Mango based Phones and Tablets (based on Windows 8).


    Meanwhile I will have taken a step back to what I was doing 2-3 years ago in order to make some money.


  • new2STL

    Amazing new UI, hope it will blend nicely with background native code for, in example,  develop games (or math intensive apps thinking with the new x86-64 low wattage processors, Intel and AMD).

  • RWalrond

    Microsoft, developers want to know about our investment in Silverlight/XNA applications, we want a first class seat on the Windows 8 train. You need to say something before september. I loved the new look of Windows 8 but my heart sank each time they said HTML/Javascript.

  • Bojan

    We can do something and state clearly our support for Silverlight as the main
    development technology for Win 8.


  • Senthil

    I think its too soon to push the "panic" button.

    Silverlight is going no where ! I believe the native apps in Windows 8 will be possible through Silverlight (the one similar to Windows Phone 7) and XNA.

    The Silverlight for WP7 supports a native install & launch, touch-support with more awesome features like Metro UI theme, Pivot View etc., Given that XAML is very powerful and the time developers invested (in learning Binding, Dependency Property, Styles, Templates, Routing etc.,)will not go in vain. "It may just get better" !

    But I am still not sure about WPF, anyway as most of its features are already getting into Silverlight, it won't be the end-of-the-road for WPF developers.

  • ZippyV

    , Ian2 wrote


    WP7 will follow the Windows 8 story with WP8  based on Win8 codebase in late 2012/Early 13.

    Not going to happen. The memory usage of Windows 8 is way to big for a mobile device.

  • RWalrond

    I think its too soon to push the "panic" button.

    Silverlight is going no where ! I believe the native apps in Windows 8 will be possible through Silverlight (the one similar to Windows Phone 7) and XNA.

    The Silverlight for WP7 supports a native install & launch, touch-support with more awesome features like Metro UI theme, Pivot View etc., Given that XAML is very powerful and the time developers invested (in learning Binding, Dependency Property, Styles, Templates, Routing etc.,)will not go in vain. "It may just get better" !

    But I am still not sure about WPF, anyway as most of its features are already getting into Silverlight, it won't be the end-of-the-road for WPF developers.

    Would only take one simple post from Microsoft to squash our worries.

    One thing that was said during the D9 show and tell, when pushed about the lack of change in the office Apps, the lady said "we're not the office team", I didn't take that as a good sign. Shouldn't all teams be on the same page when it comes to Windows?

  • Daniel D

    Marketing disaster number two for Silverlight and the Microsoft corporation.

    Much of the Javascript/HTML5 development universe, hate Microsoft with a passion. They will not develop for Windows, no matter what you do and will convince their boss to buy Android. Shame then you decided to make them your new first class citizens over .NET developers.

    Then you have the constant misdirected mess that now is the .NET framework with over engineered bloated solutions from Microsoft like WCF and Entity Framework and half completed and supported patterns like MVVM, Microsoft was putting developers offside even before this.

    Now they don't even bother mentioning if the tools they sell and many of us have spent thousands of hours on are even worthy of mentioning as fully supported on the new premium platform for Windows 8. y

    Good one Microsoft. Seriously, if Google realises the opportunity they have, they could develop a .NET equivalent framework for native Android development and clean Microsoft out of its developer base in one swoop.

    We have had enough Microsoft. Get with the game or announce you are getting out of it.

  • jlomax

    Dead on arrival.

    Nobody wants full-screen only apps, nobody wants live tiles on a desktop covered up by their work.

    This will make Vista look like a run away success.


  • Stilgar

    @jlomax:from the point of view of a .NET developer your prediction sounds optimistic. Smiley

  • Dalibor

    are you going to adapt for touch support the existing UI elements like ribbon, toolbars, menu, edit boxes? or the existing desktop application will need to be completely re-designed to be touch friendly?

  • Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • Feng

    Drop HTML5+JS, make Silverlight the first class language accross Windows 8 and Windows Phone platforms

  • Chris​Patterson

    @ZippyV:wow, so you have a final build of the OS with all of the components removed that are note necessary for a mobile device and you have hooked up the memory profiler to it.  You much have a time machine.

  • Kazi

    Html5/JS as a development tool for new generation Win8 applications is the worst news in my career, despite backward compatibility. The message sounds like my .net knowledge will be obsolete in near future. If I have to invest a lot more in Htm5/JS, why should I choose Windows?

  • BenW

    This is pretty forward thinking, actually. Obviously it causes a lot of concern for people who specialize in windows development, however, it is definitely the right move regardless of continued support for the other technologies. The mobile market is growing quickly and consists largely of other platforms. JavaScript is an extremely powerful language if you look past the typical use on the web.

  • Ian2

    Having spoken to a few developers at TechDays last week on this subject (ie HTML5 as the future for first class development) there was an almost unanimously negative view (most of the devs there were either WPF or Silverlight and had no stomach to 'move  backwards'.)

    Furthermore the kind of developers that "like" HTML/JS/CSS seem to hate Microsoft with a pasion.  Any amount of courting is going to be met with the same attitude (disdain).

    I respect Sinofsky but I wonder if he appreciates the gravity and implications of this move?  The fact that MS Devs have not been addressed first on this would suggest not.

  • NotSoPC

    The basic issue is that we have spent at least 15 years trying to jerry-rig a document markup language (i.e. HTML) into an application platform. We have used everything from straight Java script to Ajax to JQuery in a quest to fit a square peg through a round hole. Many developers have spent their careers trying get this web document standard to do the same things that native application developers can do in minutes. Do not push this pain down to native application development. Silverlight brought hope that we were finally done with this painful exercise and that the web was finally moving beyond the padded-wall madness of HMTL’s limitations.

    So in the classic words of painful disbelief please someone “Say it ain’t so!” Tell us that another decade and a half of HMTL and java script are not really your vision for Windows. If it is, then I guess I need to go and buy an Objective C book and a black turtleneck because you are going to start losing a large chunk of the younger development community, and by losing them you lose the future.

    P.S. - If this is another “miscommunication”, like at MIX this year, then hire a PR firm to help coordinate the messaging so that you don’t have this consistent backlash every time someone forgets to mention what is probably one of the most promising technologies you’ve released in recent years.

  • Daniel_S

    , bystander wrote

    We are not  Windows developers because we love Windows. We put up with Windows so we can use C#, F# and VS2010.  I've considered changing the platform many times. What stops me each time is the goodness that keeps coming from devdiv.  LINQ, Rx, TPL, async  - these are the reasons I'm still on Windows. I don't want stinking javascript to become my development platform. I'd rather do Android and Java.

    I completely agree. It is the great development environment that makes windows the OS of choice.
    If it wasn't for the .NET platform I would have made the switch to Linux ago.

    Microsoft must dare to start talking about the future of .NET including WPF and Silverlight.


    Make sure to do as Bojan suggested and  raise your voices on Silverlight's official feature-request forum: http://dotnet.uservoice.com/forums/4325-silverlight-feature-suggestions/suggestions/1894125-main-language-for-the-windows-8-development?ref=title

  • dannyboy78

    This just does not make sense with all the effort they have put into making Silverlight what it is today, and its position as a first class citizen in Windows Phone 7... it just doesn't make sense Perplexed

    Looks like the time I invested in learning Objective-C and iPad/iPhone delvelopment may not be wasted after all. 

    I know we might all be jumping the gun prematurely on this and we may be made to eat our words but they sure as hell aren't doing anything to dampen the flames.

  • sammy

    I have been a long term C++ and now .Net developer and today was a very bad news day. Yes, there will be a "classic mode" but I don't want my applications to run in a cave! I feel betrayed by Microsoft. It would have been better to now show anything!

  • dr9

    From the buildwindows.com link.

    ...All while retaining the ability to use your existing apps. ... with the full power of hardware-accelerated Internet Explorer 10 transforms your experiences with the web...."

    .net will be on there as per 'existing apps'. .net can be cross compiled to .net / and worse case scenario you could shoehorn the mono implementation in there.

    Silverlight would logically be in IE10.

  • Michael Butler

    Won't .NET still have its place as the platform of choice for building the back end to all the systems that use the new HTML 5  / Javascript "clients". Will there be a new "service layer" for local machine based REST services that give the Json to Javascript to display. Lots of interesting questions to be answered.

    I'm going to wait till September to hear the full developer story before I start to mourn the passing of .NET/Silverlight and WPF.

    I'm still hoping that Microsoft will make C# a first class "scripting" language for whatever hosting framework (IE?) is used to frame Windows 8 apps.

    Whatever happens, for me it will be business as usual, I've done the full MS development evolution from Basic, C, C++, MFC, ATL, C#, HTML Razor and Javascript. I'll continue to choose the best tool to solve the problem at hand.

  • Stilgar

    @Michael Butler:But of course I will use .NET as the backend for my Mono on Mac, MonoTouch and MonoDroid applications and also for every platform I can develop for in non-web technologies because I hate them:)

  • kimsk

    Vote for as a major platform to create an application in

  • scorn

    I never spend the time to post on these sites, so it takes a lot to get me to do it. This time I have to.

    HTML/JS … you are really losing it Microsoft.

    I understand that you can still run Silverlight/WPF, but it needs to a primary focus not legacy support. It’s not that you can’t write a substantial application in HTML/JS, it’s that you shouldn’t.

    We as an industry have been dumbed down by the success of the app store on the iOS. Everything is seen through the filter of how to best write a gadget type app. Because of it we are stepping back 10 years in development advancements as we all try to stay with Microsoft’s latest development focus.

  • CNote

    (WTF) Just to be clear here....


    I hope that was clear Microsoft. Please stop forcing Html5 on us; Silverlight\Wpf\Xaml in large portions please!

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    WOW! Finally Windows gadgets get the focus they deserve! I always thought these puny gadgets were never going to amount to much but Microsoft making them full screen is just sheer genious. And we all know how well web based apps worked on the iPhone. They sold like hotcakes. I mean you couldn't find a native app in Apple's app store even if you tried.

    I can't wait to see the new toolset for HTML5/Javascript. I bet a close preview will look like my HTML/Javascript tools of yesterday -- Notepad. Being that Microsoft was so capable in producing a WPF designer in Visual Studio (you remember -- cider) I have no doubts the HTML/Javascript designer will be far superior (in ideals) than the current HTML designer. Maybe well even get a few new parts in the toolbox! I bet through Microsoft's magic the toolbox will load even faster and never corrupt with these new HTML5/Javascript tools on board. I can't wait!

    Well back to filling the dumpster with my legacy WPF skills. Won't be needing them much longer. Thanks Microsoft for providing such a clear and concise strategy for developers to follow.


  • JOKe

    I prefer HTML5 + JavaScript instead of CShparp and dudeNet :P

  • Nelson

    If you use HTML5+JS you're not a developer. You're a masochist.

  • Steph

    Incredible... Please, vote here http://bit.ly/kgF3fA to show your discontent.

  • Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • sulfide

    Haters gonna hate I see. This thing looks great.

  • Mario

    HTML5 + JS = ASP.NET MVC, C#, Razor, jQuery

    These are great news! One with great promise for the millions of developers who program in ASP.NET, JS and CSS.. In some sense, Microsoft is democratizing Windows development: yes, more developers will be able to build "native" Windows applications, from .Net, PHP, Python,etc... I'm almost don't recognize Microsoft, and I say that in a good way!

  • freefly

    I wish I could get some people to abuse today ? wait.. I should go to redmond campus !!! windows 8 building ...

    where is the google maps ?

  • Stilgar

    @Mario:No it does not mean that... You can use whatever you want on the server but your UI will be HTML and JS whch sux. You can use whatever technology you like for a backend of your Windows Forms/WPF app but you don't need to build the UI in stinking HTML. However I don't expect a web developer to get it. As a web developer I work with web developers and I know that I don't want web developers developing the desktop apps I use as a user.

  • ZippyV

    Nobody said that the way to create an application for Windows 8 is by using HTML and Javascript only.

    The video demonstrates an application that replaces the desktop when you are using a touch enabled device. Kind of like how Media Center replaces the desktop when you have the pc connected to your television. You can see in the video that the classic desktop is still there.

    Also from the video we can assume that old applications still work. That means that native (c++), .Net and Silverlight applications will still be working. The only new thing is that you can now create applications in HTML5 too and use them offline (which is part of the HTML5 spec).

    I don't see what all the fuss is about. The touch capabilities look great and could certainly blow the iPad away.

  • timacheson

    Could we have an embeddable Silverlight video showing Windows 8, please?

  • Mario

    Obviously I do understand your concern and any other people who specialized in Silverlight, WPF.
    But Silverlight, is here to stay, it’s great, it’s just won’t be a 1st class citizen.
    Mostly because mobile market is growing so quickly and consists largely of other platforms, Microsoft just doesn’t have the same monopole it used to have, and it has no choice to be forward thinking.
    Yes this is a bold move, but since Bob Muglia left, I’m sure you were already expecting this!

  • Joe

    I hope you're wrong.
    The other platforms have a native API. Developers *can* develop using HTML/JS but they choose not to. That says something.
    Windows 8 merges the device categories back into one - you don't need a separate tablet and laptop. The problem with their current (assumed) strategy is that it's going to be full of sub-class applications.

  • Tom

    ZippyV, it comes down to one word: ARM.

    Native code needs to be ported in order to run on ARM. This includes the .NET Framework itself as well as the UI frameworks built on .NET - frameworks which are implemented as mixtures of .NET and native code: WinForms, WPF, and Silverlight. If MS fails to port these frameworks to ARM, applications built on them will need to be rewritten or face the prospect of no longer being compatible with a potentially significant subset of Windows machines.

    It could eventually mean the end of .NET on the client. With so much emphasis on HTML+JS and no information about .NET on Windows 8, it's easy to believe that the anti-.NET factions within MS have finally won out and there will be no ARM ports.

  • CKurt

    @ZippyV: The fuss is about the fact the Sinovsky said apps integrated into the touch experience/shell optimized for touch (so all apps designed for touch) will be written in HTML5 en JS and that is was is needed to integrated into the new start screen with live Tiles.

  • SheldonS

    Yes a better choice of words would have been something like "... and now we support development with HTML5 and Javascript..."  I think the way it was worded makes it sound like HTML5/Javascript is the preferred way to develop for Windows 8.

    As for the design, I like the metro standard on the phone.  On a first look I'm not sold on metro as a desktop.

  • Mathew Upchurch

    I absolutely hate the look and feel of windows 8... Works great for a tablet or phone, but my desktop OS... I don't think so... HTML5/JS is great on a tiny tablet... but my desktop has like 12GB of memory and a beefy 1GB video card... are we ditching all that power for the lowest common denominator??? Feels like this has been poorly thought through. Feels like this really is a desperate push to tablet space (where it actually makes sense), but as a desktop it fails... I'm sticking with Windows 7 or Linux (if I have to). Really bad decision guys... please fix before next year when your targeting release.

  • B3NT

    @PhilH:Look at me! I work in the future!


    just kidding, dude.

  • Lee

    I'm fine with this decision, as long as native development in C/C++ is supported!

  • ZippyV

    ZippyV, it comes down to one word: ARM.

    Do you really think that Microsoft would not port .NET (and the whole framework including WPF and Winforms) to ARM? .NET is already integrated in Windows, I don't see any reason why Microsoft would suddenly say: "Let's not port .NET to ARM".

  • Kevin

    Looks like an overly powerful team inside Microsoft thinks HTML5/JS is a hammer and everything is a nail.

  • arcnet

    , Charles wrote

    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)
    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?

  • caywen2

    A while back, I had created a Thunderbird extension in Javascript. It started to throw javascript errors at random places. Not sure what was going on. After a time consuming review of a lot of code, I was missing a semicolon.

    Thanks, Microsoft, for bringing us back to the sheer coolness of not having a compiler. I sure was missing those late nights looking for syntax errors manually.

  • Atle Iversen

    Microsoft has *always* tried to control the development stack to keep people locked to Windows. Java became popular among businesses, so .Net was created to compete with Java. Then flash started to become too powerful for multi-platforms, so Silverlight was introduced to compete with flash.

    However, due to the explosion of smartphones and tablets, people now use Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Windows Mobile (obsolete) and Windows Phone (among others) in an increasingly fragmented market. What do they have in common ?

    They can all use web pages - HTML5 and Javascript !

    What Microsoft is doing with Windows 8 is *integrating* the browser (again) with the OS to a much larger extent than any others. If they offer powerful APIs directly to the Windows Core (Win32, or maybe to the .net Framework), you can create a much better "web" experience on Windows 8 and at the same time keep a "light" version that will almost automagically work on all other systems and devices. They will of course provide the best tool for developing HTML5/JS "apps" using Visual Studio XYZ (or maybe something completely new - you never know ;-) ).

    And then, of course, you will get "windows extensions" that will make the experience much more powerful on Windows devices, so that they once again is able to control the complete eco-system....at least I guess this is their goal (which makes perfect sense, from their point of view).

    We live in exciting times - let the battle begin...

  • Ken Jackson

    Crazy thought here... what if BUILD/PDC they show Silverlight compiling to HTML/JS.

    The first thought from a lot of devs might be "oh no, you can't break the html/js abstraction -- this is ASP.NET all over again". I'd argue its completely different. ASP.NET tried to abstract/create server side state. And with this tons of issues crept into the abstraction. With clientside technology, these abstractions are what we've always done, whether macro assemblers, C compilers, JVMs, Lisp interpreters. I've long argued that JS should be abstracted (and honestly I'd prefer a bytecode, but that's a seperate story) -- here's to hoping they've done it (and of course languages like CoffeeScript and Script# have gone a long ways towards it already).

  • Vanderson

    UNBELIEVABLE!!! Please, fix this! Windows has lots of market share, right? im sure you dont want to lose that, right? and YOU, MS, knows that developers are important for a great OS. So please, please, Listen to them. I Love SL. WP is meant to play nice with windows and all.... why use html5? so developers can code once and have their apps running in every plattaform?? Windows is what it is today because of many reasons, and you know that DEVELOPERS play a big part in it....

    Dont lose any DEVs...

  • KBM

    The battle is lost before it begins.  

    You do not push the bar in software by making developers half as efficient at their job.  I issue a challenge to Microsoft.  Show me Excel and Visual Studio written in HTML5 / JS.  Then, and only then will I start using it.  Because only then will the tooling be anything close to what we need to develop enterprise LOB apps.


  • Tom

    @ZippyV: You don't see any reason? In case you didn't notice, the message right now is that they're pushing HTML+JS in a big way. And when they say "but it's not the only way" and point to Office running on ARM as proof of that, that's not very reassuring considering Office is not built on .NET.

    If they want to push .NET developers to switch to HTML+JS, all they have to do is skip what could be costly and difficult work porting .NET and its frameworks.

    If they want to keep .NET alive and well in Windows 8, why not make a statement to that effect? But they haven't said anything about it.

    And then there are the internal politics and power struggles that people on the outside see glimpses of every now and then.

    I think there are plenty of reasons to not assume that they'll do the ports.

    Where is the communication?

  • anym

    i second that

  • anym

    "The battle is lost before it begins.

    You do not push the bar in software by making developers half as efficient at their job. I issue a challenge to Microsoft. Show me Excel and Visual Studio written in HTML5 / JS. Then, and only then will I start using it. Because only then will the tooling be anything close to what we need to develop enterprise LOB apps."....

    i second this

  • Poobalam

    Its seems like everyone reacting to HTML5/JS development in Windows 8. I think this is just 1% of the whole story. Its definitely going to support number of technologies. I'm sure you can build Windows 8 apps in many different technology, eg: Silverlight, XNA, WPF, HTML5, .NET, etc. Since HTML5 is the newly added one, they came out with it first, so worry less.

  • kimsk

    Its seems like everyone reacting to HTML5/JS development in Windows 8. I think this is just 1% of the whole story. Its definitely going to support number of technologies. I'm sure you can build Windows 8 apps in many different technology, eg: Silverlight, XNA, WPF, HTML5, .NET, etc. Since HTML5 is the newly added one, they came out with it first, so worry less.


    Then, just said it out loud, Microsoft!

  • ecofriend

    MS, please make sure that developers are able to use C# to make tile apps. C# is what got me into programming. I am not a professional developer by any means but I like being able to create my own applications using tools and languages that do not get in the way of a developer's vision. I have used javascript/HTML and if that is all that was available when I started programming I would have quit after two weeks. I look at HTML 5 and the amount of code that needs to be written to do the simplest things... well, they just cannot replace Silverlight user controls.

  • DompfKopp
    Man alive... what a bunch of noobs you people are. LOL ... shame on all of you. Run back to mommy....
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  • Michael Butler

    What kind of tiles do you want in Windows 8

    I'm looking forward to my Visual Studio Team System Build Tile, showing a picture of the person who broke the previous nights build.


  • Poobalam

    @kimsk This is just a preview and the preview video is just first of series of upcoming videos. So wait... they are going to open up very soon.

  • TKS

    Dear Microsoft.

    If you force me to go through the trouble of developing cross-platform html apps for Windows 8 and throw away my investment in XAML/C#, then I see that as a HUGE invitation to reconsider my
    platform of choice.

    Why even wait for Windows 8? I might as well go buy a Chrome-OS machine and get started!

    But why? What's in it for you??

    Why would you abandon all the cool research and tooling? Surface, Silverlight, Expression Blend, Windows Phone 7, Visual Studio, WPF... throw it away for JAVASCRIPT??

  • Ray Akkanson

    With Windows 8 tablet (hopefully with a more popular name - like Mango) Microsoft could kill Google, Apple and Facebook. All they have to do is create good karma with consumers. Windows 8 can reach 95% of the world population unlike Apple. That means possible 3 billion social user base. They can create their own facebook with Windows 8. I can't believe they even let Apple grow this much.It's an aggressive consumer oriented market now. And I always believe that Microsoft knows what they're doing but they really need to be more aggressive in marketing. Microsoft has the business world, hardware world and most importantly the biggest developer community in the world supporting them.

    Ray Akkanson

  • Kasimier

    , Kazi wrote

    Html5/JS as a development tool for new generation Win8 applications is the worst news in my career, despite backward compatibility. The message sounds like my .net knowledge will be obsolete in near future. If I have to invest a lot more in Htm5/JS, why should I choose Windows?

    Since your name is similar to mine and your avatar does look exactly like me (and I find this hilarious), I'll would like to cheer you up: look, .NET will not go away in your lifetime. If its presence will ever be deminished by HTML5/JS then this will be in the area of the UI. I started with Turbo Pascal's UI then moved on to Delphi's UI, then HTML, then C, well with no UI, then C# and WinForms on Mobile Devices, then WPF, then Silverlight; and currently I'm refactoring an app with a WinForms Fat Client which has an ASP.NET portal. Actually I'm not afraid of moving to HTML5/JS for building the UI if the most of my application logic will still be C# or a similar modern language. And it will be. People are just too convenient to switch back to a mediocre language - for good reasons. People also hang on to libraries and frameworks they know. Regarding the UI story: Maybe MS will evolve JS into the most beautiful language ever. But maybe not and they will be wise enough to let their browser understand MSIL, in which case everything would fit nicely.

    Bester regards,

    Kasimier Buchcik

  • DCMonkey

    I think it would be insane for MS to not support APIs such as WPF, Win32 or Silverlight for writing apps that target this new Immersive environment, especially WPF, which seems tailor made for this type of rich app.

    And the spelunking into leaked builds of Windows 8 seem to indicate that the new AppX system will support apps developed with these APIs as well as allow integration with the new shell via tiles (which I could understand being more limited in implementation as they are effectively embedded in another application).

    But I think Microsoft needs to make an official statement as to whether these APIs will supported for developing future apps that target and integrate with the new Immersive experience or whether such apps will be relegated to the legacy desktop, even if we still have to wait for the September Build conference for details.

  • John

    I will not write a single line of code in HTML5/JS bullsh**

  • gustavo

    This is a real disaster!

    If they want to target tablets, it´s great! Just create another shell over Win7 made specially for this.

    Making HTML + JavaScript the primary toolset to desktop developers is really a joke. Silverlight should be the platform of choice, since it´s all .net, has a fantastic designer tool (Blend) is very fast, supports 3d and all kinds of interop and already powers WP7. The direction Microsoft is taking is totally insane.

  • Michael Butler

    As long as I can add whitespace and carriage returns (and { on the line below the function defintion), then I'll be happy to write some Javascript.

    If the script is running local and not being downloaded, then there is no excuse for Fugly looking source-code.

    You'll prise my copy of StyleCop out of my cold dead hands Wink

  • Crystal

    I love Metro look and consistent UI across devices.
    The HTML5/ Javascript propaganda against XAML / C# for the OS is for me a very bad move.


  • Laz

    Totally agree.if ms give up silver light...and even more, ditch.net...then I would switch to android. .net is a genius platform for developers, and silver light should have been the future of the net. Html5 is a hack job in my eyes, a pseudo development language...and javascript is just horrid, with jquery and ajax being band aids around an ancient technology.

  • bitdisaster

    The real question is, why is IE10 not executing XAP's natively. No need for a plugin on Windows and fully accelerated and  integrated into the OS. That would be a nice SL story. But right now it sounds more like they going to rename Silverlight to Silverdusk and we have to program for ActiveDesktop 2.0.


    I go and print some T-Shirts "I don't wanna be in classic mode"

  • freefly

    I am waiting for "Visual HTML studio 2012" ...

    They took away C++ devs from windows phone... which was someway understandable....

    Bad marketing... I would say... Putting HTML/JS for the first peek of a new version of Windows ??? Since the ARM side story is unclear... putting HTML/JS was stupidity... in case they have other bigger plans than HTML/JS. If not.. somebody tell me earlier... I am going to buy Mac Air !!!

  • Dr Franklin

    I'm so disappointed in Microsoft today. After years learning and creating great apps and loving the C# language and WPF, this horrible news.

    I'm not a HTML/JS expert, but isn't it impossible to create sophisticated apps like Photoshop, Visual Studio, Picasa, etc. with it? Have you seen the demos coming out of Apple for Final Cut Pro X? I highly doubt that's done with anything remotely resembling HTML/JS. But I can imagine doing it with WPF easily.

    Microsoft, please restore my faith quickly that I haven't wasted precious years on my career on tech you're going to abandon!

  • Alex

    This sounds too stupid of a move to be true...why put all c# devs against you in a single move and please developers who usually hate MS (javascript dev).

    Meanwhile objective-C is getting more and more popular..if i do any move, its going to be to iOS, not to windows 8

    posted from my wonderful wp7 device that uses c# as the first class language :)


    So we are now at over 130 comments, almost every single one a negative reaction to the developer story (as heard so far). I am hearing the same general things everywhere:

    1. HTML5+JS is crap.
    2. Many devs are tired of hearing about HTML5+JS.
    3. WPF+Silverlight+.Net+Blend+Visual Studio is what devs want.
    4. Devs won't be writing touch apps for Windows if they have to use HTML+JS. (How popular did Vista Gadgets turn out to be?)
    5. If this is the whole developer story, Microsoft is nuts.

    @Charles? Microsoft? When are we going to get a PR damage control statement addressing these concerns? I still hold out hope that HTML+JS is a new developer story not a replacement for the existing dev stories. If this is true, Microsoft should simply communicate it. We don't need details, that can wait for BUILD. It seems like most devs are just looking for assurance.

  • Deactivated User

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  • maramms

     I second LCARSNxG's opinion here.

  • knarker

    I don't usually comment on these things but this topic has caused quite a stir. When I first heard about the HTML5/JS I think like nearly everyone I was shocked and annoyed. It seems like such a step backwards going to HTML and Javascript for desktop applications. Especially when we have got such incredible technology like WPF and Silverlight which do the job so much better.

    I've been using .NET since it's beginning. It's an excellent platform which I think is hard to beat. When it comes to tools Microsoft are unquestionably the best. Other companies just cannot compete. Their stuff just WORKS. I've only recently moved on to using WPF and also Silverlight for Windows Phone 7. Again the platform and tools are just too good.

    I don't think (hope) they will abandon .NET so easily, as mentioned this is just one of their cool new features they have added to their arsenal which they are unleasshing to the public. If we consider the recent developments around the Windows phone platform and Silverlight. Surely they are forward thinking and wouldn't base their new mobile platform on a tech they themselves are going to make redundant. A platform Microsoft are really pushing hard.

    MS have invested a lot of time and effort into building the powerful .NET platform and toolset which developers all over have come to love. As ever I'm sure they're keeping some things close to their chest. I guess if worst comes to worst then Microsoft will probably provide us with the most useful tools to aid developers in their next journey. Well there's my thoughts on paper. Still annoyed. Come on Microsoft, help put us all at rest.

    P.S. If anyone is considering Windows Phone 7 as a platform or even a personal device try it out. You won't believe how good it is until you try it. This coming from an ex Android fanboy Smiley

  • bitdisaster

    @bystander: The answer I got form SL forum moderator was "All I can say for now is to please wait until September."


  • Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • Ken Jackson

    @section31, thanks. MS really should have either said what bystander suggested or said nothing atll. Just said that the dev story is coming in September. At this point they've rightly fanned developer flames.

    As a Silverlight dev I'm kind of ticked. I get this story from MS:

    1) The Silverlight strategy has shifted.

    2) WPF completely marginalized. Effectively dead at this point.

    3) Scott Guthrie moved from .NET to Azure.

    4) Speculation that the next phone is Win8.

    5) The only touch-based Win8 dev story mentioned so far is HTML/JS.

    You put all this together and why would I even bother to do more SL development? I should just start writing apps for the Chrome store as those skills will be more transferable than SL/WPF.

  • DeathBy​VisualStudio

    I predict that Microsoft will try and placate devs in September by providing "Jupiter" which will turn out to be nothing more than a little glue to let you hookup Silverlight apps to the new HTML5/Javascript desktop. They'll say "you can still develop Silverlight apps" rather than what they really mean "Silverlight will still be supported much like WinForms but Microsoft will only be improving the HTML5/Javascript platform". They won't even mention WPF because they're too much of a bunch of [insert you favorite term here] to tell us that it's dead. IMO, they are nothing more than a bunch of politicians and academics that don't listen to their customers. Just look at VSTSDB for a great example of academia gone wild.

  • FrickMystr

    What about the fact that a touch screen on a large monitor is quite annoying.. For a phone or Tablet, you can get away with it.. You are only using a small device.. But how about a 24" monitor that you are sitting 18" from so that you can touch it.. Then it will just get ridiculously smudgy..


    HTML5/JS - please.. Are we trying to get our stuff to work on any OS that is currently out there?


    What about performance? What about stability? How about removing the registry?

  • KeyboardG

    Silverlight is being pinched out because Microsoft is watching the war thats going on with Flash and realize it'll never succeed as a cross platform solution no matter how many times over it is better than flash. The only true cross platform UI technology is HTML5+JS.

    However, as a technology lead planning out a massive rewrite of our product.... I am pumping the breaks to see where this all goes. WPF and Silverlight may be there, but we don't want to invest in what becomes a * step child.

  • David Hanson

    If Microsoft can compile c# to byte code then jit to binary I'm pretty sure they can compile it to js. Secondly new techniques such as webgl and canvas mean they could write the entire xaml engine in html5 compliant standards. I think there maybe some gaps but I reckon this could be an approach going forward. Now...question is, can the entire .net platform be ported to this model?

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  • Michael Butler

    I'm not going to believe WPF is dead until I get a copy of VS2012 which has been rewritten again, this time not to use WPF. WPF is core to Visual Studio, it can't be going away.

  • Kazi

    @Kasimier: My first name is "Kázmér" which is the hungarian derivation of the polish name Casimir: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casimir. And in hungarian, Kázmér's nick name is Kazi.That explains the name only, not avatar similarities Smiley.

    Hey, Kazi! Smiley Thanks for your words. I understand as a developer I have to learn new things always and I love to learn new technologies. I started my career with GWBasic on C64 in the 80's and went through lot of technologies (Pascal, Turbo Pascal for Windows, Clipper, Delphi, FoxBase, C++, C#, etc etc can't count everything). Html5/JS would be a huge step back compared to C# family technologies. Yes, I can write Html5/JS code, and I do it a lot, beacuse I have to develop web sites. This is all about costs. Costs can come from different sources: deployment, user experience and developer story. Nowadays web sites have the best deployment stories, and if it is the most important aspect, no question, you have to build a web site, despite it has the worst developer story. Building fat windows client applications is far the best developer stories and far the best UX. True, you can build very bad client applications, but you can build far more better applications compared to Html/JS web sites. In a managed enterprise environment, no question, WPF/Silverlight is the way to go, nowadays. Imo, Win8 could solve the deployment story of the fat client applications /Store/ and I can't see the reason to be cross platform as Win8 applications targets Windows. No quesion, i could develop all the applications demoed in the above preview video with the SDK. What's in there: a simple twitter client app, a weather app, rss reader, photo browsing etc. All these are very simple things, but if I would like implement something serious, please don't force me to suck with Javascript.

    edit: typo

  • Koukouroukou

    Dear Microsoft, HTML5 and JS developers hate you. And will continue to hate you, no matter what.
    You have the best IDE, the best programming language and you just give it up for JAVASCRIPT? What do you smoke in Redmond? I'd prefer write Assembly over this BS.

    HTML+JS hasn't replaced native apps in devices of BIG proponents of HTML5 (call me Apple - iOS and Google-Android). Do you expect to have it natively on the DESKTOP? I wonder what are the thoughts of Anders on this...

    Apple is not winning because they have tremendous IDEs or programming languages - they both suck big time.
    They win because they have a great experience on their products.
    Focus on the experience, Microsoft. Let us developers create apps in C#/XAML/WPF/SL/C++ (and even HTML/JS, but LET US HAVE A CHOICE) and we will do the work for you.

  • desg

    If HTML becomes primary platform for Windows we are back in stone age and there is no point in reimplementing WPF/Silverlight markup by HTML markup as such markup extension will not work on other platforms which is main goal of adopting HTML.

    I think that WPF/SIlverlight should be first class platforms for tile mode in Windows 8, but this mode should also support HTML. I believe they will use this approach. Also, they said that Silverlight will still run in the browser which means that we would be able to  embed Silverlight into HTML inside tile apps and probably to build those apps entirely in SIlverlight but the real issue here is that HTML will be primary platform. They said that in order to get the most out of tiles inside Windows 8 you will need HTML/Javascript which is total madness.


  • Dodiese

    So, this the first class  model you propose now?  Lousy HTML5 + JS for the eyecandy? C++/ COM's hell for all rest of the native experience? The good old : "oh yes you can continue to use the "legacy" tools you used before....whatever it is " for the rest?

    The question of the use of the tablets in the enterprise is crucial now. And it's not only RIA LOB apps or online magazines. It also have to do with 3D, machines, augmented reality etc... We are already doing that on desktops using .Net,WPF and C++.  The fact that Win8 invests on HTML technologies to address touch and NUI experience makes me think that the Windows team is really underestimating the scenarios where those interaction modes will be used... And what kind of developers will build it. WE ARE NOT WEBSITE DESIGNERS, WE ARE APPLICATION DESIGNERS ! And it means maintaining and supporting our apps for 15 of 20 years.... You bring in our field the most  unmaintainable technos and hope everebody will applause because it looks like what Silverlight team has done 5 years ago?  Seriously guys, I (as many .Net devs) come from the WIN32/MFC/COM era and the .Net proposition was the best thing that happened to us regarding UX development (be it Winforms, WPF or Silverlight). Today we do not stay on Windows because of the OS but because of the tools that permits us to quickly develop the added value we want to provide to our clients: .Net ,WPF, Silverlight, legacy C++ are part of our solution, on the contrary every HTML-JS we've done is now part of our problem: maintainability and I'll not tell my CEO that this will be the way we have to go to address tablets.

    This demo is the best example of the "Division War" designed  shipwreck I've seen by MS.It only reminds me what my CTO told me few years ago : "The real problem in MS is that they're seeing everything trough Windows"... 

    I think next week  I'll grab an Acer Iconia and invest on Android... It simply doesn't worth the wait.


  • wkempf

    , Charles wrote


    It's not the only story... It's a new one. One with great promise for the millions of developers who program in JS and design UI in HTML and CSS.. In some sense, it represents a democratization of Windows development: more developers will be able to build "native" Windows applications. It's just the story that was told today.

    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...


    This summarizes my problem fairly well. I'm not concerned that WPF/Silverlight/AnythingElse will be dropped. They obviously won't be. I'm also not concerned with whether or not they are the "premier" technology, as that mostly shouldn't matter in choosing what to use (though it can mean problems with things like supporting new features). What bothers me is the fact that HTML/JavaScript is a ("new") story here.

    HTML/JavaScript are not good technical choices here. People use HTML/JavaScript because that's what the Web is built on, and so it gives you reach. Even then, there's plenty of reasons to make other choices (i.e. desktop applications or "browser plugin" solutions like Silverlight or Flash), and many of us do. Trying to use HTML/JavaScript for building applications outside of the Web has been tried several times (even by Microsoft) and it has always failed. There's a reason for this. HTML is a document centric language and does very poorly when designing other types of user interfaces. To work around this you have to bolt on other things, like XUL or SVG and Canvas and do a lot more work. Meanwhile, JavaScript is a dynamic language well suited to quick and simple tasks, but horribly suited to larger and/or more complex applications. I've done this, and I'm not going to willingly do it again. It's very much like driving a nail with a screwdriver... you can do it, but not without a lot of effort and pain.

    I understood the push towards HTML/JavaScript when it started, because it was about web development. Becoming more standards compliant and providing better tooling and libraries for web development is a very good thing. However, if this strategy is bleeding (again) into trying to push HTML/JavaScript into the "desktop" then I firmly believe Microsoft is losing their way, and are likely to lose their "Developers! Developers!" along with it.

  • bitdisaster

    , wkempf wrote


     There's a reason for this. HTML is a document centric language and does very poorly when designing other types of user interfaces.



  • SleepyDaddy​Software

    Just throwing this out there, completely unrelated to the HTML5/Silverlight debate:

    Software track-pad, for tablets and hybrids. Make it like the ergonomic soft-keyboard, with the trackpad on one side and the mouse buttons on the right. Use the new edge detection gestures to bring it up and to switch back/forth between the keyboard and the track-pad. And, where possible, automatically switch based on the context (click on a text-box, switch to keyboard, etc..).

  • jd39dev

    OK, I've stopped my Windows Tablet dev plans completely and will target the iPad or Android pads. The dev story with HTML is a no-go for desktop apps. That's the reason why Web OS never took off and I won't develop for Web OS either.

  • Tom Servo

    This has to be a * joke.

    Sure, native and .NET applications (Winforms, WPF, Silverlight) will still run on Windows 8, but for all intents and purposes in a padded cell, which would be the old desktop. HTML5+JS only for immersive applications? Yeah, sure, as long you want to relinquish tons of flexibility (* JS and HTML5/CSS) and computing power (yeah, JS, the HPC language).

  • BlarfMarfle

    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, and they want to present this radical new future for the platform in an organized way. We can't assume anything concrete about Windows 8 beyond what they've said.

  • wkempf

    @Tom Servo: Nothing has been said to indicate this, and in fact there's plenty of information to suggest otherwise. I doubt that HTML/JavaScript will be the only way to write "immersive" applications in Win8. Like I said, this is not what concerns me. What concerns me is:

    1. Microsof is once again very bad at communicating.

    2. HTML/JavaScript even as an option is, to me, a pretty clear indication that Microsoft just doesn't "get it". It's a waste of resources and time better spent elsewhere.

  • Luke

    Microsoft aren't solely converting over to HTML and JS. It's Windows! It's still gonig to use all your favorite Microsoft programming languages, and even the open source ones. What they are saying is that it 'supports' HTML5 and JS applications. It's just a simpler option for developers. :)

  • arcnet

    , 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,

    A couple of hours ago I got an email from Microsoft announcing the BUILD 2011...
    "Windows 8 apps combine the capability(power) of HTML5 and JavaScript with the native capabilities(functions) of Windows. Additionally they can use a broad range of libraries and controls that allow smooth user interactions and simple internet connectivity. Furthermore these apps can integrate new features in Windows and other applications and connect(interact) with other apps in the new UI" (translated from german)

    Mad Anyone creating a C#, VB or F# front end for the LLVM?
    Then we could use Emscripten (a LLVM to JavaScript compiler)

  • bitdisaster

    @wkempf: After my first thread with almost 6 million viewings was locked because of trolling, a Silverlight moderator was replying in a sequel thread that "We can't say anything else until September. Trust me that the previous thread
    was visible at some of the highest levels inside Microsoft (one reason I edited
    to remove the trolls and insulting that was a problem and obscuring the message
    the thread was sending)"

    Looks like we send a message and maybe we get answers earlier than September. Meanwhile, lets hope the best.

  • Tom Servo

    @wkempf Things were pretty clear cut at D9. The hosts asked how you make these new immersive apps. They've said HTML5+JS, and when the hosts were bugging them more about it, they clearly said that you can continue to write using the existing frameworks, which would however have them land on the classic desktop.

  • Al-Mahani

    I would tend to agree with you if we were given a platform that only allows JS/HTML to build apps. However, I do not think this is the case. I am inclined to believe that the platform would allow for the following:

    public partial class HelloTile: Tile {

    protected override OnInit(){


    protected override SaveState(){


    protected override LoadState(){



    You can therefore think of a tile as a webform, so to speak. And like webforms, they can be done using pure html. I would also go as far as to say that a Tile inherits from some Controller class allowing for pure MVC functionality. If my observations are correct, I have no evidence to indicate I am correct, then this may be interesting.

  • Al-Mahani



    , wkempf wrote


    There's a reason for this. HTML is a document centric language and does very poorly when designing other types of user interfaces.



  • Eclipsoft

    Hi guys,

    Please check out this open letter that makes our case:

    <A href="http://forums.silverlight.net/forums/p/230744/563049.aspx"> http://forums.silverlight.net/forums/p/230744/563049.aspx</A>

    An Open Plea by Silverlight and WPF Developers to Fully Support These Wonderful MS .NET Platforms in Windows 8 in Addition to the New HTML5 Platform


  • Sebastian

    Well, I'm not going to iterate on the criticism on HTML5+JS - basically I have done that for five years (seven if you count the first two years with PHP only) and I do not miss the experience.

    But what really troubles me is Microsoft's communication:
    I do not blame individual people, but it looks like Microsoft's global communication team is either seriously understaffed or just not doing a good job. People are making career decisions based on technology platform information - so you just don't tell them things like "oh, we noticed HTML5 is very cool. Silverlight? Oh, just wait three month, then we may share some information whether the platform you use is in maintenance mode".
    I spent quite a long time to convince people that SL & .Net are a platform to consider for new projects. The last HTML5-incident was already grist for the Microsoft haters in our team. This one may actually be the finishing blow.
    If Microsoft decides to drop SL, that is acceptable (but not appreciated). But what we really need is some clear communication on the preferred respective platforms for desktop, web and mobile development.


    P.S.: Yes, my first reaction to the announcement also was: "HTML+JS. F**k you, MS. I am not going to wade in this s**t again"

  • rfb

    Note that for some time Adobe AIR allowed you to create Windows desktop applications in HTML/JavaScript. It never went anywhere.

  • Kasimier

    @Kazi: Hey, Kazik! My current name was translated to German from my original Polish name Kazimierz and my nick name is Kazik Smiley Great to know that I have a twin out there. Seems like we share skills too. Regarding my previous thoughts: I take those all back; I've switched to panic mode. From what I've read elsewhere the remarks of bystander here seem to be important: policital war between the Windows devision and the Dev devision. It seems the Dev's have lost and stupidity has won once again; with deeper consequences than I originally imagined. I'm really worried now. I should have gone to Google when I had the chance.

    Best regards,

    Kasimier Buchcik

  • Warhead

    Unbelievable. You ungrateful pack of whiners.

    World War III has been under way for several years now and since many of you apparently haven't noticed, we are roundly getting our asses kicked. Are you all not aware that you have Google at your back door and Apple kicking down your front door and both with the goal of stealing your future and handing if over to their growing developer base? Pull your heads out of it and read the news and the writing on the wall. How many signals do you need? Have you checked the price of your Microsoft stock in the last 5 years?

    It was only a decade ago that this same nonsense was coming from VB purist who resisted the change to .NET because it was too difficult, they had too much invested in it, they wanted to coast another 5-10 years without friction, whatever. They were a very vocal, very pissimestic group opposing change just like you are doing today.

    Wake up.

    Microsoft is betting their company right now, AS YOU SLEEP. Not because they want to, but because for the first time in their history, they have competition that is kicking their hinges loose.

    Microsoft's fate is your fate. Appreciate the sacrifice, the urgency, the balls they are showing right now in an effort to compete. Silverlight may not survive? Silverlight isn't on the worlds radar and we are near version 5; kill it already. Whatever it takes. One of the most often cited drags on Microsoft is that it tries to carry it's entire past around with it with each passing year, each step forward. Is Silverlight too cool for words, the best thing since sliced bread, the cat's pajamas? Who gives a damn. It is failing to capture critical mass. It is already marginalized. It is one small slice of their technological pie and it is getting smaller.

    Deal with it. This is war baby. You can sleep when you are dead.

    I develop with C#, ASP.NET, HTML5, CSS and Javascript every day. If they tell me that next year I can write full-featured, run-everywhere native apps and drop C# and ASP.NET altogether, I am so in so fast it isn't funny.

    More importantly, if they tell me that I will REMAIN RELEVANT because they are taking their competition seriously and know that their perpetual dominance is not a birthright and is in fact taking heavy fire right now, all the better.

    I swear, people, look at the bigger picture. Step outside of yourselves. Welcome to high-speed Darwinism. If you can't roll with Microsoft and support necessary radical change, then just step aside.
    If Microsoft sits on its hands just so you can write XAML for the next 10 years, they will become the next Borland and you will be wearing a smock and a hairnet to work. Not that there's anything wrong with that, but personally I have different plans.

    Now, as happened in the late 90's when I wrote something eerily similar to some VB guys about why they should embrace .NET, please, by all means, flame away. I won't feel any need to hug it out later. However, if Microsoft somehow DOES NOT EXECUTE this time, in spite of you or because of you, I do want you to remember later that someone told you so when you are hunched over your Wrox book learning how to write Hello World in Objective-C.

  • Kasimier

    @Warhead: Thank you my holy warrior for waking me up from my naive dreams!

    But before we all stick our flag into this fresh new land, let me ask you:
    What do you meant with "VB purist who resisted the change to .NET because it was too difficult"?
    Isn't the issue we are discussing here (some armed, some not) actually the other way round? Isn't HTML/JS the VB of once?

    Further "If Microsoft sits on its hands just so you can write XAML for the next 10 years, they will become the next Borland". What does this mean? Borland did partly die *because* it alienated its developer base.
    Some forces inside MS never really allowed WPF/SL into a position where one could assure customers that this is the way to go.
    I.e. the Windows devision saying: "It never took off, let's bury it", "bury what?", "well, the framework the other guys came up with, but we didn't want anyone to use because, hey, *we* still do Win32 API".

    Beside that, what apps do you think of one should write in HTML/JS? Are we not already developing using HTML/JS in ASP.NET? Are you planning to develop a LOB Fat Client in the next 3-4 years in HTML/JS?

    If your comment would have been based on: "hey, there's some new intersting and powerfull toy out there; let's go and have fun learning it.", then I would give you my hand and follow you. And the reasons why we get it on our table currently are due to political reasons. Look, it's not that Windows could not have a strong focus on WPF/SL. It's that some guys don't want it to be. One could have built the new Win 8 look & feel easily in WPF/SL. But no, they didn't want to go the easy way and hacked it together with HTML/JS. Why?
    Isn't this just a political move, a sign to the whole world? "hey, the others are trying to be ubiquitous, but look, we already have a ubiquitous OS, and hey, here it comes: *now* we have a ubiquitous developer story. So please, now buy MS products because there isn't anything else."

    So summa summarum: yes, MS might be currently at war with some companies, but no, there's no reason to start a war with its developers. You've been tricked into war, I fear. And I'm really worried when companies act like that.

    Best regards,
    Kasimier Buchcik

  • Deactivated User

    Comment removed at user's request.

  • episode96


    Please explain to us how betting the farm on HTML and JS is going to save Microsoft from the Barbarian Hordes, specially when neither of those technologies have nothing to do at all with the threat posed by Apple and Google.

    Anyway, others have said this before very eloquently but it's worth repeating. The crowd cheering for "open" standards and the odd mixup that HTML/JS/CSS represents, they hate MS with a passion.

    What would be MS achieving by trying to please that crowd while turning its back on the developers thay have been loyal to their own technologies?

  • Warhead

    "holy warrior" "Mein Führer"? That's a little florid don't you think?

    Let me (God this is tedious) try a different tack.

    You can't have it both ways. A significant complaint here, not the only one, but a significant one, is that Microsoft is derailing your business plans, potentially harming your business to some degree, because they (Microsoft) are making moves that protects their own business interests.

    Mind you, Microsoft has and does serve all kinds of development customers. Developers/shops who vary in terms of their objectives, skills, preferences, business size, monetary investment, IQ, body temperature and many other differentiators.

    But as individuals and companies (Microsoft especially included), we all place bets, usually for future financial gain (for the sake of argument, lets assume we all work for money).

    Some bets don't work out. If you bet your business (or your job within another entity) on Silverlight or web standards, or what have you, it is still a bet. Microsoft builds and sells products, we buy them or not. They would rather that everything they build is a phenominal hit, makes everyone tons of cash, and everyone sleeps well. Doesn't work like that even in the best of times, certainly not now when their traditional dominance in certain areas is unravelling.

    The true fate of Silverlight/WPF/.NET is actually unknown to almost everyone but Microsoft insiders at this point. They may be slated for the glue factory or not, there is no way to know at the moment. We do know that whatever they do is their decision, perfectly legal, and probably based on a lot of raw data and business intelligence that none of you or I will ever see or hear about.

    If they kill off any or all of these products, and the competition continues to shovel dirt over them, then so be it, that is how it goes. As much money and brainpower as they have, they still manage to fumble quite a lot, and their Hail Mary now may cost them dearly. So be it. If it costs you dearly, or me, it is because of choices we made based on our research, our decisions, our BETS. That is on us, not them. We all know that products get a certain amount of time to prove themselves, and if they fail, they will eventually be pulled from further investment. Gracefully, you hope, so that you can regroup and retool, but however well that works out for you, Microsoft is not a charity organization. They have shareholders that they are accountable to and a breach of fiduciary responsibility to those shareholders is a woeful thing. They are not going to subsidize your business strategies at the expense of their duty to investors.

    A lot of people agree with me, not on this forum certainly, but a lot of people have been asking the same question I have: what is taking them so long? Why did they, with all of their money and wisdom, not see what the general public (and yes, their investor base again) has seen quite clearly for a few years now?

    They have been very slow to retool their business and it may already be too late. In any case, they need to cut the BS, drop the things that aren't absolutely killing and move into areas where they are soft.

    Now, they are doing something. Right for you or wrong for you, they are doing something. It simply has to happen. Sorry they are picking on your baby, but something's gotta give. It's not all about you. It never really was.

    As for the HTML/JS sucks debate, that's a joke. Whether or not .NET/WPF/SL or whatever survives, HTML/JS is not their whole strategy. I have been a programmer for a very long time and have used a lot of products and languages. I KNOW HTML and JavaScript is not the complete answer to anything. As mentioned, I use both daily.

    You guys are riled up on two fronts:
    1) HTML/JS sucks and if that's all they give you to write apps with you'll take your ball and go home
    2) Please don't kill my Silverlight/WPF/.NET

    Those issues are not one and the same. I addressed #2 above. They will do what they think serves the greater good and if killing off your preferred technology is their best call, it is simply going to happen.

    As for #1, just so you knowe I know, HTML and JS do not suck, but you cannot build applications in it as you can in WPF/WinForms. That is very true. We agree. However, perhaps we don't need so many of those kinds of apps anymore. You may not have noticed, but what CAN be done with HTML/JS/CSS has come a long way from 10-15 years ago. Enterprises are sort of reverting to the mean (the mean being applications that are more centralized) and fat clients are less and less efficient, more costly, less desirable. Quite a large percentage of them suck. I rewrote, for my large enterprise employer, a Windows-based help desk system using ASP.NET, but all of the client was resolved to standard web technologies, you know HTML, JS, CSS, text. And guess what? It is faster, more reliable, better-liked by the users and we no longer pay yearly licensing fees. I did it by myself and in only a few months.

    Sure, I'll admit, it was less about how wonderful I am than how much the commercial product sucked, but the result is the same. If it was my call, I would have done the same: ordered a browser based rewrite. It only makes sense, here, now, 2011. I don't make the rules, I just play my best game within them.

    Now back to HTML/JS sucking, they do not suck. And I think that if MS really does something so radical as to eventually dump SL/WPF/.NET (and I am not convinced they will yet), then the only way that would fly is if they have some absolutely mind-boggling, earth-moving, wildly revolutionary tooling that they have very tightly under wraps. I don't discount that possibility from the people who brought you Kinect. But HTML/JS in no way is the whole story, not possible, end of story.

    Since we have NO FACTS, I must speculate like you are doing, and my speculation leads me to believe that if they kill off something good, they have to replace it with something better. Not only is that the only reasonable conclusion, but it is something they have generally done in the past. It is a no-brainer. Yes, they may kill your baby, but they will give you a better baby. They don't want you to go anywhere, and they will give you really good candy to keep you in the fold. Thaty much, I am certain of. The HTML/JS centricity of their opening gambit was for the non-believer's sake. They were not intending to preach to the choir. They were firing a shot to get everyone else's attention. And they succeeded. Now everyone want's to know just what they have up their sleeve. Potentially something that traditionally anti-Microsoft devs and evangelists could get behind? Maybe, stick around for a few months and see....

    First, their opacity is intentional so that the competition can't immediately shoot holes in it before it gets to take its first steps. Not that that has stopped hard core anti-MS folks from trying. A few are already blogging that Windows 8 is just lipstick on a pig; a new skin on WIndows 7 and not much else. But most of the heavyweights know better than to reach like that this early in the game. Again, this is strategy. How can you dump on a company who says they are incrementally unveiling something that is fresh, unique, and that is based on open standards. That is a big deal because it was the most effective attack that their competitors and detractors have used in the past few years. You can't. You have wait for additional reveals. They bought themselves some time. They showed some leg and bought some time, time that will not be filled with competitors shouting "same old, same old".

    Will Adobe be able to rewrite Creative Suite in all of its glory in HTML and JavaScript? If they could, they would have already. So there will be tools for building heavy client apps for Windows 8. But increasingly, I think, I hope, apps like that will be fewer and fewer and more importantly, I believe we really won't miss them.

  • Warhead


    Borland died because the failed to execute well enough to succeed against very stiff competition, not simply because they ticked off some of their developer base.

  • KenJackson

    @WarHead, a big part of the problem isn't the message per se, but the messaging.  If you're going to effectively kill WPF/SL then you better come out and say it and say why.  I literally had just downloaded the Mango SDK planning on doing some work for Mango, but after seeing this announcement, it might be just throwayway in every conceivable meaning of the word. 

    At this point the only thing MS has incentivized me to do is to look more close at ChromeBooks, since apparently Google Chrome store will be the place I can distribute apps I also build for Win8.  Or maybe that isn't the case -- but I have no idea because MS isn't giving me any information.

  • Warhead


    I hear you and others who are decrying that same thing. That point is not lost on me. Unfortunately, I think the primary reason they are not releasing their "whole story" yet, is they haven't finished writing it. They cannot afford any missteps at this point. Things are already desperate enough. If they promise too much and can't deliver, or deliver late and short, then they will pay dearly both in terms of broken customer confidence and giving their competition more ammunition to use against them. They simply can't afford a significant blunder at this point.

    They had to act and so they did. They have more chapters coming. In the meantime, they are going to lose a few customers, a few developers, but lets fact it, they have been losing both lately so what are a few more. What they do right now, and in the coming year will have long-range repurcussions. They are showing as much as they can successfully show and they are being extremely careful in how they present it. Of course, there is a lot more to come, and of course we all want to see it all now, but it is not baked well enough. Its not like they are standing in front of a showroom full of nice shiny finished packaged things with pricetags on them. Its ugly behind the curtain at this point. It is always better to show something good than to promise it and show it later. You don't get maximum impact that way, and you positively kill yourself if you for any reason can't fulfill whay you promise.

    Some will walk in the meantime. And of those, many will return later when more things are in the open, but in any case, they clearly believe it's worth the risk.

    Personally, I can wait for them to get it right, and I can be patient as they reveal it bit by bit. If they blow it, if they don't absolutely crush it by 3Q-4Q 2012, they will not recover. They will still have a business, but they will be about as interesting as Oracle.

  • Warhead

    @moderator, please delete the dupe and this request.  My bad.

  • SKN

    <Warhead>Since we have NO FACTS, I must speculate like you are doing, and my speculation leads me to believe that if they kill off something good, they have to replace it with something better. Not only is that the only reasonable conclusion, but it is something they have generally done in the past.</Warhead>

    They've killed Windows Forms in 2005 and replaced it with slow and unfinished WPF. Now WPF is better and almost usable and they kill it before it had a chance to take off. I've considered converting my Win Forms project to WPF during the next 3 years, but now I'm not sure if it's worth the effort.

  • spydaweb

    Ok, so I'm trying not to be alarmist here.  I've read through most of your posts and I share some of your worries, all based on what we've all heard and seen so far, but I'll wait for BUILD to learn more specifics.  Until then though, here's my hopes and take away.


    1) The new UI and direction... I like what I see.  It's not how I would have designed it, but I like some of the paradigms introduced. As a longtime proponent of WebOS, I can't help but notice how much of what's RIGHT about this UI has likely been gleaned from Palm's creation.  The off-screen swipe moves are a neat evolution of Palm's ideas.  I think Angiulo's demo shows best why. The ability to do common functions without having to set your handheld device down is great.  I also like the de-emphasis on chrome and as a designer, I love the idea of showcasing my app natively in full screen, sans buttons or toolbars. It's visually beautiful, even with the simple designs that Metro promotes.

    The parts that I don't like about this new UI direction are the fact that the old desktop UI isn't dead. What I mean by this is that I feel like the new Windows 8 chromeless design is better suited to portable touch devices, not keyboard/mouse apps.  They really should have kept them separate.  I know they think it's a good idea to combine them; it's not, and every demo I've seen has proven it with all the mistakes that they keep making while trying to do things.  It just makes the otherwise smooth interface look clunky and obviously ill suited.


    2) HTML5/JS/CSS vs WPF/SL/XNA.  So, I was initially upset when they de-emphasized tried and true (and powerful) for the Web standards route, but more and more I just don't believe it's a case where we won't be able to take advantage of WPF, etc in the Metro UI.  The example of IE browsing is spot on.  Although, Microsoft has shown in past (WP7 anyone??) that they may allow certain things for first party apps and lock out third party devs from the same goodness.

    In my rather unsubstantiated prediction however, I believe it will be the case that they prefer us to use simple web standards when creating simple Media Consuming apps and the more powerful coding options for more substantial apps.  Much the same way that in WP7 you have access to XNA for the heavy pixel precision gaming apps and Silverlight for the regular menu heavy media consuming apps.

    Also, doesn't Visual Studio 2010 (SP1) have support for web standard language validation and intellisense?  If it doesn't, I imagine it'll be made available post the BUILD conference.  IWO, I'm not worried about having to troubleshoot missing semicolons and tags in my Win 8 code.

  • Warhead


    I guess that cuts to the heart or part of the debate. 2005 was 6 years ago. Six. The paace of change in technology is accellerating. Things are moving much faster now than in the '90s and the '00s even. You have to think of "internet years" like "dog years". They don't map to Main Street years.

    I was excited about WPF well before it's release. Very much so. But I was aware that it was going to supplant my preferred technology, WinForms and I was distressed. Distressed enough to stay away from it. I watched it while others dove in. That could have been a very bad call, but turned out not to be. I was just leary and lucky. I continued working with WinForms for a little while longer and learned web standards tech instead, even though WPF was much cooler and looked more promising.

    However, I was an independant consultant at the time, and had been for a little more than 15 years by then. I knew what could happen. THe learning curve was steep and not everyone was convinced, nor was Microsoft convincing. I had seen change before, both successful advances and some that were not. But it didn't affect my business because most people were still only interested in WinForms or ASP.NET, on a percentage basis. So I hung back. Mind you, this is the opposite of what I did when .NET was first introduced. I got a very different vibe about .NET than I did for WPF et. al. I watched from the sidelines. I never once felt a blip where it seemed like it was an inflection point occurred. There was simply no significant interest from my target customer base, and no critical mass in business in general. After a couple of years, I felt pretty good about my decision.

    Then they started to bang the Silverlight drum and I began to get nervous. But still I stayed on the sidelines. I played with the bits, kicked around with Blend, you know, but never actually bit. I am not a genious or a seer, but it just never seemed to interest anyone around me, business people I mean, clients, even the press remained skeptical. After a few years of all of this, it was like an implicit confirmation. It was not going to catch fire. It deserved recognition because it was prretty amazing stuff. But if there is no real market, no critical mass, then I couldn't sustain any real excitement about it. The arguments against it were solid. It really amounted to Flash on steriods. It required a plugin. But it didn't have the buy-in that Flash did.

    My point is that I got out of the fringe technlogy business a long time ago. I got my fingers burned a few times and remembered it. Ever heard of Superbase? Paradox for Windows? I know you heard of Delphi. All really cool technologies that were hot for a little while and then sort of faded into the background. From those experiences (and several others), I learned that there are certain types of people who loved technology for its own sake and love early bits, love the bleeding edge, and that I am not one of those people. I like to see significant adoption before I jump in. Perhaps that is just a matter of age and experience. Younger people can risk their time and crash and burn a few times, like I did, before they assume a different perspective. Maybe it is not that, I don't know, I'm not a psychologist.

    To your point though, the good news is that even though they "killed" WinForms 6 years ago after a very nice run, you can STILL write WinForms apps today. Heck, in my own shop we are running every version of .NET since the first, through VS2010m and some of our people are still maintaining VB6 code.

    They haven't officially killed WPF or Silverlight yet. They will probably be supported for a number of years if they do kill them. That's how they roll. But you say they are killing it before it had a chance to take off, and I disagree. You don't get more than 6 years to prove viability any more. Times are going to shorten, not lengthen.

    I don't wish anyone ill, and I don't like that people will lose some investment here, but personally, I hope they do slip those technologies the needle. Time's up. If you really think that anyone who cares about their job at this point in time would recommend initiating new project in Silverlight or WPF, you are mistaken. That would be career suicide most places. I am sorry, that is just how it worked out. I would expect the same fate if I recommended doing anything new in Flash and we know what Flash's penetration is like compared to Silverlight, no matter that it sucks.

    So, @SKN, learn from this. Let me address your dilemma: don't convert your WinForms project to WPF unless you hear Microsoft announce during September's BUILD conference that WPF is the centerpiece of their technology strategy smart/fat clients. If you don't here that loud and clear, pretend like WPF never existed and move on, because I can assure you it will NOT be worth the effort.

    Evaluate their offering when they lay it out. If you like it and they are convincing great, if not, start looking at alternative technologies. There are many. I don't know what your project is, but I assure that there is a correct technology for it somewhere. I hope you find a workable solution, but there are no gimmes. You have be adaptive in this field. Sometimes that means reacting to change, and sometimes that means identifying a bad bet and letting it pass until something better comes along.

    One last thing on this point: I can't get my head around the idea that because a vendor is killing off a product (if they even are) somehow kills off your business somehow. A lot of really large businesses are part of the same ecosystem that you are, with larger investments at risk, and they don't rollover and die when technology evolves. Think of companies like Infragistics or DevExpress. They only bite on a technology when they think there is enough of a market to make it worth their while. When the market dries up, they are on to the next thing. They adapt. I had to do that as an independant and I have to do it now working for the man. Come what may, I make the best choices I can and knock out the code. As long as that code will execute, as long as it runs long enough for the stakeholders to get value from it, its all good.

    The people who are most stung by this kind of thing are those who put all of their eggs in one basket. If you are a solo act, you usually have to do that. But if you are sized so that you basically have to adopt one technology and ride it until it drops, you should increase your odds of success by staying away from the bleeding edge, and investing your time on technology that has wide adoption, even if you are not the first one to the party.

    I'll spit it out: learn HTML, JavaScript and CSS and ANY major server side scripting technology (ASP.NET if you are MS-centric) and you will be positioned for a long run of success in your career. Period. That is your baseline. I have read so much bunk about how people who code in HTML5 and CSS and JavaScript are all Microsoft haters and that is completely untrue. The fact is, Microsoft held those people in disdain until only vere recently. Not MS is embracing them. HTML/JS/CSS folks have had to work with junk tools for a very long time and still they get their jobs done. If they could feel comfortable enough with Microsoft that they could be convinced that MS was throwing in the towel on proprietary closed technology, they would kill to work with Visual Studio every day.

    For the record, if you are smart enough to code WPF, then HTML/JS/CSS is utter child's play. You learn those things and remain skilled (adaptive) with MS server-side technologies, you win. Its that simple.

  • zbend

    @Warhead: 'For the record, if you are smart enough to code WPF, then HTML/JS/CSS is utter child's play'

    I couldn't disagree more, any significant application is far more diffacult in Html/Js/Css than in WPF. Its not about being smart or skilled enough, it more like going from using a backhoe, back to shoveling by hand.

  • Jeff

    I've been writing code for Windows since 3.0 and followed many different faux paus on Microsofts part. This stinks of yet another flub, left hand not talking to the right.

    For applications I'm involved in, some code will always have to be written in something other than a <flamebait> script-kiddie </flamebate> language. So I'm not worried.

    But this talk about Windows 8 reminded me of a tale in an old book I read... (used with my most sincere appologies to Geoffrey James, who wrote it):
    A marketeer was telling anecdotes about the computer business. "One time I met the master programmer," he said.

    "Really?" someone asked, "What was he like?"

    The marketeer shook his head ruefully. "I was not impressed. When I told him how much money we would make, he said nothing. When I told him what we wanted thim to program, he examined a display on his terminal. When I told him what would happen next in the computer industry, he walked away without speaking a word."

    Just then, the marketeer looked down. There at his feet was a cat, staring up at him, its head coded quizzically to one side.


  • Sam

    I think Microsoft can avoid embarrasment and developer anger by giving a little more thought before doing demos. Whether its a first demo or second, a technology that Microsoft has been touting as the best (such as Silverlight and .NET) for the past 3 to 10 years respectively deserves more respect than what was given! The message from Microsoft should be simple and clear: WE 100% support .NET and Silverlight as FIRST CLASS development platform/tool for Windows 8. Period. How hard was that to say? Why should it even be an issue for you guys to say that?! HTML 5 and Javascript?! Are you guys really working for Microsoft?! Neither HTML 5 nor Javascript is your product. While I understand you want to attract a broader audience of developers, you guys are blatantly ignoring your core developers - the ones that make your product (Windows) popular. Javascript is not even a proper programming language - its a crappy scripting language. How can Microsoft even think of using it as a app development tool for Windows 8?!!

    Microsoft has wasted the potential and the power of Silverlight. Another dream down the drain...

  • BSalita

    I can only see that Microsoft must create Silverlight to HTML5 tools. Otherwise they will lack the leverage which would risk a mass Dev Exodus. Furthermore, it behooves them to position themselves as the premier platform for HTML5 development (Visual Studio 2012) for *all* HTML5 devices. Their greatest asset is .Net APIs. They have to fully leverage it into their new offerings.

    Ultimately, what I predict, is that Google will find great success with Native Client. First with Chrome browser and later with 3rd party apps. They have quite a bit of work to do before they get there. They have to prove that NC is secure and significantly outperforms javascript. Likely they'll get there and it will force all the other browsers to go NC or to come up with some other answer.

  • Ted_M

    We all remember arguments MS was bringing up when making the case for Silverlight – all negativity and limitations of HTML technology.  Where all those evangelists are now?  For whom they are working now?  The only explanation might be: MS is working on IDE to be capable addressing Windows 8/SL/WPF and any other not MS OS platform/devices.

  • Kazi
  • BSalita

    It's decided. We should all use the next three months, the time until PDC, to study Android and iOS. Thanks Microsoft!

  • LMKz

    Yay, WPF & Silverlight (proprietary dead-end technologies) PLEASE GO AWAY AND DIE!!!

    Why are people stressing about Javascript? There is absolutely no reason why C#, VB.Net etc could not be compiled to target JS rather than CIL.

    Developers need to start thinking in terms of Javascript being the "new" assembly language, and HTML5 being the "new" GDI. They are just a platform... We are only writing low-level code (JS + HTML) right now because the tools don't yet exist. I believe these will come.

    For instance there is no reason why XAML + C# could not target JS + HTML5 - this would be the ultimate, in my opinion.

    People need to stop panicking - .Net, and high level languages in general, are not going away. Server-side code will still be written in C#, VB.Net etc. You're not going to lose your jobs just because you haven't bothered to learn Javascript, jQuery etc.

    Platforms are constantly changing. The tools need to change, NOT the languages.

    I feel vindicated that I made a conscious effort not to go down the Silverlight road when it was new and shiny.

  • Philip


    When installed on the client, Silverlight includes the .Net framework, thus providing immediate access to a robust library of methods handing everything from business logic to mathematics to globalization. An HTML page containing equivalent logic in Javascript would take a century to load whilst bringing your quad core desktop to a complete standstill. This is precisely why Silverlight developers are absolutely horrified.

  • Justin

    I am working on a web site now. I have two "huge" challenges. The first is how to implement a combo box. Remember, that is the widget that has been in Windows since the mid 90s but is still not part of HTML5. I've looked at the jquery ui and it looks kind of tricky to implement. My second huge challenge is to vertically align two divs - the css styles aren't working. Building apps with javascript+html is like building a house on a foundation of sand. That is why I much prefer using WPF, Silverlight, .Net, and C#. These are fabulously architected technologies with almost unlimited potential.

  • Ben Hayat
  • WinInsider

    JavaScript = "Hacking" kludge scripts, targeting => lowest common denominator

  • LMKz


    You hit the nail on the head: "When installed on the client"... This is the big problem with Silverlight, and the beauty of JS+HTML. I don't want to be a purely Windows developer; yes I like MS dev tools (VS + .Net), but I want my software to be platform independent where possible.

    "An HTML page containing equivalent logic in Javascript would take a century to load":
    I would strongly dispute this. A smart C#->Javascript compiler would only include the logic needed for the current page. It is now well established that compiled Javascript->Native can be extremely fast. Chrome pioneered it, other browsers have now caught up. Browsers can cache compiled Javascript, the equivalent of .Net's ngen for pre-JITting code.

  • Jeff

    @LMKz Google says not so much...

    I wish Google had been more comprehensive... but will leave that project to the interested student. If you need reliable performance, a 'script' languge is not going to deliver it. JavaScript is made with too much fudge and not enough meat & potatos for me to want to use it as the basis for a full blown best-in-class application.


  • The Schickster

    @Justin:I can't help with your vertically aligned divs but here is the combobox Wink



        <asp:TextBox safari:style="position:absolute; margin-top:0px;" style="position:absolute;" ID="txtDisplay" runat="server"></asp:TextBox>
        <asp:DropDownList ID="ddSelect" runat="server">
            <asp:ListItem Value="test1" >test1</asp:ListItem>
            <asp:ListItem Value="test2">test2</asp:ListItem>


    Imports System.Collections
    Imports System.Collections.Generic
    Partial Class Controls_EditableDropdown
        Inherits System.Web.UI.UserControl
        Private _autoSort As Boolean = False
        Protected Sub Page_Load(ByVal sender As Object, ByVal e As System.EventArgs) Handles Me.Load
            If Page.IsPostBack OrElse Page.IsCallback Then
                If txtDisplay.Text.Length > 0 Then
                End If
            End If
            ddSelect.Attributes.Add("onChange", "try{" & Me.ClientID & "_DisplayText();}catch(ex){}")
        End Sub
        Public Overloads Sub DataBind(ByVal items As String())
            ddSelect.DataSource = items
            If AutoSort Then
            End If
            If Not Page.IsPostBack AndAlso Not Page.IsCallback Then
                If ddSelect.Items.Count > 0 Then
                    ddSelect.SelectedIndex = 0
                    txtDisplay.Text = ddSelect.SelectedItem.Text
                End If
            End If
        End Sub
        Public Overloads Sub DataBind(ByVal dataTextField As String, ByVal dataValueField As String, ByVal dt As System.Data.DataTable)
            ddSelect.DataTextField = dataTextField
            ddSelect.DataValueField = dataValueField
            ddSelect.DataSource = dt
            If AutoSort Then
            End If
            If Not Page.IsPostBack AndAlso Not Page.IsCallback Then
                If ddSelect.Items.Count > 0 Then
                    ddSelect.SelectedIndex = 0
                    txtDisplay.Text = ddSelect.SelectedItem.Text
                End If
            End If
        End Sub
        Public Property Width() As Unit
                Return ddSelect.Width
            End Get
            Set(ByVal value As Unit)
                ddSelect.Width = value
                ddSelect.Height = Unit.Pixel(22)
                If value.Value >= 24 Then
                    If Request.UserAgent.ToLower().Contains("webkit") Or Request.UserAgent.ToLower().Contains("firefox") Then
                        txtDisplay.Width = Unit.Pixel(value.Value - 22)
                        txtDisplay.Width = Unit.Pixel(value.Value - 24)
                    End If
                End If
            End Set
        End Property
        Public ReadOnly Property Items() As ListItemCollection
                Return ddSelect.Items
            End Get
        End Property
        Public Property Text() As String
                Dim textValue As String = String.Empty
                If txtDisplay.Text.Length = 0 Then
                    If ddSelect.SelectedItem IsNot Nothing Then
                        textValue = ddSelect.SelectedItem.Text
                    End If
                    textValue = txtDisplay.Text
                End If
                Return textValue
            End Get
            Set(ByVal value As String)
                txtDisplay.Text = value
            End Set
        End Property
        Public ReadOnly Property Value() As String
                Dim ddValue As String = String.Empty
                If ddSelect.SelectedItem IsNot Nothing Then
                    ddValue = ddSelect.SelectedItem.Value
                    Dim item As ListItem = ddSelect.Items.FindByText(Text)
                    If item IsNot Nothing Then
                        ddValue = item.Value
                    End If
                End If
                Return ddValue
            End Get
        End Property
        Public ReadOnly Property TextControl() As TextBox
                Return txtDisplay
            End Get
        End Property
        Public ReadOnly Property DropDownControl() As DropDownList
                Return ddSelect
            End Get
        End Property
        Public Property AutoSort() As Boolean
                Return _autoSort
            End Get
            Set(ByVal value As Boolean)
                _autoSort = value
            End Set
        End Property
        Public Property DataSource() As Object
                Return ddSelect.DataSource
            End Get
            Set(ByVal value As Object)
                ddSelect.DataSource = value
            End Set
        End Property
        Public Sub Clear()
            txtDisplay.Text = String.Empty
        End Sub
        Private Sub SyncItems()
            If txtDisplay.Text.Length > 0 Then
                Dim item As ListItem = ddSelect.Items.FindByText(txtDisplay.Text.Trim())
                If ddSelect.SelectedItem IsNot Nothing Then
                    ddSelect.SelectedItem.Selected = False
                End If
                If item IsNot Nothing Then
                    item.Selected = True
                End If
            End If
        End Sub
        Private Sub AddItems()
            Dim existingItem As ListItem = ddSelect.Items.FindByText(txtDisplay.Text.Trim())
            If existingItem Is Nothing Then
            End If
            If AutoSort Then
            End If
        End Sub
        Private Sub RegisterScripts()
            Dim sb As New StringBuilder()
            If Not Page.ClientScript.IsStartupScriptRegistered("FindItem_function") Then
                With sb
                    .Append(vbCrLf).Append("function FindItem(opt){")
                    .Append(vbCrLf).Append("for (var i=0;i<opt.length;i++){")
                    .Append(vbCrLf).Append("if (opt[i].selected == true){")
                    .Append(vbCrLf).Append("return opt[i];")
                End With
                Page.ClientScript.RegisterStartupScript(Me.GetType(), "FindItem_function", sb.ToString(), True)
            End If
            If Not Page.ClientScript.IsStartupScriptRegistered(Me.ClientID & "_DisplayText") Then
                sb.Length = 0
                With sb
                    .Append("function ").Append(Me.ClientID).Append("_DisplayText(){")
                    .Append(vbCrLf).Append("document.getElementById('").Append(txtDisplay.ClientID).Append("').value = ")
                    .Append(vbCrLf).Append("function ").Append(Me.ClientID).Append("_getSelectedText(){")
                    .Append(vbCrLf).Append("return document.getElementById('").Append(txtDisplay.ClientID).Append("').value;")
                End With
                Page.ClientScript.RegisterStartupScript(Me.GetType(), Me.ClientID & "_DisplayText", sb.ToString(), True)
            End If
        End Sub
        Public Shared Sub SortDropDownList(ByVal ddl As DropDownList)
            Dim arl As ArrayList = Nothing
            Dim inited As Boolean = False
            If (ddl.Items.Count > 0) Then
                arl = New ArrayList(ddl.Items.Count)
                For Each li As ListItem In ddl.Items
                    inited = True
            End If
            If inited Then
                arl.Sort(New ListItemComparer)
                For Each l As ListItem In arl
            End If
        End Sub
        Private Class ListItemComparer
            Implements IComparer
            Public Function Compare(ByVal x As Object, ByVal y As Object) As Integer Implements System.Collections.IComparer.Compare
                Dim li_x As ListItem = CType(x, ListItem)
                Dim li_y As ListItem = CType(y, ListItem)
                Dim c As CaseInsensitiveComparer = New CaseInsensitiveComparer
                Return c.Compare(li_x.Text, li_y.Text)
            End Function
        End Class
    End Class


    Cheer up everyone. I'm sure new tools will come out to make this new strange world easier and more powerful than you can currently imagine.

  • random

    Too many of you are speaking like HTML/JS are the new and only Windows development technologies. This is just about a special new UI area for starting applications. And Microsoft is condemning it from the beginning by providing such poor development technologies for it.

  • BSalita

    Can anyone recommend similar threads in other forums?

  • Eclipsoft

    @BSalita "Can anyone recommend similar threads in other forums?"

    Windows 8 apps going html5, wtf - part 2

    Open Plea by Silverlight / WPF Devs for Full Windows 8 Support in Addition to HTML5

  • LMKz

    @LMKz Google says not so much...

    Dude that article is not comparing C++ to Javascript, but Java. Big difference. Amazing how many people don't understand this...

    Anyway, I wouldn't expect compiled Javascript to out perform C++. C++ is a relatively low level language so can be very efficient (in the right hands). However I would not expect compiled Javascript to be significantly slower either. I think it has now been proven that it is definitely "fast enough" for rich client apps - take a look at all the sites popping up (Angry Birds for Chrome, Google Body, various fish tanks, etc).

    I will reiterate my previous statement - I strongly believe that Javascript + HTML is the Virtual Machine of the future. We will work in high-level languages and tools that target Javascript as output. The browser will handle the compilation to native. If you think about it, this is no different to the way we currently work except replacing the CIL with Javascript.

    I don't for a second believe that MS expect us to work in Notepad writing raw JS + HTML in the future. That is a Chicken Little scenario.

    I'm sorry to all those who invested time and effort, but I think that targeting proprietary plugins such as Silverlight (and Flash eventually) is doomed. MS have seen the writing on the wall. Better for them to pull the pin now than let it linger.

  • Stevenson

    The Visual Studio Net and associates are not even GPL software, unlike java does actually. Furthermore they don't allow GPL software on the marketplace. Where do yo go?

  • Kevin

    Why do people have this tendency to believe that Javascript's performance is somehow acceptably fast, as if it's in the ballpark of C++? It's not, and it won't ever be, and it's not the "assembly language" of the future, at least not in its current form.

    Yes, it's a Turing complete language, so you can do anything that C can do yada yada. So is VBScript. Just because some of you have the incredible time and patience to write a Pac Man emulator in Javascript doesn't make it the right technology for the rest of us.

    If they can add actual compilation to bytecode that can be JIT'd, add a *consistent* and *complete* set of base class libraries, and standardize interoperability with native code, then *that* would start to look like the "assembly language of the future." I'd jump aboard that train.

  • Kevin

    BTW, I've seen some posts about how Javascript > .NET because the web is the future, just look at Google and Facebook, yada yada.

    Really now. So that bit of Javascript you see in the F12 tools - that's the extent of their IP? Wow, I should start a search engine company!

  • Panya

    It's not hard to keep both HTML5/JS and Silverlight developers happy.
    Just create an XAML to HTML5/JS render engine.
    If HTML5/JS is that powerful. It shouldn't be hard.

  • CGC

    In response to Panya,
    If you can render XAML to HTML5/JS then you can render anything to it (VB6 for example - I'm serious - I still use it).
    The problem is, the HTML5/JS "langauges" won't be able to do everything the XAML language lets you do.
    The .Net languages still don't let you do everything the VB6 language lets you do.
    Languages are getting dumber and dumber which mean we loose more and more power over the environment - that sucks.
    I wrote a long time ago that I would still be using VB6 when .Net got replaced.
    Unfortunately I think it is going to happen sooner than I expected.

  • LMKz


    Are you seriously insane??? VB6 more powerful than the .Net 4.0 languages? What planet are you on?

    Now that I am used to LINQ etc I could never go back to likes of VB6, the thought makes me physically ill.

  • Panya


    When I say XAML to HTML5/JS, I meant not to ridicule.
    I really believe that's the way out.
    My "render" here is for presentation layer only.
    And HTML5/JS is just on that layer whilst Silverlight governs from bottom to top.
    I'm not expecting to translate {Binding} or any "Application Markup"s into HTML5.
    Just thinking of HTML5 be some kind of RootVisual implementation.
    Of course it won't be 100% fit, but basic element draw/layout/event handling should be translatable.
    It is technologically possible.
    What's the different if you can render ASP.NET control or Razor markup into HTML(5).
    Why not XAML.
    To use Silverlight platform or not, leave the choices to developers.
    Microsoft should only assure that every developer from MS ground can produce Cross-Platform application as they marketized.

  • CGC

    Panya, I know you were serious, so was I.
    LMKz, I did not suggest that "VB6 more powerful than the .Net 4.0".

  • Rich S

    I'm not usually a Microsoft fan, but you guys are so backwards! Stop thinking like it's the 1980s, you really don't want your code running locally because when users swap devices (which we do all the time: desktop, to phone, to car, to TV, etc) you have to run it again. And upgrades can be painful and fragment the market (coughAndroidcough).

    The beauty of the HTML/JS approach is that you write tiny little uber-fast clients in a ubiquitous language with a superb learning curve and AJAX to your web services (new WCF Web API is making this very easy!). Now wherever you are, on whatever platform you're on, your data follows you around.

    I think Microsoft has the right idea by pissing off its so-called 'core developers', because in 10 years time you'll all be extinct and they'll have a new breed of developers making lightweight apps and superfast services using things like microformats to leverage integration with Windows 8/9/X... but work just as nicely if you're on a Mac using Safari.

    While platforms converge on HTML5+JS as their client languages (and I do think JS is overdue a rewrite to make it more capable, this is where the new LINQ, Rx - oh wait we already have that -, async - got that too - will be added...) the next war will be how Apple, Microsoft, Canonical, RedHat etc are INTEGRATING with these web technology applications. The "pin website to taskbar" is pretty cool. There is so much more that can be achieved.

    Over to you, Microsoft, for a bit of creative thinking.

  • MJAppFactory

    Rich S,

    I want to respond to your comment

    "I think Microsoft has the right idea by pissing off its so-called 'core developers', because in 10 years time you'll all be extinct and they'll have a new breed of developers making lightweight apps and superfast services using things like microformats to leverage integration with Windows 8/9/X... but work just as nicely if you're on a Mac using Safari."

    As a long-time MSFT-aligned developer (since the mid-80s), it is a gross understatement for me to respond with "I disagree".  There are lots of seasoned professionals out there who have tracked with the market's and Microsoft's evolution over the years and have succeeded by doing so.  We have changed with the changing requirements, and we're not going to become "extinct" as you so simplistically summarize.  The only credibility I could place on your implication here, not on your statement, is that I can infer you are suggesting that those who are inflexible and demand their same-ole-same-ole comfortable platform will go by the wayside.  If you are suggesting that, then I would agree.  But experienced, seasoned professionals have not become, nor will become, extinct for the very reason that they continue to change with the times.  They have become experienced and seasoned by refusing to become stupid and lazy.

    To use your terminology, "pissing off" its core developers is a huge mistake, if MSFT does so by yanking out the framework rug from under their financial feet.  For the very reason of Microsoft's LACK of information on their HTML5/JS/CSS position, many experienced developers who have worked with all of the the technologies in question are only left to ponder, "What are they thinking?"  Maybe you should do some more pondering also.

  • MJAppFactory

    @LMKz: I've enjoyed a good experience (and a good income) since the 80s by aligning myself with Microsoft.  As a long-time MSFT-oriented developer, I thought I'd counter some of your statements by first playing the "devil's advocate" to encourage more thought ...

    On another thread, the moderator Michael Carr said of Silverlight, "The more platforms, the better."  I would just respond with "Well, not necessarily." From an app developer perspective, the more platforms there are to worry about, the more complex our life becomes since we'll have to crank out and support multiple app versions. This translates into much longer time to market, higher costs (lower profit), and crippled, weird, dumbed-down, or less stable products in certain cases. This is what absolutely plagues (and I believe will cripple) the Android platform. This situation does not promote world-class applications, which will please the users, please the ISVs, and please MSFT.

    Also, the more platforms there are to support, the harder it will be for Microsoft to support them. That translates into much longer update cycles for major technologies like Silverlight. Along these lines, one must remember that adding more manpower to a late software project only makes it later. So although Microsoft's war-chest funds give it "enough power to fly a brick", why would it want to?

    Finally, if you try to support all major platforms with a single technology framework, and if that framework (supposedly) guarantees app portability across these platforms, then you've just reduced the app possibilities down to the least common denominator. The least-capable, clumsiest OS platform may significantly restrict the capabilities of an app if the high-level framework such as Silverlight or .NET panders to the least common denominator. Hmmmm ....

    Now that I've played devil's advocate on this issue, I'll get back to my soap box --- Silverlight all the way! But that being said, I'm not suggesting that either MSFT or the dev community lose site of the realities mentioned here.

    I would also add that it seems apparent that the concerns and caveats I've mentioned here (i.e. spreading Silverlight too thin) apply even more strongly to HTML5 et al, which in Microsoft's hands is definitely like trying to grab a tiger by the tail.  While MSFT has complete control over Silverlight, the same cannot be said of HTML5/JS/CSS.  Controlling an application development framework based on an industry-standard, multi-competing-vendor platform can be very problematic if Microsoft intends to treat the platform as the basis for app development.  It's fascinating that this is exactly the tiger-tail Redmond has latched onto in this case.  Good luck with that.

    My two cents on where the priority for Silverlight support should be applied is to the major OS platforms that the world believes have a future. The last 30 years of technology history told us in no uncertain terms that the platform with the bright destiny is the one that does the best job of giving customers what they want. We now know that such a platform will be one that best enables major and small grass-roots ISVs to deliver great applications at a reasonable cost to typical consumers. So what platform has done that best?


  • LMKz


    Don't totally disagree with you, but I would argue that "the lowest common denominator" of HTML5 + CSS3 is now actually pretty darn good as a base platform - the only thing I can think of off the top of my head that's missing is decent (i.e. relational) local storage. What else exactly would you want it to do?

    It's like Windows Forms - I can knock up an app in no time in Windows Forms, and yes sometimes it can be painful, but I've done enough of it to know the quirks and workarounds. You can basically make it do anything, with enough time and effort. So I would argue that that platform (WinForms) is actually "good enough" too. I am still happy to write apps in WinForms as the majority of PCs are still Windows PCs. Will I be writing WinForms apps in a few years if/when Windows is not as dominant as it is now? Maybe not...

    So if we agree that the platform is irrelevant in 99.9% of cases (WPF, HTML+JS, WinForms, iOS etc), they are all "good enough" in terms of functionality, then it must be the tools that are the issue. I hate trying to write in WPF because the Intellisense is useless, the XAML designer is useless, there is no help anywhere, no sample projects etc etc. I would imagine it would be the same for someone new to HTML + JS.

    I think when the tools catch up (and let's face it, they are pretty awful no matter which platform you are targeting), we will all be happier.

    I don't think the .Net languages are going away - that would be madness on MS's part. C#, VB.Net are now head and shoulders above any competitors i.e. Java. Anyone who thinks that MS's long term strategy is to have programmers working in JS rather than C# is crazy. In the short term, perhaps yes. That's why we have jQuery, AjaxControlToolkit etc.

    As a developer I have to make sure I am backing the "right horse", and for me that is the .Net languages (with PHP as a backup - anyone can learn this in half an hour), and HTML + JS. I really can't see the Silverlight plugin being around in 5 years. Maybe XAML will be, targeting some other platform, but I'm not willing to gamble. I think some of you will have to cut your losses, as painful as it may be. I worked with Visual Foxpro for years, which was always going to be a dead end, but the experience with databases at a low level has meant I have a very good understanding of SQL that many of my peers lack. So maybe your Silverlight experience will translate well to ASP.Net MVC or something else.

  • Mudasir Hussain Khan

    How much difficult is it to have Tiles in Silverlight than in HTML 5 and Javascript, Microsoft should have preffered having it in Silverlight than in HTML5
    Silverlight should support support HTML instead of XAML

  • ALbert

    I might sound silly, but i feel pitty on people who invested sooooooo much on silverlight, a technology which is not matured.

    At start silverlight came out (i am talking abt 1.0 and before) only for media rendering where media rendering needs graphic acceleration and other things. some crazy Microsoft people thought, if they provide capability of scripting/coding, they can wipeout flash from this world.

    Now they realized that they cannot beat flash nor they cannot handle such kind of request without increasing the plugin size nor they can build lot of features on it like they can do on .net technologies. So they are going to the same old concept that "Silverlight is for media rendering, for anything else use HTML5 or other technologies".

    Not sure why people hate JavaScript which is one of the dominant languages in the web computing history. There are number of frameworks available to speedup your development and to provide rich UI.

    Anyyway this is my thoughts. if i had hurt anybody please forgive me


  • Unarmed

    HTML5/Javascript.. Wow now my brank spanking new PC can barely do what my old win95 machine could!! Talk about technology failure.

    MS stick with .net and xaml which is a first class development framework where you basically have no real competition and which actually gives developers a chance of developing a big app that can be maintained for years. You don't see apple promoting HTML5 as their 'app framework' so take a lesson from them stop shoving it down our throat!

    If not I guess I will finally have to jump ship to a less productive platform as apple-objective-c or android. While they are a HUGE step down from .net its still about a thousands times better than html+javascript.

  • DickP

    I rushed to this blog out of panic from what I read elsewhere. Having seen the W8 demo I have to say that as a .net developer of enterprise apps I'm not getting ready to jump ship yet. First off  I can't see any way MS is going to dump .Net, but I fear for Silverlight and WPF. I havn't used them in earnest yet so I'm not going to bother starting now. (I always hated WPF anyway.) For serious apps,  Html 5 and Javascript are only going to affect the View layer. The control layer and data access logic piece of the model layer will remain c# and VB. For throwaway consumer apps, HTML 5 and js will do the job but like some else said it is basically Vista Gadgets reborn.

    I think it is right to have a consistent user experience across different platforms but designing the desktop UI primarily for touchscreen is a mistake. The majority of the world's office workers are still going to spend all day in front of vertical monitors; The mouse rather than the finger will remain the pointing device of choice, and tiles are no so good for running loads of complex business apps at the same time.

  • Cypherfox

    I for one despise touch screen apps on a desktop system.  Microsoft learn from Apple's "Vista" with their recent release of OS X Lion.  There are fanboys who drool over it but the general opinion of it is that their attempt at an iOS style interface on the desktop is crap.  I agree with that totally.

    When I sit at my desktop I expect to use software with the options and capabilities that I expect.  A touch based app outside of special applications like ebook readers and such can't deliver the performance of something like Mathematica.  Yes you can make an interface with HTML5/JS for it but it's never going to match the native interface.

    There seems to be this big push to dumb down interfaces that I think is doing more harm than good.  I agree there is a lot to be done to make an interface intuitive but it shouldn't be at the cost of usability for more capable users which seems to be happening more and more and I'll use Apple's (again, but they are historically very good with the UI) flop with Final Cut Pro X.  They tried to dumb it down and as a result left out things that the professionals expected and needed.

    HTML5 and Javascript have no place as the focus of a UI on a desktop and especially not on a workstation where I've paid for and expect every ounce of performance and multitasking abilities it can give me.  I don't want unnecessary crap like touchscreen UIs on my workstation.  I want developers focused on developing fast usable software, not limited apps in languages that should never leave a browser. 

  • dan

    Remove .Net from my system and half the viruses went with it. No othe software uses it..

    The lango is total slowdown rubbish

  • antilove

    I'm horrified with the current html5/javascript propaganda

    when i see how *HORRIBLE* is currently supported html4.0 and CSS 1/2  and you guys try to sell me a bright future with html5 and CSS xXx + horribad javascript i dont buy it !

    you just have to open any  HTML file for understand how HORRIBLE it can be mixing content and code in the most attrocious way ever. i dont even talk about the total no man's land  of good working tool.  we dont even have a working intellisense at the level of .NET for C++ . so i have really NO HOPE for anything like that for JS/HTML5!  for me intellisense and .NET 3.0/4.0 was the best programing experience i ever had!  i even abandonned my groovy/netbeans for switching to full time vs2010/blend4 experience i love it EVERY DAY! i even  started to praise for microsoft with love specially being a MSFT system internals certified and knowing the plateform better ( im a old linux/C coder ). 

    i love metro look frankly i dont mind if you change  the start screen. but there is ZERO HOPE *EVER* to make me switch to  Javascript/html5  because it's not working at all period. it never worked  it's sooo much full of hack its like almost impossible to have a clear view of what the f*ck you looking/debugging. bref i hope to see that stupid javascript/html5 going OPTIONAL. .NET/vs2010/blend/C#/LINQ  is like the cream of programming productivity today. since when a good product from the leader of OS have to shy away against some random stack technology? 

    and i really cant find any other language stack more unstable and lowtech then javascript and html seriously this stupid stuff cant even offer a working experience between the major browser. no way just nein nein nein ! 

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