Not Missing Anymore
A few things that were missing yesterday did make appearances today:
Half of the existing XAML story started to pop-up today. While it didn't make the keynotes, Soma and ScottGu talked about WPF and pending improvements coming in .NET 4.5 during Channel 9 interviews. So rest easier. WPF is not dead and not stagnent. It's evolving along with .NET.
While I didn't list ASP.NET yesterday, the astute commenters pointed-out that ASP.NET didn't show-up yesterday. That changed today, along with the appearance of ScottGu during the keynote. Lots of ASP.NET MVC demo love shown today, so again, rest easy ASP.NET (MVC) developers.
- Steve Ballmer
Steve was almost a no-show again today, but in what was one of the bigger "surprises" of the week, Ballmer showed-up at the end of the keynote to finally lend the needed "weight" to Microsoft's announcements this week. (Meanwhile, no Steven Sinofsky today.)
WPF showed-up today, but Silverlight is still painfully absent. True, Silverlight 5 is still coming and Silverlight will continue to work in Win8 via (non-Metro) IE10. But little is being said about what happens after SL5...
The only partner to make a keynote "appearance" in 2 days of keynotes was Viper SmartStart, and even this was via Microsoft proxies (and it didn't really involve Win8). It's plain to see that the Microsoft Win8 "cone-of-silence" reached far and wide, but hopefully Microsoft re-engages partners more deeply now that the Win8 cat is out of the bag.
- Windows Phone
Still no focused Windows Phone talk today. Ultimately, it's only disappointing because it means the rumored idea of writing one app for Windows Phone, Windows Tablet, and maybe even Xbox is still just that: rumor. WinPhone does get some session coverage this week, but no major announcements or changes to the story.
If there is any hardware device vendor you'd expect Microsoft to be working super closely with for both phones and tablets, you'd probably think Nokia. Unfortunately, not only did Nokia have no presence at BUILD, but the Developer Preview hardware was delivered by Samsung, not Nokia. Sure, Nokia is probably heads-down on making successful WinPhones, but an exciting Nokia device would have really helped put the BUILD enthusiasm over the top.
There is a LOT of new stuff for developers this week, but at the same time, none of the old stuff is obsolete. You can still use the WPF and Silverlight you know and love in Windows 8, side-by-side with the new WinRT model. When should you use one or the other? What type of XAML is Microsoft going to evolve long term? That's up to you to figure-out this week. Fortunately, when it comes to tools, Telerik is prepared to support any future path you choose. And we're already starting to help you with guidance, too, with posts like this from Telerik EVP Doug Seven on Silverlight and WPF.