Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Still Missing In Action at BUILD (Day 2)

Yesterday I summarized a few important topics that were auspiciously missing at Microsoft's BUILD conference after the first day of sessions and keynotes. Now as Day 2 nears its end, I thought I'd revisit some of yesterday's observations and see if those topics are still missing. With both keynotes now done, it's pretty safe to assume missing topics now aren't going to get much attention at BUILD 2011.

Not Missing Anymore
A few things that were missing yesterday did make appearances today:

  1. WPF
    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.
  2. ASP.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.
  3. 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.)
Still Notably Missing
While a few things did show-up today, many important topics are still missing in action:
  1. Silverlight
    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...
  2. Partners
    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.
  3. 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.
  4. Nokia
    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.
  5. Guidance
    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.
And, of course, all of the other things I listed yesterday remain MIA: Office in Metro, acknowledgement of XAML for older versions of Windows, plug-ins for immersive IE, shipping timelines, and Xbox.

Answers and Questions
For all of the answers BUILD provided to long running summer questions, it also created many more. Additional answers will continue to flow from info shared during BUILD this week, but this is just the beginning to a long journey. 

Windows 8 and the related Metro style apps are in Developer Preview today. We are many months away from BUILD technologies even being officially available, let alone broadly deployed.

So, take a deep breath! Remember that this is a future focused conference. Your world does not change.

Over the next few weeks and months, Telerik will work hard to help you understand the Windows 8 information, but we will also help you continue to focus on the here-and-now. You have software to write, you need tools, and that doesn't change while Win8 continues to bake. Stay tuned to Telerik and we'll help you be successful today and tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Add to that the sign off of the last Silverlight TV (last episode ever) and it's hard not to get a sick was just starting to really feel baked. No matter how great WinRT may want to be it always takes time to cook before the gaping holes start to fill in. Ugh.

Unknown said...

It is clear that the focus of this BUILD is the opportunity to develop code targeted to the Windows environment. This is a big invite to "come on in, the waters fine" and commit to windows.

Missing is the world of rich internet applications that are 100% browser based and require no client install/management. Which is why there is a lack on content on tools which allow any browser running under ANY OS to use your app. I think this is why the MS Web products (Office 365, SharePoint) are under represented, as they miss the point that we all should commit to windows and it's large installed based.

It is a good message, delivered consistently across the Windows devices, Desktop, Server, And Cloud (sorry Azure) platforms.

It is not that Microsoft is going to abandon these things, it is just time to put the full court press for the Windows OS. And Silverlight, SharePoint, and Office 365 are not part of this message.