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
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
- 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
Still Notably Missing
While a few things did show-up today, many important topics are still missing in action:
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.
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
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