Win8+ Roadmap Speculation – Tongue-in-cheek

This posting is total speculation (very much Tongue-in-cheek), looking forwards into the post Windows 8 future UI roadmap. Based on what Microsoft said at BUILD, I suspect a number of people a thinking similar thoughts:

  • XAML and HTML – Why have the choice? If the world is going HTML5, then why not start to phase out XAML, and move to 100% HTML as the markup language. Prediction: XAML will become legacy in future.
  • Win8 Metro style is Microsoft attempting to improve the application build/deployment/run experience. WinRT and all its goodness is clearly the UI framework of the future. Prediction: WinRT will become the CLR of the future.
  • CLR and Chakra. With the browser world ever increasing JavaScript performance since Google came out with V8. Coupled with that fact that Chakra doesn’t appear to be leveraging the CLR, even though Microsoft has a whole wrath of languages on the CLR – C#, VB, IronPython and JScript .NET to name but a few. Prediciton: Chakra is the new CLR
  • C#, VB, C++ and JavaScript. We all have our favourite language. C++ back into the fray as a first class language is interesting and with AMP has an appropriate place. But what about C# and VB? Prediciton: JavaScript and C++ rule

~ by mdavey on September 20, 2011.

3 Responses to “Win8+ Roadmap Speculation – Tongue-in-cheek”

  1. I think you have hit the nail on the head here, how long it will take for Microsoft to confess to this migration is a different story, I think the first clear signpost will be when the WinRT is made available to Desktop developers, when we see that happen, I think it is somewhat game over for any new development on the CLR as it stands today.

    if we look at the landscape at the moment, there really is only a single cross platform development environment, JavaScript and HTML, yes Flex is doing somework in that area, but as a .Net developer why move to Flex, when we should just move directly to HTML/JavaScript.

    The question is can you build LOB’s using purely HTML/JavaScript, I think at the moment the answer (for me anyways) is a resounding now (for the moment) so I will stick with .Net CLR for the moment, as the majority of the work that I do is still squarly for the Desktop.

  2. I have a different view. I’ve seen evidence of a bad taste in a number of internal msft developers mouths with regards to the support for html/javascript. Let’s face it, the platform team have turned their noses up at .net for years so how do you think they really feel about html/javascript support?

    There’s also the issue here of motivation. A html/javascript developer today has the ultimate reach. If that wasn’t a concern would he really be using them? To develop an app that targets win8/winrt now limits the applications’s target audience therefore he/she has to really see some monetisation opportunities via the msft store for them to make this jump. Unless the win8 and the new msft Store turn out to be a absolutely huge hit, the only html/javascript apps I see targetting winrt are existing HTML applications that will be tweaked with win8 specific functionality and deployed as a means of opening up a new revenue stream for potentially little effort. I certainly don’t see the value in greenfield winrt html/javascript development.

    Also, the graphics stack for XAML apps on Win8 is very different to that for HTML apps (which are being rendered by the Trident engine). Theoretically you are going to pay some penalty here with HTML Metro apps although there’s no guidance as of yet at what level a move to c#/C++ would be advisable. Similarly with the Chakra engine. Yes it’s fast but if there’s any concerns about perf, again you’re going to see advantages when using c++/c#/vb in a complex app. There’s also tooling advantages to a static language and some of the great innovations coming like async/await have no equivalent in javascript.

    In terms of commitment to c#/vb in .net as well as winrt, Microsoft are already looking at c# versions beyond 5 (6 and 7 were both mentioned) and Anders Hejlsberg seems very motivated to keep developing the platform well into the future. There’s definitely a feeling that c# will continue to be the language of choice for Metro development by some distance and this was born out by every .net session at build being full to capacity and beyond.

    With regards to Winrt being the CLR of the future. If you mean literally, a common language runtime then yes, i think that much is obvious with the capability for language projections to be developed for any language we could easily see Winrt targetting languages growing similarly to where we are today with .net and it’s 100+ options and that can only be a good thing…

  3. I think platforms without a browser (XBox, cable set-top box) will always be native XAML + min CLR, so XAML and .NET are still the cross-CPU and cross-OS play.

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