Windows 8 developers: Silverlight/.NET/XAML are M.I.A., M.I.A., M.I.A.

Steve Ballmer (Der Tommy @ Picasaweb)
By Richi Jennings (@richi) - June 7, 2011.

Microsoft (MSFT) continues to dodge the question of whether its  third-party developers (developers, developers) will be able to use XAML, .NET, and Silverlight. Sure, they can write classic Windows apps, but what about the "modern" or "Jupiter" Windows 8 tiled apps? Tumbleweed, tumbleweed, tumbleweed. In IT Blogwatch, bloggers blog, blog, blog.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention: The Matter of the Monster -- new interactive fiction, by Andrew "Zarf" Plotkin...

Joab Jackson reports widespread concern among developers:

Third-party Microsoft Windows developers are expressing frustration over ... a lack of clear direction on how to develop ... for Windows 8. ... In various demonstrations last week, the company said little about ... its other widely used Windows development platforms, Silverlight and .Net.


Julie Larson-Green, Microsoft's corporate vice president of the Windows experience ... showed off a weather application. ... "This application was written in our new development platform, based on HTML5 and JavaScript. ... People can write new applications ... using the things they are already doing on the Internet."


Jensen Harris, director of program management for the Windows User Experience ... alluded to a "new platform based on standard Web technologies, HTML5 and Javascript.".  

  Your humble blogwatcher takes Input, which creates this Output:

How will you port custom enterprise apps to your shiny new tablets ... once they emerge, stumbling and blinking into the sunlight? ... Microsoft's been silent on the programming model for Windows 8 .... but now Microsoft is finally opening the kimono a little.


Now Microsoft's talking about HTML5 and JavaScript. .... Modern, rich Web technologies are apparently going to be the blessed way to write apps. ... Cue much confusion ... [which] started late last year, when Bob Muglia appeared to de-emphasize Silverlight.


If you want to write cross-platform today, the safest thing is to create rich Web apps that run on all the platforms. ... But if you're porting existing ... code, Windows 8 is still going to include the classic ... programming APIs and user interface. ... That's one of the advantages that Microsoft enjoys (so long as you choose an x86-based tablet, not an ARM one).  

Tim Anderson is "bewildered":

At D9 Microsoft showed that Windows 8 has a dual personality. ... A touch-centric user interface which is an evolved version of what is on Windows Phone 7 ... [and] the old Windows 7. ... Let’s call it the Tiled mode and the Classic mode. ... Microsoft made no mention of either Silverlight or .NET, even though [they are] used as the development platform in Windows Phone 7.


Developers have clients, and clients want applications that run on a platform with a future. ... This is poor developer communication and PR from Microsoft. ... It would be bewildering if Microsoft were to turn its back on .NET. ... In fact, it is bewildering that Microsoft is being so careless with this critical part of its platform.


[It] looks as if Microsoft’s server and tools division is pulling one way, and the Windows team the other. ... It is destructive, and something CEO Steve Ballmer should address.  

Meanwhile, Brian Proffitt looks at Linux:

So now, there's a whole lot of .NET developers out there who are wondering what they are going to do with all their experience. ... I would suggest they come to the Dark Side of Linux and work on Mono. ... But in this case I must suppress my natural smart-assery because I am not sure where Mono stands with Linux.


The SUSE business unit of Attachmate ... fired the US-based Mono team, which presumably included Miguel de Icaza ... [who] has formed his own startup, Xamarin, which will keep working on Mono and commercial .NET stacks. ... The Xamarin home page highlights .NET development for iOS and Android, not Linux. ... It may be possible that Attachmate decided to cut continued Mono development, having seen the writing on the wall.


I can easily see ... iOS and Android being a lot more attractive than WP7. Since, you know, they're actually platforms that are selling.  

And Finally...
The Matter of the Monster
[New interactive fiction, by Andrew "Zarf" Plotkin]

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher

Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. He's the creator and main author of Computerworld's IT Blogwatch -- for which he has won American Society of Business Publication Editors and Jesse H. Neal awards on behalf of Computerworld. He also writes The Long View for IDG Enterprise. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon