Jun 7, 2011

Windows 8 & Future of .NET

Microsoft has made the official announcement on Windows 8. As demonstrated at the D9 conference, Here are the key points:
1. A touch-centric new interface for apps
2. The spartan tile-based Metro user interface of Windows Phone 7
3. Impressive scalability of the apps, you can even pull in an app from the side of the screen and sit it side-by-side with another running app
4. A new Web standards-based development platform built using HTML5 and JavaScript that runs on top of the existing, conventional Windows platform.

It will focus on two types of apps:
Classic Windows desktop apps: They will run and look similar to Win 7 today.
HTML5/Javascript apps: Similar to mobile app having more experience including IE10.


Now there are some questions from a developer point of view:
1. What does Windows 8 mean for .NET developers?
2. Is HTML5 the main way to write apps for the new shell?
3. Will IE keep supporting Silverlight/flash/WPF?
4. Will Windows 8 support Windows Phone apps?

Why HTML5, Not Silverlight:

They are stressing HTML 5 because they are trying to attract app developers. Today, Most of client-side developers are building HTML apps, another big number are writing iOS and Android apps. Learning XAML/Silverlight technologies is difficult. As they are losing the battle with iOS/Android, going HTML could be their only option to regain the market.


Many Silverlight and .Net developers fear their skill sets may become legacy ones. Microsoft officials have not clarified where .Net fits in the Windows 8 world.
There is a long discussion over on the official Silverlight forum fretting over the demonstrations.
Channel 9, another Microsoft developer forum, has a similar reaction


Microsoft is turning the Windows desktop into a web browser and is going in the way of Palm webOS.
HTML5 + JS for Windows Apps, Does it mean Windows app using.NET is going to dead? Share your thought in the comment box.


See following good resources to build Metro style apps in Windows 8:

Learn to build Metro style apps

Getting started with Windows Metro style app development

A .NET developer’s view of Windows 8 app development


  1. Of course you can still write applications in .NET.

    There are plenty of juggernaut applications that can not be written in HTML and Javascript.

    Look at microsoft’s own product suite.  Look at SQL Server.  Look at MS Office.  Look at games.  If your application requires a chunky client, then you are going to have to write it in .NET.

    As someone said above, its just giving those developers that only know how to write HTML and web applications the ability to ‘sell’ their ‘applicaitons’ on the market place as well.

  2. Of course Windows will adopt HTML5 and open standards.  .NET was an Arrogant and stupid move and dropped the 800lbs gorilla on the previous VB programmers who had to rewrite all of their code (no I wasn’t one of them).  Microsoft is the “pre-Obama takeover” computer counterpart of General Motors.  I look for Microsoft to be a “remember when” in about 5 years.  they cannot compete on a fair playing field.

    Question: How do you know when Microsft is lying? ANS: when they are making mouth noises.  The ROI on your custom apps means nothing to them….they are a multi national conglomerate with ENORMOUS cash resources (ala Gates)….so what if you lose your company because they “changed their mind”…..

    The Chickens have come home to roost!!

    1. From my point of view .net was the saviour of the software world.  Coming from a COM VB world which was by comparison a horrible experience.  Finally there was real support for a real platform that performed better than Java and could thrive with paid developers by real company that turns a profit and continues the support. 

      Early on in any new technology roll-out it always looks sexy on top and the old is always shunned, but to replace real OO enterprise applications with markup and script?  This is only the client side, .net and java will still run the enterprise on the server, they have too.  You can’t make the computing world run on “this is cool” which scripting can be but you can’t live off of it.

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