09.09.10

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Windows Presentation Foundation is Dying/Dead, Silverlight Might be Too, So Microsoft Tries to Bastardise HTML5

Posted in Microsoft, Standard at 5:51 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

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Summary: Microsoft’s attempt to override the Web with its proprietary software has failed, but now it is trying to hijack HTML5 and make it proprietary

WITHOUT going into the details about Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), which we wrote about dozens of times before, let it be known that it’s more or less dead now, so it can quite safely be added to the large pile of dead Microsoft products.

Despite the smears we got for forecasting Silverlight’s death, we were quite right apparently, as Silverlight struggles against HTML5 even within Microsoft [1, 2]. As Microsoft's friend put it today:

Microsoft to embrace and extend HTML 5?

Microsoft watchers are poring over a series of Twitter posts from former Silverlight Product Manager Scott Barnes, now a user experience specialist at Australian development consultants Readify.

According to Barnes, just back from a week of briefings at Microsoft, there is intense internal debate about the future of HTML 5, newly implemented in the forthcoming Internet Explorer 9, and the Silverlight plug-in. He tweeted:

“Right now there’s a faction war inside Microsoft over HTML5 vs Silverlight. oh and WPF is dead.. i mean..it kind of was..but now.. funeral.”

WPF is Windows Presentation Foundation, the rich user interface framework that was originally intended to become the primary GUI API for Windows Vista, but was sidelined when Vista development was “reset” in 2004, and does not feature strongly in Windows 7. “There’s no-one working on it beyond minor touch-ups,” says Barnes.

[...]

“HTML5 is the replacement for WPF.. IE team want to fork the HTML5 spec by bolting on custom windows APi’s via JS/HTML5”

This would be a classic “embrace and extend” strategy, encouraging developers to create Windows-specific HTML 5 applications, though Microsoft risks losing the goodwill IE9 is generating for its support of web standards among people like Opera’s Molly Holzschlag, who said in March that Microsoft’s new browser “will kick butt”.

Microsoft is already pretending to have embraced SVG [1, 2] while actually harming it. Let us watch carefully what Microsoft does inside the W3C [1, 2].

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