Microsoft: Time to bring on the WPF/E dev tools

Summary:Now that Adobe has released the alpha build of Apollo, it's time for Microsoft to show its hand, in terms of its plans to create a development environment for coders interested in its WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere) technology.

Now that Adobe has released the alpha build of Apollo, it's time for Microsoft to show its hand, in terms of its plans to create a development environment for coders interested in its WPF/E (Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere) technology.

Apollo is Adobe's cross-operating-system runtime that is designed to allow Flash, Flex, HTML, JavaScript and AJAX developers to build and deploy rich Internet apps on the desktop. WPF/E is Microsoft's cross-platform subset of the Windows Presentation Foundation that is designed to allow .Net, JavaScript and XAML (eXtensible Markup Language) developers to enable their rich apps to run across the Web. Are they head-to-head competitors? My ZDNet blogging colleague Ryan Stewart says not exactly. But they are close.

As part of its Apollo release, Adobe made available early versions of a handful of related tools, includnig the Apollo software development kit, extensions for Adobe Flex Builder ane some sample applications.

Microsoft made the first Community Technology Preview (CTP) release of WPF/E available in December 2006. In February, Microsoft released an updated WPF/E CTP that added support for the Apple Safari browser.

But where are the dev tools for WPF/E? My sources say they are on their way. Supposedly the Visual Studio Web Tools team is working on a family of tools targeting WPF/E. Knowing Microsoft, they'll probably be christened something incredibly boring, like Visual Studio tools for WPF/E. I wouldn't be surprised to hear or see something about these new tools at the Mix '07 conference coming up in Las Vegas at the end of April.

Meanwhile, Microsoft is playing beat the clock, racing to get its Expression Blend and Expression Designer products done by Mix '07. It's gonna be close. Just last week, Microsoft made available for download Release Candidate (RC) 1 of Blend and Beta 2 of Expression Design.

Anyone out there hearing more on Microsoft's plans for WPF/E tools?

Topics: Microsoft

About

Mary Jo Foley has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications, including ZDNet, eWeek and Baseline. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008). She also is the cohost of the "Windows Weekly" podcast on the TWiT network. Got a tip? Se... Full Bio

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