Next week is Microsoft's much-touted Mix '07 conference. Microsoft has been saying for months that the company will share its vision for its Live development platform at the Las Vegas show.
No one from Microsoft is ready or willing to talk publicly about the details yet. Soma Somasegar, the Corporate Vice President in charge of Microsoft's Developer Division said last week that Microsoft would spill all at Mix, which kicks off on April 30 (the same day that Microsoft plans to make available the beta of its Silverlight/Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere tool).
"We want to make sure the programming model is consistent across the cloud, desktop and devices," Somasegar said. That means a consistent set of tools and technologies -- developer services, consumer services and extended services -- across all of these platforms."
Since Microsoft's programming model is the .Net Framework, does this mean Microsoft is going to sneak all or parts of the .Net Framework into cross-platform deliverables like Silverlight (which Microsoft already has demonstrated running on Internet Explorer, Safari and Mozilla browsers across Windows, Mac OS X and Linux)?
Somasegar's response: "Silverlight lets you deliver media experiences. But we also want to be able to use it to deliver .Net programming constructs on other platforms."
But which programming constructs? Somasegar wouldn't go any further.
Luckily, there've been some hints over the past couple of months that I'm starting to piece together as to what Microsoft's Live dev platform might look like.
Clue No. 1: LINQ 2.0 is about "democratizing the cloud." Microsoft SQL Server Architect Erik Meijer, one of Microsoft's big-picture thinkers, has been talking about these concepts for a few months. What is democratizing, in this context? Meijer says: "[T]rying to stretch the .NET framework to cover the Cloud such that it will become possible to incrementally and seamlessly design, develop, and debug complex distributed applications using your favorite existing and unmodified .NET compiler and deploy these applications anywhere."
(By the way, for you code name buffs: Nikola Tesla and Alessandro Volta were both pioneers in electricity.)
Freelance writer Tim Anderson explained this concept after hearing Meijer's "Democratization" talk last month. Anderson blogged:
Anderson likened this approach to what Google is doing with the Google Web Toolkit. He explained:
So back to the original question: What is Microsoft's Live development platform? Sounds like it's all about Volta. Anyone else see other dots to connect here?