Where's Microsoft's 'Flash killer'?

Where's Microsoft's 'Flash killer'?

Summary: What's up with Microsoft's Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/e) technology, Redmond's supposed "Flash killer"? Given that WPF/e is a subset of WPF, which last week went gold, as part of the .Net Framework 3.0 release, isn't it high time for a WPF/e update?

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Anyone out there still remember Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere (WPF/e), Microsoft's so-called Flash killer?

Last time Microsoft discussed the WPF/e technology publicly was in March, at the Mix '06 conference. (I hear there was a demo of WPF/e as part of the MSN Soapbox demo at the recent Streaming Media West confab, but have seen few details on how Microsoft's Flash killer will fit in with Microsoft's YouTube killer.)

Given that WPF/e is a subset of WPF, which last week went gold, as part of the .Net Framework 3.0 release, isn't it high time for a WPF/e update? In fact, it sounds like a Community Technology Preview (CTP) test release of WPF/e is right around the corner, based on a November 12 post by Microsoft blogger Joe Stegman, the lead program manager for WPF/e.

"(W)hy the long silence? There were several little and big reasons around messaging, product alignment and feature set with the end result being some internal shuffling but no real change to the external product," Stegman blogged. "And although we've been silent, we have been working non-stop since I presented at Mix 06 last year. We've released several Microsoft internal versions of WPF/E and will be releasing an external Customer Technology Preview (CTP) soon."

WPF/e is a mobile version of WPF that will include hardware acceleration, XML Paper Specification (XPS) and vector-based drawing support. Microsoft officials also said to expect the company's "Atlas" Ajax tools to target WPF/e. ("Atlas" last week hit the Beta 2 milestone.)

When Microsoft first showed WPF/e at the Professional Developer Conference in the fall of 2005, company officials said WPF/e to work with not only Internet Explorer, but also Firefox, Safari and other browsers. One component of WPF/e, the Mini Common Language Runtime (CLR), is designed to run on a variety of operating systems, browsers and form factors.

In March, Microsoft's timetable for WPF/e looked like this:

* First public CTP: Summer 2006

* Release 1.0: First half of 2007

* First version designed to run on mobile devices: Second half of 2007

Given the first CTP won't hit until late 2006 (and there've been the reorg/messaging changes to which Stegman alluded), I'd guess a Version 1.0 of WPF/e is more likely a mid- to late-2007 deliverable at this point.

I asked recently for a WPF/e update; Microsoft officials were not willing to comment.

Topic: Microsoft

About

Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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18 comments
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  • The whole strategy here is to make Rich Interactive "Internet" Apps depend

    on Windows. I use "Internet" instead of "Web" to emphasize that this will proprietary, MS only technology. The question is, who will bite?
    DonnieBoy
    • Hi Zealot!!

      [i]One component of WPF/e, the Mini Common Language Runtime (CLR), is designed to run on a variety of operating systems, browsers and form factors.[/i]

      Guess you missed that little tidbit from the article hmm? You can also safely ignore the fact that .NET today runs on Linux and... drumroll please... OSX!!

      http://www.mono-project.com/Mono:OSX

      Carry on... zealot!
      NonZealot
      • Right, you believe that MS will make a fully cross platform system that

        will PERFORM THE SAME AND HAVE THE SAME FEATURES, on all platforms???? Yes, the Mono version that will run anywhere may be what developers target as to get 100% coverage, but MS will be doing everything under the sun to pretend this is open at the same time encouraging cool web sites that only work correctly if you run Windows.
        DonnieBoy
        • GET UNDER YOUR BED!!!!

          The black helicopters are directly over you right now, listening to your thoughts. Hope you have a lot of tinfoil!

          Conspiracy theories are all fine because without solid evidence to the contrary, they can be entertaining. Where they get truly irrational is when they can be specifically disproven. Yours has been disproven. Time to find a new one!!
          NonZealot
          • MS behaviour is quite clear. We would need a lot of evidence showing they

            have finally changed their ways before we would believe it, not the other way around.
            DonnieBoy
          • Who is this "we" you are talking about?

            The society of Tinfoil Hat Bed Cowerers? 90% of the world has been convinced. Get on the train before it passes you by!!
            NonZealot
          • You won't find many that think MS has or will change. And, in this case,

            they have yet to make it fully cross platform. Many parts are still Windows only.
            DonnieBoy
      • CLR != .NET

        [i]Guess you missed that little tidbit from the article hmm? You can also safely ignore the fact that .NET today runs on Linux and... drumroll please... OSX!![/i]

        Alas, the Mono CLR doesn't support any of Microsoft's trademarked ".NET" software, in particular including the low-level hooks to the MS operating system, DirectX 11, etc. required to support WPF.

        In fact, the Mono project also doesn't [b]have[/b] the libraries that Microsoft ".NET" software (including MS Visual Studio) depend on. One good reason is that those library functions can't be legally implemented in the United States or Japan by anyone but Microsoft, due to patents on the functionality.

        Net result: your statement is
        a) False
        b) Misleading
        c) Both of the above
        anonymous
        • You must have a different version of .NET

          Mine doesn't require DirectX. Sure, some of the libraries that MS provides require .NET just like some of the Java libraries require OpenGL but that doesn't mean Java requires OpenGL.

          I never said 100% of .NET libraries run on Linux, only that the framework does... which is true. If you choose to create a strawman in order to tear it down, go ahead but you aren't fooling anyone other than fools like DonnieBoy.

          [i]including MS Visual Studio[/i]

          We'll just ignore the fact that VS.NET is not a requirement for building .NET apps. 100% of the tools required to build a .NET app are 100% free. So again I accuse you of building a strawman argument since nowhere did I claim that VS.NET was cross-platform. Try again, zealot!
          NonZealot
          • .NET is as .NET does

            [i]I never said 100% of .NET libraries run on Linux, only that the framework does... which is true.[/i]

            By "the framework" do you mean "Windows Presentation Framework?" Because that one depends on libraries that are MSWindows specific.

            If you mean some other "framework," please be more specific. Especially since the subject was WPF.

            [i]100% of the tools required to build a .NET app are 100% free. [/i]

            ".NET" is a Microsoft trademark, and as far as I am aware they have not specified a bright-line test for what constitutes a ".NET app." However, I'm not aware of any ".NET apps" as identified by Microsoft which will run on Mono. That doesn't mean that there aren't any, however if you want to claim that they exist by all means point them out.

            Meanwhile, the fact remains that MS has been quite upfront about WPF requiring Microsoft-only infrastructure. WPF/e is, at present, just slideware so any statements about its properties are at best speculative.
            anonymous
          • Speculative statements?

            [i]Meanwhile, the fact remains that MS has been quite upfront about WPF requiring Microsoft-only infrastructure. WPF/e is, at present, just slideware so any statements about its properties are at best speculative.[/i]

            This is absolutely cracking me up!!!! So you believed MS when they said that WPF would require MS only infrastructure but you won't believe MS when they say that WPF/e won't? Uh huh. I bring up .NET because here is an example where MS said that their framework would be cross platform and whadd-ya-know, it was!

            [i]By "the framework" do you mean "Windows Presentation Framework?"[/i]

            Why on earth would you think that? We were talking about .NET, not WPF. .NET is relevant because it shows that when MS says something will be cross-platform, it is. I could also bring up Web Services which are 100% cross-platform. The only people who doubt that WPF/e will be cross-platform are those like DonnieBoy who are cowering under his bed with an extra supply of tinfoil. You aren't cowering under a bed right now, are you? ;)
            NonZealot
          • Except it isn't

            [i]I bring up .NET because here is an example where MS said that their framework would be cross platform and whadd-ya-know, it was![/i]

            If someone else doing an unauthorized reverse-engineering job on a platform qualifies as "cross platform" and ".NET" means the bare CLR, and "their" is the collective noun for Microsoft plus the reverse-engineering team, then I'll grant the point.

            Of course, by that standard Microsoft's DRM is also cross-platform because of the crackers.

            [i].NET is relevant because it shows that when MS says something will be cross-platform, it is.[/i]

            I notice you forgot to mention one MS application that runs on Mono. An oversight, I'm sure.
            anonymous
          • You need to educate yourself

            [i]If someone else doing an unauthorized reverse-engineering job on a platform qualifies as "cross platform"[/i]

            This is not true and if you won't believe me, believe the mono project team.

            [i][b]Is Microsoft helping Novell with this project?[/b]

            There is no high level communication between Novell and Microsoft at this point, but engineers who work on .NET or the ECMA groups have been very friendly, and very nice to answer our questions, or clarify part of the specification for us. [b]Microsoft is interested in other implementations of .NET and are willing to help make the ECMA spec more accurate for this purpose.[/b] Novell participates in the ECMA committee meetings for C# and the CLI.[/i]

            http://www.mono-project.com/FAQ:_General

            You learned something today. :)
            NonZealot
          • You are admitting that WPF will NOT be fully cross platform, and the

            complete WPF will NOT be available on all platforms. Microsoft could have designed WPM to make it fully cross platform, they chose not to. Is there any question as to why?
            DonnieBoy
          • I don't know

            [i]Microsoft could have designed WPM to make it fully cross platform, they chose not to. Is there any question as to why?[/i]

            What is WPM?
            NonZealot
          • That should have been WPF, and you can bet they will not

            choose to make it fully cross platform.
            DonnieBoy
          • Maybe

            but WPF/e will be.
            NonZealot
  • RE: Where

    Yes. Could have designed something else.
    http://www.ommrudraksha.com
    rudraksha1