Vista sells! More WPF apps coming?

Vista sells! More WPF apps coming?

Summary: I feel like I'm in a time warp. Crazy valuations on companies and now Microsoft is reporting amazing financial results.

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Vista sells! More WPF apps coming?I feel like I'm in a time warp. Crazy valuations on companies and now Microsoft is reporting amazing financial results. It's party time! If you didn't see, Microsoft blew away analysts revenue targets on the back of some very strong Vista and Office sales. Sometimes it's nice to see the tech pundits eat a little crow. I really like Vista and I've got it running on every machine at home I can (it kills the battery on my Mac Book Pro too quickly to use regularly). I also got the Xbox Media Extender working and am loving the Vista->Xbox integration.

So now that we know people are actually buying Vista, what's going to be the story for Windows Presentation Foundation? I've seen a lot of internet chatter about there being a lack of good WPF apps out there because of a lack of an installed user base. That actually runs contrary to what I've heard from shops like IdentityMine and Cynergy who have seen strong demand for WPF applications. I get the sense that most of these are on the business side and less on the consumer side however.

Will we start seeing more consumer-facing WPF applications a la the British Library's app? I hope so. The desktop continues to get a lot of attention and this should help keep the momentum going. I think there is actually a reasonable split between what applications should be built in WPF and which ones should be built on things like Adobe AIR. With a bigger WPF user base it should mean that designers everywhere can help keep the user experience bar high and deliver some cool RIAs and start leveraging 3D more. I'm also very interested to see how this could affect XBAPs, the "WPF-in-the-browser" deployment mechanism which lets you create browser-based RIAs in WPF.

Topics: Software, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Windows

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  • Microsoft is the underdog... for now

    It's entirely possible that Microsoft's Silverlight will overtake Flash more quickly than most would think possible. Flash may have over 90% deployment of its player into browsers, but all Microsoft has to do is deliver Silverlight as part of a regular IE update... and suddenly it's almost everywhere. The more compelling argument for Silverlight is the ability to write browser-side apps in languages familiar to developers (C#, Ruby, Python), using Visual Studio's IDE. That's a much, much better story than using an effectively proprietary language like Actionscript (even if it's a variant of Javascript). How long before Microsoft release a platform like AIR that can run CLR apps on the Mac? Mono already allows .NET apps to run under Linux.

    I'm not a Microsoft fan boy (I remain a Unix developer at heart), but from a relatively objective viewpoint can see that while Adobe clearly has the lead for now, it's going to fall by the wayside as Microsoft provides an ultimately better developer experience. A platform can only survive if developers are willing to write code for it; with Flash now, there's not really a viable alternative. Once that alternative appears in the form of Silverlight 1.1, allowing the vast numbers of .NET developers to leverage their existing skills... who knows what could happen. While Zune will (almost certainly) never slay the iPod, in this space Microsoft is in much better shape.
    Jason Etheridge
    • RE: Microsoft is the underdog... for now

      Hey Jason, thanks for commenting. I totally agree that there will be some really cool things that happen now that .NET developers can build RIAs. But those .NET developers aren't leaving Flash, they were never there.

      There will be some really slick Silverlight apps, but I'm not sure it will be quite at the expense of Flash.
      ryanstewart
      • Silverlight vs Flash: XBox vs Playstation all over again?

        I think you're saying (and I agree) that the majority of existing Flash apps aren't RIAs: they're mostly multimedia (Flash-based advertisements being the most prevalent example), and have been created by those outside the .NET community.

        In the realm of RIAs, though, Silverlight will become a very real contender, particularly if Microsoft bring out the equivalent of "Silverlight on the desktop" as a direct competitor of AIR. Adobe has worked a minor miracle by creating a proprietary, multi-OS platform that allows the creation of apps that don't suck; they appear to have succeeded where Java clearly failed to gain any traction.

        For the foreseeable future, AIR has no real competition (or so it seems). It may even gain long-term traction if it supported multiple programming languages (e.g., Python), and a decent free IDE. Both those aspects of AIR are a real barrier to entry for developers, though without any viable alternative, I guess some at least will come on board.

        One more point: Microsoft's strategy here reminds me of its entry into the game console market. It came from nowhere with the XBox, and has effectively caught up with (perhaps even overtaken) the Playstation. This can at least in part be attributed to its DirectX APIs and environment, that allow developers to build to both the XBox and regular PC, using familiar tools. Could the same approach work in terms of browser-based RIAs?
        Jason Etheridge
  • Maybe WPF apps can go cross-platform now?

    I've been waiting for a Mac version of the NY Times Reader for a long time and they keep promising it's coming. Now that Silverlight is available to provide run-time support on the Mac, perhaps this will happen? It's a great demonstration of what can be done with WPF.
    morchant
  • RE: Vista sells! More WPF apps coming?

    How many people would return Vista given the opportunity? Since there isn't really a try before you buy option, knowing what you know now - would you return Vista if you could? I would.
    jsham172
    • Nope

      I (have stated before as a disclaimer, on a high speed system) have had no issues with Vista. and I bought it at a retail store. I don't find the UAC _too_ annoying, though it does pop up with a little more frequency than the equivalent on my Ubuntu box (and since I do not have a MacOS X box to compare to, I can't say how often that is in relation).

      I just think its honestly, the usual "OH NOES M$ WINDOZE CRAP" argument that always comes with a new release,

      I am dissapointed that there is no new FS, as NTFS is getting a little long in the tooth. I do wish that MS would support XFS or something like that. But that would be idealised thinking (and even I am not that optimistic).
      ivanotter
    • Sounds like a good poll

      How 'bout a poll to see who would return Vista after trying it to get their money back...if that were an option?
      bricar2
      • It is an option.....

        You just need to read the fine print. This applies to retail box product and not the System Builder OEM, or the large OEM version.
        magpie_z
    • Nope, as well

      I have been using vista for the better part of a year, and, even though it has bugs, and is a bit of a resource hog, it is by far the better operating system when compared to my XP and OS X (leopard and tiger) systems. The way it does things is far more efficient, and rather than feeling like I should return it, I'm excitedly waiting for SP1 to clean up video and memory issues, what I saw in the beta leak was absolutely outstanding for the work I do.
      Spiritusindomit
      • My thought on SP's .....

        happened today while doing a service on an XP box. I remembered when XP came out, all the naysayers were saying that it would die a horrible death like ME. Then they release SP 1 and once again the naysayers were saying that it was too little too late. Then SP 2 came out with stability and increased security, and they screamed that XP was breaking all of the programs and drivers because it was poorly written when in reality MS was turning the screws down to start locking the OS up.

        Then Vista shows up and they are at it again in the peanut gallery, same noise, different time. Ah the games that children play. And yes, the Vista OS will get polished and refined to an even better state, and the children will continue to make noise.
        magpie_z
    • I went back to XP and I like Microsoft...

      For better or worse, I like Microsoft, provide tech-support services and develop in .net. I, of all people, should be using Vista. I bought a brand new (fast!) system and happily installed Vista ...well, after 4 months of really trying to like I couldn't take the slow reaction times.

      I have to do a lot of network transfers and I couldn't stand the SLOW reaction times. With XP, you can drag and drop accross network folders and it starts to copy/move right away. With Vista, it 'appears' to sit and try to 'calculate' how long it will take BEFORE it starts to just copy/move (I don't care about your 'estimated transfer time'...just start moving the files!!!).

      When moving large folders, it was deadly. It would sit & sit & sit & think & calculate - oh kill me now. The ironic part is that it would do the same if i had just a couple of files to move.

      I couldn't take it. I went back to xp after 4 months. It runs GREAT on this new hardware and the EXACT SAME network transfers start to copy/move right away - so it's definitely a Vista problem.

      Maybe SP1 will fix that, but I'll take speed over eye-candy any day. <holding breath for good feedback on SP1>
      Smarty_Pantz
      • If you think XP runs great on that purty ...

        machine, just wait til you see how fast it is on Win 98 SE!
        magpie_z
        • This man made a serious post about going back to XP...

          .
          This man made a serious post about going back to XP because Vista has a specific serious problem. And, all you do is make a silly comment about Windows 98? You Microsoft loyalists are all alike. You never defend Vista directly because Vista is completely indefensible.

          You should be ashamed of yourself. Not because of Vista. But, because Vista is horrible and you all tell lies about it.

          Vista is a spectacular failure and you all know it.
          TechExec2
          • Leave Britney Alone! - was that you? <NT>

            nt.
            Mujibahr
          • No. I have...

            No. I have a lot more testosterone than he does! :^0
            TechExec2
          • lies TechExec2 just because someone write something good about something

            lies TechExec2 just because someone write something good about something that you dislike. means they are lying.

            99% of the people i have up graded to vista like it. they say it was a learning curve but after that they love it.

            sure vista has bugs so does any os bugs are a fact of life.

            i have been using vista since it went RTM and with every update it gets better.

            and since the vendors started writing descent graphic drivers i have not had any problems with low FPS or sound or really anything else.

            if someone does not like vista they are free not to use it or go back to xp or use a distro of Linux.

            i think my self what ever make you more productive thats what you should use. and if thats vista cool if not thats cool to it's up to the person to decide what works for them.

            and if you came back with 20 links saying how bad vista is i can come back with 20 that says it's the best.

            you find out how well something works by listening to people who use it. and not just fish for links to back your position.

            an os is a tool no more no less. and if someone tells me they like vista and are not having any problems with it i believe them why because thats been my experience with it. i've had few issues with it but when xp came out i had issues with it.

            like i said every os has issues and that will never change.
            SO.CAL Guy
          • So... The Vista seller returns... Nice to see you again.

            .
            [b][i]"...99% of the people i have up graded to vista like it. they say it was a learning curve but after that they love it..."[/i][/b]

            This is anecdotal too and proves nothing. Vista is not selling well and is being rejected by many for a very good reason, and it has nothing to do with people saying bad things about it.



            [b][i]"...sure vista has bugs so does any os bugs are a fact of life..."[/i][/b]

            All software has some problems. The issue is how many and how severe. Vista has too many problems and they are too severe. I understand your motivation for doing so, but dismissing Vista's huge problems like you are is simply ignoring the truth that real customers face.



            [b][i]"...i have been using vista since it went RTM and with every update it gets better..."[/i][/b]

            Of course Vista is getting better with every bug fix. I never said it wasn't. And, if you look, you'll find posts where I said this explicitly. I expect Microsoft will get Vista as good as it will get in about 18 months with Vista SP2. Shortly after, Microsoft will break Windows again with Windows 7! :^0



            [b][i]"...and since the vendors started writing descent graphic drivers i have not had any problems with low FPS or sound or really anything else..."[/i][/b]

            Windows is Microsoft's ship. ISVs and IHVs are mere passengers. Microsoft chose to set sail before the ship was ready. This is Microsoft's problem, and Microsoft's mistake, and Microsoft's fault 100%.



            [b][i]"...and if you came back with 20 links saying how bad vista is i can come back with 20 that says it's the best..."[/i][/b]

            You've got that wrong, boy! ;-) For every 20 links you give that says Vista is the best, I will give you 120 links of Vista horror stories. I've got the links and I'm not afraid to use them. Don't play this game. You'll lose. Promise. :^0
            TechExec2
    • Not in this lifetime

      I have been using Vista since Feb, and I love it. I like it better than XP, and other than having to use XP video drivers from 10/06, I have had zero problems with hit. My kids' computer, and the wife's computer all came with Vista Premium, and they also find it easier and more enjoyable to use than XP. AND with the UAC, I find myself having to clean gunk from their machines...well...they have had them for several months now and I haven't had to clean gunk from them yet. With XP, I had to about every 3 weeks.
      bigsibling
    • Very few, I suspect

      Vista's numbers are only held back by business' typical reticence to change platforms (which is largely influenced by the need for a huge lead time to test a new OS with current apps (both proprietary and 3rd party).

      The only downside that I see to Vista (for a new computer, which is the only time that most people ever get a new OS) is that it's gaming performance has generally lagged behind XP, but my recollection is that this was also the case with XP vs. Win9x.

      In this case, I suspect the problem has been mostly due to bad drivers from ATI and Nvidia, but it's just a guess.

      I guess the other down side is UAC, but if you really hate it, it can be turned off.
      notsofast
  • Don't confuse Windows/Offices sales with success in other areas

    It?s important to remember that, after all these years, MS success ai still tied to mainly Windows and Office. Yesterday?s results only reinforce that ? more Windows & Office and most likely simply tied to new computer sales and strong economies requiring more employees and a copy of Office for each.

    One also has to know WHERE the copies of Vista were sold. The far east and southern Asia have been, by far, the biggest growth area for PC sales (hence Vista). The US and European markets have been far quieter, due to market saturation of PCs.

    Over the years, MS has entered many other areas, but has not been terribly successful. When they are, it?s at the bottom level of users.

    Examples of MS non success include their page layout app, forget the name now. Quark blew it away at the high level. Pagemaker and Framemaker blew it away at mid level. Now Indesign seems to reign and MS?s offering has been relegated to part of a super duper Office offering.

    Web design was the same. At the higher level Dreamweaver reigns, and has for years. Flash is only increasing that dominance and is a strong seller on its own. The higher level languages used on web sites generally do not include MS offierings.

    Whatever happened to MS?s competitor to PDF? Can you remember its name?

    Windows media player never gained the market share of Windows or Office and is now being killed by Flash video on the web.

    I?m hard pressed to think of any truly successful and profitable product that MS has offerd other than Windows, Office and some of their server offerings.

    Until MS can produce killer apps, and other ?cool? things, there is no reason to believe that they will dominate in any area other than desktop OS, office stuff, and be successful in servers ? tied into working with Windows and Office on client machines.
    j.m.galvin