Microsoft is continuing its slow and steady march toward platform unification.
Its latest step is the makeover of its Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) Web site. The new MSDN portal, revealed on July 31, is designed to provide a more comprehensive and unified picture of Microsoft's developer platform.
Microsoft Technical Fellow and TFS Product Unit Manager Brian Harry, whose team is charged with managing the back-end MSDN infrastructure, blogged about the redesigned MSDN page. From his post:
"Working with the Microsoft Developer and Platform Evangelism team and others we’ve worked to create an improved experience we’re calling the Microsoft Developer Network. It is a major update to the MSDN home page and gives you a more modern place to go as a central landing page to find out everything you want to know about developing for Microsoft platforms."
Harry noted that the idea of the revamp is to create a single point of entry for all developers. Currently, developers targeting mobile, cloud, and PCs/desktops have to hunt for the right information across a variety of locations. Community blogs and an integrated social feed are part of the new design, too.
In addition, the redesigned page doesn't focus solely on Microsoft/Windows developers. It also includes easier-to-find entry points for Web, iOS and Android developers, too.
The new portal also includes explicit, direct links to Visual Studio tools and users' MSDN subscriptions, from anywhere on the new MSDN site.
Today's revamp doesn't include any MSDN subscription pricing cuts or changes -- something many disenfranchised TechNet subscribers are hoping might happen to make up for Microsoft's decision to kill TechNet.
Microsoft is continuing to make changes to its programming interfaces, frameworks and tools to unify its cross-Windows development story. With the coming Windows "Blue" releases, Microsoft is moving a bit closer to the "write once, run on any Windows" goal that the company has set for itself.
Update: While the MSDN portal is attempting to include content for a variety of devs, a separate Windows dev portal page seemingly continues to exist.