Microsoft MAX, one of the very first examples of Windows Presentation Foundation in action has closed its binary doors. I always thought MAX was a cool example of what WPF could do and I was surprised by the announcement because I thought MAX would live on as an actual product. What piqued my interest the most was this bit by the team:
Thanks to your participation, we were able to accomplish the goals of the Max project—to get customer feedback on new ways to approach software and services. If you’re interested in seeing where we go with these ideas, keep your eye on Windows Live.
Windows Live is a great initiative, and as Marshall Kirkpatrick sums up nicely, Microsoft is doing some awesome things with the web. I had always wondered where Rich Internet Applications fit into their Windows Live strategy, and the quote above would seem to indicate that there are plans to leverage some of the power of Windows Live within WPF creating some very, very compelling Rich Internet Applications for users.
Marshall's post really got me pumped up. People are consistently down on Microsoft about unfulfilled expectations and anti-consumer behavior. Some of that is true, but at the end of the day, this is all a business, and no one has been more successful in this business than Microsoft. As a result of that, they have a lot of clout, and they are finally bringing some of that clout to the web on a grand scale. Microsoft seems to be getting it, and with the technologies they have, that is going to make for some fantastic web experiences. Rich Internet Applications built using Microsoft technologies that can plug into other parts of the Microsoft platform will reach a very wide audience and increase RIA excitement across the board.