The Right Tool for the Job

Since PDC there's been some discussion about the future of Silverlight vs. HTML 5:

Via: Our strategy with Silverlight has shifted (Mary Jo Foley)

But when it comes to touting Silverlight as Microsoft’s vehicle for delivering a cross-platform runtime, “our strategy has shifted,” Muglia told me.

Silverlight will continue to be a cross-platform solution, working on a variety of operating system/browser platforms, going forward, he said. “But HTML is the only true cross platform solution for everything, including (Apple’s) iOS platform,” Muglia said.

Of course, it's all about choosing the right tool for the job. Prior to PDC, Microsoft's recommended distribution of those choices looked something like this:

Before PDC, Silverlight was touted as the best user experience solution

Since PDC and Microsoft's promoting of HTML 5 (which is great), the recommendations feel something like this:

After PDC, Silverlight is a good fit for only a smaller number of scenarios

I think this is much more sensible.

It should be said that these graphs are only accurate for those of us outside of Microsoft. If you work for Microsoft, the distribution looks more like this:

Most Microsoft development is still done in Win32, and probably forever will be

And now that Ray Ozzie has left, that 1% for Silverlight (which was there for Live Mesh) is also gone:

If you work for Microsoft, you should still use C++/Win32

A picture of me

Welcome, my name is Paul Stovell. I live in Brisbane and work on Octopus Deploy, an automated deployment tool.

Prior to founding Octopus Deploy, I worked for an investment bank in London building WPF applications, and before that I worked for Readify, an Australian .NET consulting firm. I also worked on a number of open source projects and was an active user group presenter. I was a Microsoft MVP for WPF from 2006 to 2013.

01 Nov 2010

Maybe it's just a matter of perspective? Here's what my view of MS's distribution looks like: alt text

01 Nov 2010

That image was supposed to be this one btw:

01 Nov 2010

A couple of new large products were unveiled at PDC all of which are written in Silverlight and are considered Cloud solutions (utilizing azure services). eg. the new Azure portal , Windows InTune , and Lync client are all Silverlight apps.. Also the new Silverlight profiling tool in VS, thats a big dev product...

Not to mention the deep Silverlight integration across the business, Live and server products (eg. Sharepoint/ MSCRM / Live Portal all have strong Silverlight integration)

Let's see what MS say when they respond, I'm sure they'll highlight the importance of Silverlight in MS's future products!!!

01 Nov 2010

I think that is not fair of accusing MS for using c++ and not WPF. They promote WPF (or other technologies) because they are more easy, fast, testeable, etc. for the enterprise and for most of us, who's products will be used by a limited number of people (generally speaking)

If are going to make software that million of people use everyday, and that is the cash-cow of a multi-billon company (like MS office), you better use C++.

01 Nov 2010

Huh? Silverlight goes from the next big thing (PDC 2009), and based on a few comments from BobMu, you think that Microsoft internally believes it should be only for Live Mesh (because of Ray Ozzie)? I think you're way off base there and see value in server and Enterprise products using it as a management front end -- that are far more effective and usable (and more easy to build) than a pure HTML solution would be. The ability to manage multiple servers from a single UI without relying on server to server communication is very useful, especially when each server shouldn't be connected in any logical way (like test, production, dev, etc.).

Microsoft's lack of understanding of how developers use their technologies (especially in the Enterprise and ISV space) never ceases to amaze and frighten me. Although I strongly believe your graphs don't represent reality, the spirit of what they attempt to portray is valid.

If you based everything on only what came out of PDC 2010, I'd expect the graph to have about 5% Win32, 90% Azure/Cloud (HTML), 5% everything else. WPF was barely a topic.

01 Nov 2010

Here is the data using percentage maps (pmaps) instead of piecharts:

03 Nov 2010

You're missing C#/WinForms which is a large chunk inside MS.