So Silverlight and .NET are dead. The Windows 8 team say so. Sounds familiar, we heard the same thing after PDC 2010? I’m not worried, here’s why.
1) If you haven’t already done so you may wan to stop by and read “The Tragic Death of Practically Everything” for a look at the many things that have been declared dead but really weren’t.
Google is obsessed with movingall applications into what it insists on calling the cloud, and Native Client is part of the company's ongoing efforts to put online apps on a par with desktop applications from the likes of Microsoft, its bête noire.
"Native Client gives you the best of both worlds: download the data once to the client and do the editing there."
And if Google realize this then it’s probably crossed Microsoft’s mind too.
3) There is a sort of “Threshold of Immortality” that languages cross, Simon Peyton Jones points to in his talk “Haskell and Erlang Growing up together”:
I think it’s safe to say both the .NET framework and Silverlight have crossed this threshold. Even if Microsoft does decided that you won’t be able create Windows 8 titles in .NET or Silverlight (which I still think they won’t), then someone will hack together a way to do. The Mono team have shown a huge talent for porting .NET to a wide range of platforms, and if Microsoft choose not to release Visual Studio tools of authoring Windows 8 app then I would be willing to bet that we’d see some similar tools from Xamarin and that it would make them a fortune.
So I’ll start to worry if a beta appears with no .NET or Silverlight titles, but even then I’ll be closely watching the reaction of Xamarin.
The silly thing is, this is an entirely avoidable PR disaster for Microsoft, Windows 8 looks really nice. I think the dual personality is a nice idea, a tablet mode for browsing watching videos a “Windows 7” mode for when you want to get some work done. Why an earth would left the good stuff be drowned out by storm of “where’s our Silverlight”?