My Take on Microsoft //Build 2011

By March 15, 2012Microsoft

It seems that Microsoft has positioned itself in the Google-Apple race. Now with Microsoft using Nokia hardware and Google using Motorola hardware, Apple has some serious competition in the future. It worked out that Steve Jobs quit while he was ahead; those are some monsters to be pitted against. So these are the mega-enterprises that will be revolving around “devices and the cloud” for at least another decade (who knows?), but what does this mean for the web?

//Build has pulled the curtains on pushing .NET to a second-class citizen in the future. At best, .NET will turn into a portable serverlet like Java… an afterthought of the web. This looks like a big win for PHP, which is natively supported on IIS and Apache.

Another interesting take on //Build was Microsoft’s full embracement of Javascript. Being able to write apps in Javascript is a powerful implication because it is the native language of the world wide web. However, there is no way to serve Windows 8 JS/HTML5 apps on the web, which locks it into another closed app ecosystem. //Build also showed this with building apps in C++. The coder community does not sound too happy with all the proprietary extensions they forced on C++. Some have even dubbed it C++#. That would be a shame if the same were to happen with jQuery (Microsoft backs jQuery in 2008).

So let us sum up what we got so far: To write apps for devices, know Objective-C, Javascript, and Java, probably in that order too. For the web, know jQuery, HTML5, and CSS3 (…and maybe some PHP). Things are indeed moving to devices and the cloud. It will be interesting to see if this causes a vacuum in the web. Perhaps nothing counts until HTML5 gets standardized.

I would love to hear your thoughts. Please leave any comments below.

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