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February 16, 2006

The Missing Piece in WPF

I'm in training at Redmond this week. Taking the deep dive on WPF, WCF and WF. If you don't know that alphabet soup you can sum it up with WinFX. Over the next week or so I will be blogging about all of these technologies but for right now I'd like to discuss WPF - Windows Presentation Foundation. Great technology but its missing a big piece.

Microsoft has never said it but WPF has been called a Flash killer. It certainly holds up as just that. It's a total integration of text, controls, images, video and sound I can't think of anything Flash can do that this can't but in terms of an application platform it far surpasses it. WPF however is not going to be a Flash killer. It lacks Flashes ubiquity. It will only run on XP, Windows 2003 and the new Windows Vista. You have to have the run time downloaded and installed. Microsoft is currently saying that XP and Windows 2003 will get the run time over windows update but it will not be rated as a critical update.

When Flash isn't installed in your browser you are asked to download and install it. This simple easy to handle installation has made Flash what it is today. WPF can run in the browser as well but it will not have the easy install, automatic directing to the download that Flash feature. This extra step along with the limited list of operating systems will keep WPF from being a Flash killer.

Its too bad because I was hoping that the competition would push Macromedia/Adobe into integrating more of a programming and connectivity model into Flash. Flash has those things now but they are crude. They are getting better but its not anywhere near what an applications developer needs. Perhaps this will give Macromedia/Adobe a bit of scare.

05:20 PM | Permalink


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