The Tidbit In the Windows 8 Demo That Says It All

Microsoft gave the first public demonstration of it’s planned Winows 8 release last week.  For the most part, the new Windows looks pretty great.  One little tidbit, appearing just a few minutes into the preview, spelled it out for developers, however.  Peter Bright at Ars Technica spotted it and spelled it out:

“Microsoft Vice President Julie Larson-Green, in charge of the Windows Experience, briefly describes a new immersive application—a weather application—and says, specifically, that the application uses “our new developer platform, which is, uhh, it’s based on HTML5 and JavaScript.”

Cue much wailing and gnashing of teeth.

Windows developers have invested a lot of time, effort, and money into the platform. Over the years, they’ve learned Win32, COM, MFC, ATL, Visual Basic 6, .NET, WinForms, Silverlight, WPF. All of these technologies were, at one time or another, instrumental in creating desktop applications on Windows. With the exception of Visual Basic 6, all of them are still more or less supported on Windows today, and none of them can do it all..”

Basically, by adopting HTML5 not as an additional standard, but basically as a replacement for existing APIs is.. nuts. It appears that Microsoft believes that all desktops in the future will run on Web browsers and become glorified Netbooks?

Of course, what is missing here is that Microsoft plans to release Windows 8 as a tablet-ready operating system.  Will Win 8 be a replacement for 7? That’s a good question. An even bigger question, given the background of Microsoft itself, is whether the company will actually do what it’s saying it will do. This preview of Windows 8 is early in the game and MS has changed their minds before.

Don’t be surprised if they change their minds again.

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