Some ideas being rumoured around around the Microsoft's Live development platform, Microsoft to roll out dynamic-language layer for .NET
. Also direction on LINQ 2.0 (PDF)
Need to look into what labs.biztalk.net
is and the idea of Internet Service Bus.
Good interview, "The Man Who Would Change Microsoft: Ray Ozzie's Vision for Connected Software", where Ray Ozzie talks about Microsoft changing to ship both software to the desktop and connected services.
He talks not about only "Software as a Service" but the combination and lifetime of software deployment.
"Ozzie: Well let me just start by saying that, in my view, we only have one shared future as a software industry. And that is centrally deployed code that has a different lifetime associated with it on the device it's deployed to.
All apps -- whether Win32 code, Flash code, managed WPF [Windows Presentation Foundation] code -- are going to have those lifetime choices and will all be centrally deployed, whether that central deployment is from an enterprise or from a service provider on the web. The concept of CD-based installs, floppy-based installs or USB stick installs are artifacts of a time when we were not fully connected.
So I don't see radical differences in the approaches that Adobe might be taking, that we're taking, or that the web industry in general is taking. The languages and run-times may be different. And we come at it from a history of the desktop coming up to the web. They are coming from a history of being on the web and going down to the desktop, but the endpoint is the same."
Interesting times, let's see how things pan out as revenue streams are split more and more by free and same vendor competitive products by different platforms...
Microsoft has announced the name of WPF/E as Silverlight, together with a new website.
"Microsoft Silverlight is a cross-browser, cross-platform plug-in for delivering the next generation of media experiences and rich interactive applications (RIAs) for the Web."
I'm still yet to be convinced by any of the demos that it is much more than Flash/Flex and it still leaves a grey area of UI choices between Html, DHtml (AJAX), SilverLight, Flash/Flex, WPF (xbap), WPF/Winforms.
If Microsoft 'merged' the full WPF xbap into Silverlight, so support for databinding, templates, text entry, grids, 3D, etc. was available cross-browser, cross-platform and it was seen as tool for rich client-side interactivity that would be a better story - as it is the video playback seems to be high priority than business data representation.
Maybe things become clearer over time, as point 10 from Tim Sneath's list is revealed and other content demo'ed at Mix07.