How Microsoft Lost the API War
From “Joel on Software”. Basically, the article says M$ wants rich clients (desktop applications) since they depend on their big cash cows Windows and Office. The Web as an application platform is the rival. That’s the reason they stopped IE development and they FUD again for Windows Longhorn (in 2006+) and its new desktop technologies like XAML and Avalon, WinFS etc. They lost the war to Web standards like HTML, CSS and Web Services, which gives developers and vendors a freedom of choice for their server platform. Not only this, but worse, they encouraged developers to switch to the Web platform by abandoning their Win32 API for the novel, but completely incompatible .NET framework. Not a safe place to develop either, since the upcoming Longhorn will again be all brand new and incompatible:
And if you’re developing a Windows GUI app today using Microsoft’s “official” latest-and-greatest Windows programming environment, WinForms, you’re going to have to start over again in two years to support Longhorn and Avalon. Which explains why WinForms is completely stillborn. Hope you haven’t invested too much in it. Jon Udell found a slide from Microsoft labelled “How Do I Pick Between Windows Forms and Avalon?” and asks, “Why do I have to pick between Windows Forms and Avalon?” A good question, and one to which he finds no great answer.