Microsoft responded to the announcement of CapGemini support for Google Apps yesterday with a statement and a list of questions about Google Apps for the Enterprise — or reasons potentially not to use them. Mary Jo Foley at ZDNet has both, and the list of 10 questions/reasons is also at Read/WriteWeb. The questions Microsoft raises go to the quality, reliability and support for Google Apps. It certainly appears from the detail and vehemence of the questions that Microsoft now sees itself playing defense. Certainly there’s truth in many of the criticisms on Microsoft’s list but perhaps the lady doth protest too much as well.
Which made me wonder about projects like Ajax Windows which is an interesting way to run a very Windows Like experience in a Web page.
Software as a Service (SAS) is coming, and it is coming fast. Microsoft is making sure of that. Silverlight was formally WPF/E Windows Presentation Foundation Everywhere. If you haven’t caught on to the Microsoft no imagination naming scheme, take a look at what that is saying. WINDOWS some words EVERYWHERE. SAS is the future and Microsoft is well aware of it. Enabling developers to use the same tools to build applications as they use to build web applications is the first step.
If you play with Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 Beta 2 you quickly get the sense that WPF/E for the desktop and WPF/E for the web is the same thing, with the exception of if you include your own status bar or the one the web browser provides. There are some other differences things you can’t yet do on the web in the one click ease that you can the form creator, but for the most part we are getting trained to be Everywhere Developers.
Building web pages that interact with serverside event handlers, and letting Vectors do more of the heavy lifting so that pages are much faster to load are built in to the way WPF/E and Silverlight teach you to code.
An early example of the power of Silverlight to be an online word processor shows what an XPS file looks like in Silverlight. Delay the Author of this example sums it up nicely “WPF is the Windows Presentation Foundation and represents a new approach to UI for Windows.”
SAS is coming, and you can expect the next big thing, is an old thing. Desktops as dumb terminals with our applications in the cloud. Now we just need a Silverlight Client for iPhone….