This decision is stunning:
Apparently Web Developers Don't Do Web Design
And now there are no plans for a Linux port of the WPF/E runtime. That news directly contradicts what Microsoft said at Mix06.
I really wanted to be excited about WPF/E. But right now I have this horrible feeling of déjà vu. WPF/E feels a lot like DHTML in IE 4 felt almost 10 years ago. There is a lot of potential for some cool stuff to emerge. But there is huge potential for Microsoft to abandon support for WPF/E as soon as it gains traction.
Microsoft is in an increasingly defensive posture. They keep turning up the pressure with Product Activation. The seem to be on a path of forcing their customers into a subscription model for their software. But their customers have been telling them for years that they don't want to subscribe to software. Meanwhile there are fewer reasons than ever to upgrade to the latest version of Microsoft products. And the one software subscription program that they have had is getting neutered for the second time in 2 years. Let that be a warning Microsoft customers.
The recent Novell Linux and Office UI License announcements also leave me feeling very suspicious. Microsoft gave up the Embrace & Extend strategy for good a few years ago. But now they seem to be pursuing a Trojan Horse strategy. The signs were there when they announced that the Common Language Infrastructure & C# would be ECMA standards. But recent developments are confirming some of the fears I had, and discounted, when those announcements were made.
I'm curious how the industry will react to this latest strategy. When Microsoft was fighting the first browser wars I gave them the benefit of the doubt. I was naive and I didn't think they would be foolish enough to do what their critics said they would do once they won the browser wars. But they did. I will never again doubt their willingness to abandon their loyal developer community if that suits their interests.
The amazing thing about WPF/E is that the runtime for Windows is only 1MB. I wish someone in the open source world had the balls to abandon HTML, CSS & SVG the way Microsoft did with XAML and build a competitive open platform that does what WPF/E will do. It should have the same target as WPF/E too. Don't worry about 3D, just focus on Vector graphics and rich media.
Where is the Dave Winer or David Heinemeier Hansson of this space? We need someone to embrace and extend WPF/E before Microsoft and Adobe scorch the earth in Browser War II.