I keep getting this Longhorn Redux thing wrong. I keep assuming that Microsoft is going to reduce the number of competing internal GUI frameworks and APIs – not increase them. But the more I read the Microsoft Press Pass document and the various and sundry interpretations of the same in the IT trade press and blogs, the more I come to the conclusion that Microsoft is going to increase the number of frameworks and APIs. This is definitely not good.
But from where I sit here is what is going to happen.
Microsoft is going to deliver in 2006 two versions of Avalon – one for the new and completely revised Longhorn API and one for the classic WinAPI. As usual, Avalon will run better in the Longhorn API. What happens to the 5 existing frameworks – VBAForms, WinFORMS, WebForms, InfoPathForms, and CompactFramework Forms is not specified. But there will be at least 9 versions of .NET:
LonghornAPI managed and unmanaged code without WinFS
Longhorn API managed and unmanaged with WinFS in beta, final version due in 2007
WinAPI managed and unmanaged with Avalon
WinAPI managed and unmanaged without Avalon
plus a version of NOT.NET
WinAPI using COM/DCOM which will still probably have the allegiance of 30-50% of Microsoft developers if Joel Spolsky is right.
In WorldWar II they had an expression for this situation – FUBAR. Now I am sure I have this situation wrong again – but I am not entirely certain in which direction. Better keep pressing Microsoft for some straight answers on Avalon and .NET or you could end up FUBAR-ed.