About a year ago I moved more into a sales and business development role at IdentityMine, which has given me a whole new perspective on how the world works regarding technology projects. I used to happily assume everyone understood how things worked technically and no matter what reporters or the media said, the best technology for the application would win out. Oh how naïve I was. It turns out that marketing matters, and Microsoft’s marketing of WPF and Silverlight may be influencing the technology decisions that execs are making.
WPF is hot! There is a ton of WPF work going on out there. Let’s look at some numbers.
From StackOverflow.com (a great barometer for what’s going on in the dev community)
WPF/Silverlight Technologies Activity:
WPF: 22,770 Questions / 5,300 followers (source)
Silverlight: 10,643 Questions / 4,600 followers (source)
*I know better than to draw conclusions from just one source but what I’m trying to say is that there is actual WPF work going on out there. Much more that anyone is really talking about. Where are you at WPFers?! We know you’re out there.
Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF) continues to suffer from an identity issue at the executive, CTO and Senior IT level. Like it or not these are where many technology decisions (i.e. budgets) are made. The Microsoft marketing machine hit a home run with Silverlight. Catchy name, fancy graphics, and big name companies adopting the technology for world class experiences. So far many of the top experiences revolved around video delivery over the web through a web browser. I would argue that it also offers great UI options for those looking to build a web application for the enterprise. With WPF marketing they kind of hit a bunt foul pop out to the catcher on a squeeze play.
So for Silverlight. Web video delivery experiences and Enterprise Web Applications. The great thing is Silverlight is also the target technology for Windows Phone 7 so if you’re targeting that platform than you’re set.
Back to WPF. If you are deploying your application to a Windows based PC you should use WPF. WPF is supported all the way down to XP. Granted you’ll want a modern PC to take advantage of some of the great UI technology. So what happened on the way to the CTO and Executives? To me it’s really a marketing issue. From a technology perspective things are great.
Touch and NUI. 100% WPF. If you want the best touch support for your applications including those high end kiosks use WPF. .NET4 introduced a bunch of great enhancements to WPF to make developing WPF touch applications a breeze. Check out the list here: What’s New in WPF Version 4 from msdn. Surface? WPF. Surface 2? WPF.
If you are developing applications with WPF, we want to hear about it! We have a few guys on board that know a thing or three about the platform. We’d love to collaborate with you on any challenges you’re having or simply to get an idea of the ground with our UX team.