In case you missed the hubbub, Microsoft’s marketing machine has gone into rich media overdrive. First, at NAB, they gave WPF/E a reasonably non-geeky name: Silverlight. Mix 07′s keynote was a series of very impressive demos—all available online at the Mix site—showing what the alpha bits of Silverlight can do. The really exciting part is the full CLR integration, allowing for some very heavy lifting in the client side .NET runtime. Integration that happens to run well, and is debuggable from, a Mac. If I were running the Flex team, I would start getting worried, very worried.
The other huge news is that Microsoft has created the Dynamic Language Runtime, a layer sitting on top of the CLR, to jump-start dynamic .NET language development. They are even creating some tools—such as Jasper, a RAD environment—that require one to use languages with late-binding support.
I think .NET development is going to get a lot more interesting in the coming year as these betas start going live. Dynamic languages should help make things more approachable on the low-end, and things like the Entity Framework and LINQ will create some very cool possibilities on the low-end.
In a sad twist of fate, I actually am Vegas bound tomorrow, but not to the “right” conference. I’ll be signing off for a few weeks, but should be back online later this month.
PS: I wrote this post using Expression web. I will say, for the moment, that Dreamweaver has little, if anything to worry about as a hand-coding tool. Flash, on the other hand, is not so safe. One would think Adobe would have got intellisense in there somehow.