Microsoft this week announced the name for their WPF/E platform which should go live sometime in the coming months (I hope). WPF/E is a browser plugin which will allow for more dynamic XAML content to be displayed in a browser of any make. It’s often referred to as Microsoft’s “Flash Killer”.
I played around with this stuff last December. It’s all very cool. The problem at the moment is a lack of developer tools. Even using Microsoft Expressions or the Xaml designer in VS2005 won’t be much help, since the XAML that WPF/E allows is only a subset of all the tags. Still, it will allow web designers who already type markup to have much more dynamic content without the expensive Flash tools. You can code XAML in notepad or XAMLPad, and I’m sure there’ll be plenty of opensource designers to come out of this.
I know it’s Microsoft and they already have everything?but it would be nice to see this catch on. Macromedia (now Adobe) Flash was a difficult tool to use and prohibitively expensive. Even though .swf was a standard other tools could use, there was never a decent substitute to Flash. Now, the bar may be raised for all web apps?despite the stupid new name.