This post got me thinking about how applications relate to the web today and where things are going in the future. I haven’t seen a lot of noise about this yet, though granted I haven’t looked very hard, but what Microsoft is building is a remote application platform. Yes, this Windows Live stuff is nice, but it really just strikes me as a spin-off distraction when compared to what you could do if you combined all the technologies they are putting out there right now.
Think about this for a minute… XAML. It’s a flavor of XML, right? So what if…
XAML was transferred via HTTP to your box using a regular old web site link.
Then it was cached and verified secure by some other systems already in place in Windows.
Then it uses AJAX to call back to the server(s) where it came from (presumably Microsoft) for updates and information, including processing of certain business objects.
WinFX would allow this to happen. So what’s to stop full-blown applications being developed that run as part of a web site? Or even stand-alone applications that you download or install from CD that call thru the net and offload complex/heavy processing to a data center?
Think about this… What happens when the web stops being "the web" and starts being just a transport for your operating system and applications? Forget this mapping stuff, via web services you could link companies in a whole new way that would allow applications link CRM and ERP, etc to run in a distributed fasion like we’ve never seen before.
Being a developer in this moment in time is very interesting to me because I can see all this coming and it’s sooner than everyone thinks. The greatest part of this is (hopefully) the little guy will be able to use it too. A small business could hire me to build a site/application that links their customers computers to their system and their system to vendors and logistics in a totally seamless fasion.
Very exciting indeed.