What have I learned from Microsoft MIX 2010? (Flash developer view)

Original author: Jesse Warden
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From a translator: Jez Varden has many years of experience with Flash / Flex. He is also a Flex Consultant with HBO and a Flash & Flex Architect at Roundarch.

I attended a conference from Microsoft MIX 2010, which was held in Las Vegas a week after 360Flex. I was already at MIX in 2007 and 2008. I recorded a lot of videos and then successfully bribed everything. Those conferences were really weird. They were held at the Venetian Hotel, the same hotel as at the Adobe MAX Conference. So I had the opportunity to personally see the differences between the two communities, and they are still those ...

Adobe has more girls, more parties. In conversations, it turned out that many on MIX were in some form involved in the Microsoft technology stack, while in Adobe, you did not know who was doing what. Yes, there were templates, but design, back-end, Flash, Flex, Python ...

In the 2000s, when they introduced the new Silverlight 3 features to the world, I oooh @ l. People were really excited about the new features and this despite the fact that Flash has been around for 5 years now. The people swallowed everything that they threw, they could not wait to run and code, code, code. After thinking about this a bit later, I realized that Microsoft developers use Microsoft technology. They do not separate them, as they do in Adobe. That's why you can rarely see a .NET developer who uses Flash / Flex for the front-end part. Most of them use AJAX generated by Microsoft tools.

But this year it was all different. I realized that Silverlight is not just a competitor to Flash / Flex / AIR in the field of video, but it is the missing part of the puzzle in .NET, something that was missing before. The functionality added from versions 1 to 4 of Silverlight is what we Flash / Flex developers already had. They also made corrections to our developments. All this in order to develop on the Microsoft platform. You need a runtime web + super browser + device to work. Apple has it all, Google has it all ... Adobe? Khem, neither a device, nor a browser, but yes, Flash Player rules, and?

In general, it doesn’t matter how to get these features or who has surpassed whom, Microsoft doesn’t get the design tool for the community to work with .NET developers. Yes, there are several tools, but it's like heaven and earth compared to Flex / Flash. I once spoke with a .NET store manager who hired a Flash designer to help with the design in their Silverlight / WPF efforts.

All that so long foreshadowed happened - Microsoft is struggling with Adobe in the field of design and it does it, it occupies a niche. This is really scary, but still cool. I did not use their production tools, so the paragraph seems suspicious. But damn it, they already support PSD (Photoshop) and AI (Illustrator) for import, like FXG. Your mother, then. I already blew out the 2nd cup of coffee and started the 3rd when Scott Guthrie 's voice sounded - “And now we are importing a pair of FXG ...”. Say it again! Where is Design !?
Designers do not use Expression Design, they use Photoshop and Illustrator.
said Mike Downey when I argued with him. Confidence was heard in his voice, he seemed to confirm “Yes, this is really so.” What does it mean? This means that they are on the right track. It's cool that we can use the tools that we constantly use. It also lowers the level of the entry barrier for working with design agencies with Microsoft stores as partners. Cool.

And again, it was really nice to see SketchFlow in action. Quick design is a huge help for sales managers, and now the .NET world can do it using the right tools, yes.

The main topic of the conference is “mobile, mobile, mobile”. They push their Windows Mobile 7 hard or whatever they call it. I personally checked the work with three buttons, I feel obvious convenience. Everyone brought the “Back” button to the iPhone application, why not cross out this step and make it native to the phone. And also make the search the very first and foremost. I can not argue with this decision.

These were the most unforgettable keynotes I've seen. Microsoft clearly conveyed its vision to the audience and inspired her to act. Almost. Despite the fact that the history of the developer was picturesque with all the tools working together with devices & the market, ready for your arrival, the phone still does not exist. And he already has an iPhone. But when he appears, it will be something. I believe that Adobe can create its own success story ... but on MIX keynote there was some kind of professionalism, confidence in all of this. Perhaps it’s all about the level of experience of the speakers, or maybe it’s all about rehearsals, or maybe quality material. Each speaker was undoubtedly positive and did not pretend that “it is better than it looks or you think”, as it was before.

But, as I said, this audience was completely different from the Adobe audience. There should have been more noise, shouts, interruptions to the speaker. .NET devs need more Redbull, here is what I can say. Maybe that's why all Flex / Flash were there, um.

Arriving at this conference, I wanted to see what people were working on there. And they do the same things that we do. CMS systems that have a rich appearance for management, work with media, video players, development for mobile platforms that do not exist. Extensible client applications are built using modules. They are just like us, doing a similar job. Sadly, the specifics of Silverlight are still very close to Microsoft, the client has to hire someone, a company, a company. The technology itself is ready, but the market is not.

And this leads me to the following conclusions. They got 60%, we have problems. Not big problems, but we are starting to lose work. In light of this fact, you have two options. Follow the Cynergy path, as she did several years ago, and work on the principle “We work with both technologies, they are both cool!”, Or enjoy reducing the amount of work. I don’t know how this will affect the world of Flash / Flex, but most of my clients have ceased to exist for me in 2 years, until I start coding on Silverlight. I, like others, get a lot of work, so this does not mean that I will become unemployed. Just a job like the Major Basketball League or the Olympic Games will flow smoothly into the kingdom of Microsoft, not Flash. And not because Flash has more installation platforms, it doesn't matter. I can’t compete freely not paying attention to the fact that we have 99% of them 60%. After all, Java / Python / Ruby, etc. still exist in large numbers. They focus on specific markets. There are many areas in which Flash & Flex will be in demand for a very long time. Not everyone on the planet uses Microsoft technology.

ESPECIALLY in the field of consumers.

What is especially interesting is the way Microsoft is filling the meaning of Microsoft with its phone for consumers. They hired the right people who say the right things, integrate the right tools. I am sure that manufacturers will persuade devices not to be cynical with operators. I think if Apple did it easily, then what is Microsoft worth doing?

Finally, Microsoft has hired the right people. They put key people in certain parts of the company, remove the old guard, who do not understand the web or young consumers.

Will I undertake to do something new after MIX? Not. I will continue to communicate with my new Microsoft friends, but until Silverlight works for me, rather than forcing me to form partnership / consulting relations with Microsoft, nothing will change until then. All salt is in the money. If people pay me, I will do it. Microsoft is paying now. I don’t mind working as a partner for Microsoft, but now the world knows me as a Flas / Flex developer who likes to show Kuzkin’s mother with Flash Player, not Silverlight.

Only bank note flow can change this. It can dry out very quickly, but the Microsoft market is huge enough that, having deepened, I will find customers without problems, even if I'm not the first after the start of the race.

Oh, and finally, all the "free" software from Microsoft in order to kick you in the direction. Visual Studio looks awesome, and C # too. Maybe I'm going to study Unity this week, I will do everything to avoid working with Objective C.

Whatever it was, many thanks to Microsoft for the invitation, I appreciated this, the whole movement was fun and I like to meet new people. It was the best MIX, I learned a lot and will probably speak at the next one.

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