In Part 1, I’ve placed down the background for this post series, I’ve written down my feelings towards the session at MIX, but what about the Keynotes?
In this MIX we had 2 keynotes, one was concentrated around IE10 and HTML5, the other was about Windows Phone 7, Silverlight and Kinect.
It’s very easy to compare them, the first one was non-imaginative, bothersome and at times offending, while the other one was direct, happy and fun.
Before really trashing the first keynote, I want to say that it did have some very interesting news, showing a windows version running on ARM processor, why is that important I think I will get into this at our third part of this series. The sad thing about it, when I was watching it I was not impressed, Steven Sinofsky just showed me the My Computer properties of a computer, it just didn’t had any WOW effect, and while I was engulfed in negativity I had almost missed it’s true meaning.
I also liked Orchard, from the stuff I’ve seen in the keynote it looks promising but in order for it to become a WordPress competitor as it is technically aspires too, Microsoft lacks a very important thing, Hosting, and it is quite surprising, with all those Azure nodes running around that I’m not sure are 100% occupied all day long 24-7. I mean if WordPress can offer free hosting for blogs, so can Microsoft. Actually I’m expecting much more than Microsoft, a free hosting for Orchard blogs is a minimum, but imagine you are writing an app with WebMatrix and you got to the last step, which is publish, what do you get now? a list of available hosts service which do cost money. For WebMatrix’s targeted audience which are mostly, avid amateurs, it is actually a showstopper, well even though it is not really tons of money, it makes one stop and question himself, am I serious with it so I should invest money in it. Hello, if WebMatrix or even Visual Studio (express) is free, why can’t I put my little tiny, WebMatrix app out there. More than that from a business perspective it makes sense, offer free host for little sites, support SQL CE but when one need to scale up either on size or capabilities than please show him the way towards a better hosts that offer more functionality, hell even offer Azure, and why not, why can’t it be the infrastructure for such endeavor. Not only it will not kill competition but make the eco-system even better.
So that was actually my positive feedback, I have also some negative feedback. I don’t know how to say it, I’m tired of the IE vs Chrome showdowns, not just tired, even offended, it’s just like mocking our intelligence, do they really think we are that dumb? It reminds me that once upon a time when Bing was out of the door and suddenly there was a competition to Google’s Search engine, presenters in Microsoft Israel’s events where encouraged to use Bing instead of Google, it was artificial and awkward for some presenters (“In case you wanted to further explore it, Google it, errr Bing it I mean” followed by embarrassed chuckles). I was “really” surprised that IE had kicked the crap out Chrome, really I was sure that in it’s own conference Microsoft is gonna show us IE being humiliated. So if results are expected from the start, the only interesting thing left is to watch what rigged environment or in what specific tests those planning this Keynote have chosen to show us. I haven’t been to any Google’s conference but I’m pretty sure without even knowing that they don’t act the same, and why should they? if you are certain of your own product’s supremacy you don’t need to stoop so low. Not to mention that those tests were not really fair, from several reasons: first it is not surprising that you take GPU accelerated browser and compare it with one which is not configured to use the GPU by default (at least for now). Second you are comparing your next version browser which will only see daylight in a few more months with today’s competitors, Perhaps compare IE10 with FireFox vNext or Chrome 1000 or whatever version they will reach in a few more months, but you can’t. So I’ve a perfect solution for you, why not compare IE10 against IE9. It actually make sense, show us how better you make you own products evolve, this display of confidence, and it is perfectly reasonable IE10 will be better than IE9 there is nothing wrong with this message. Another think I can make jokes on Chrome rapid release cycles but you can’t, I actually think that by using this approach the Chrome Team have better granularity for adding more support from the HTML5 spec as it shapes in front of our eyes. You can also make jokes on the revisions of parts of the HTML5 spec (or Sockets in that case) but truly, it is not smart, that the way it goes, stay in the game and be agile.
One last message, I hope someone in the IE team listens, I going to say more in the next part, but for now, IE team hear me out, Lose your dependency on the Windows platform. Yes you heard me right, Am I nuts? Have you ever met a guy who said to you, I must use IE so I’m going to prefer a Windows license over other OS?
Staying available only for Windows is getting down with the ship. Perhaps during The First Browser war it made sense, but today it is much more heterogeneous than it was back than. I guess this dependency was the reason Netscape was obliterated, but times has change. Just count the MacBooks around you, all this market is non-existent for IE. I guess at first it’s going to be like having a good look in the mirror after a long time and discovering you have gained weight and dear god aged. MacBooks now are a fashion statement, many people immigrate from Windows for MacBooks, those that still used IE back than, will just go over to the competitors and tell you a secret, even when they will be on Windows, they will not fast be coming back. Because those browsers are all damn good, and as IE showed us back than most users stays with the default if it is good enough, only when IE started to suck people moved to other Browsers on Windows, so I’m used to Chrome, guess what I am going to use on my new Windows machine, and why not I’ve my bookmarks synched automatically for me, it is quick and I like the UI.
So IE lose your fixations, love. Ariel
The second keynote was much better. Scott Guthrie did a hell of a job, when they are putting some miserable guys talking about their apps and almost shitting themselves, you can really admire how good he is when on stage. Memorable moment was when Scott showed an “hidden” feature of the MIX app for Windows Phone 7 where there is a 3D model of himself. And while touching himself Scott undeliberately(?) zoomed in to his figure crutch, he sounded so embarrassed, if it was acting, I’m applauding for making himself look so embarrassed, and if he was embarrassed than I’m applauding for him being so genuine, either way Scott is winning. Even the Blue Angels scene while weird (Front end homepage with HTML5 video and then drills down Silverlight) was enjoyable and perhaps that was the thing, I even showed my non-tech girl a few highlights from that keynote, and what not to like? the Kinect stuff were inspiring (World-WIde-Telescope) and funny (Wall Panic 3000). Another thing worth noting is the direct line Joe approached the audience while explaining, no apologizing, about all the wackiness of the Windows Phone 7 Update story, well when I was still negativity I thought this will not happen to Apple, after that I come to appreciate it very much, and also the new features look awesome, I waiting for the time when I can put my hand on a WP7 piece.
Stay tuned for Part 3.