Chat with Gladstone Grant on the Developer Opportunity

From Episode 3 – Securing .NET Applications | February 1, 2012

Following his presentation at the East of Toronto .NET User Group (@easttorontoug), Gladstone Grant (@gladstonegrant) takes on my questions as well as some from the viewers about the opportunities developers have working with the Microsoft platform.

  • [01:52] Directions of IT: The Developer Opportunity Recap
  • [04:15] What in your mind is the game changer? What’s different now for developers who have worked on the platform for many years already? What’s going to make developers change the way they look at the platform?
    When you think about the game changer, the market’s really changed. The landscape has evolved over the last couple of years. You think about the number of devices just proliferating everywhere with the entry of new smartphones, the entry of new tablet devices, gaming consoles, entertainment devices, all being connected to the Internet – that’s all really new opportunities for the developer to think about how to really bring these all together. In combination with that, you really have the phenomena of a lot of these devices  being connected by Cloud services. Cloud services becomes the glue that really lights up a lot of these devices and gives that consistent and seamless experience across all of the different screens. When you think about what makes those devices interesting, it's the applications that developers are building that really will ensure that the end users are taking advantage of that. Quite the phenomenon that we see happening is that its really consumer scenarios that is propelling this growth as more and more consumers adopt these new devices – the opportunity becomes a lot larger. So if you contrast a few years ago when developers were creating applications for our platform vs. now, the number of different devices, endpoints to which your applications, as developers, could be given to consumers, is rapidly changing. It’s all about applications.
  • [6:25] Of the 9 identified opportunities for developers, what would you say is the one that makes the platform, the Microsoft opportunity, unique from all of our competitors?

    When you think about what makes us unique, it is by far, is the ability to monetize on a lot of the development skills and expertise that each developer has. Let’s look at our competitors for a second. When you think of the last year or so, last 18 months or so, the number of devices that have been shipped by our competitors – let’s take iOS, 152 million devices that were shipped, look at Android, 247 million devices. You say “wow, there’s opportunity there!” Now let’s look at the Windows side of the world. We’ve got 500 million during the same time of the year - 500 million Windows devices that were shipped. So the opportunity is significant for developers and as we get into reimagining Windows and looking at the future, this is only going to continue to grow. The number 1 take-away is that the Microsoft platform, leveraging the device proliferation that’s happening, coupled with the investments that we’re making in Cloud services in the back end. makes it easier and quicker for developers today who have a lot of expertise on our platform, leveraging those existing skills, to be able to create those applications that go across all of the devices.

  • [08:04] Interesting that you mentioned “leveraging existing skills.” Is that, from a direction perspective, what developers need to keep in the forefront of their minds? Just because all of these new technologies are available, you’re still using what you already know…
    Exactly. Microsoft is always investing in the best developer tools – many of you use our tools today and would agree – the notion is, let’s not have you go out and make you learn a new language, learn new environments – we’ll use your existing skills. If I go back to the decision that we made when we launched Windows Phone just over a year ago, that’s exactly what we did. We said let’s look at what is it that a lot of developers are familiar with, how do we make sure that they get up and running quickly to create these really cool applications for the Windows Phone platform – and that’s what we did. We said let’s base it on Silverlight and let’s move forward. So that’s a general view and approach from Microsoft - to make developers much more productive and help them to be successful.
  • [09:16] Question from MisterJames in the chat regarding Windows 8…
    That’s a good question and I wish I can answer that question. Just to let this audience know – currently as we speak, Windows 8 still in developer preview. It has not been handed off to the field [that’s us] yet to really speak to and start answering questions around Windows 8. The forums – if you go to – and the Development Center are there where you can submit specific questions around Windows 8. Likely in the next couple of months, as we move more out of beta, is that when it will be handed off to the field and we’ll be in the position to really start driving, and helping each of you, as developers here in Canada, to create your applications for Windows 8. Sorry, at this point I can’t comment. It’s strict guidelines to make sure that only the Product Teams, who know and can comment on the direction of the Windows 8 product, are able to respond.
  • [11:38] Gladstone’s Thank You
    I’d like to thank all the viewers, and everyone who is really supporting the Microsoft platform. We thank you for that. Continue to give us the feedback on how we can help you – continue to help you – be successful with Microsoft.

Have questions for Gladstone or myself about the Developer? Start a conversation.

After you’ve had a chance to watch and listen to the interview, if you have additional questions, start a new conversation in the Canadian Developer Connection group on LinkedIn or join existing conversations around the topic. As always, we’re members of the group as well and will be more than happy to answer them for you.


Software is an “innovate or die” business. It’s the kind of business that attracts restless, positive people like Gladstone Grant. As VP of Microsoft’s Developer and Platform Group, Gladstone has the enviable job of being focused on the future, on what’s next, on the things most of us haven’t even dreamt of yet. After nearly 20 years in the technology industry and more than 12 years with Microsoft Canada, Gladstone’s passion for technology, for learning, for new challenges and for competition are stronger than ever. When Gladstone turns his attention to the present, rather than the future, he indulges his passions for sport and home renovation.

Just in case you haven’t heard about the show, Developers, Developers, Developers: LIVE & INTERACTIVE (D³) is a monthly show hosted by yours truely. The show airs live every first Wednesday of the month at 12:00 PM ET and features the latest updates on what's new and exciting in the world of development; featured presentations; and guests. LIVE and INTERACTIVE means that you'll be part of the show – You're invited to interact with us; ask questions and get them answered; and share your thoughts and opinions.

 Join the Canadian Developer Connection LinkedIn group
 Follow @devsdevdevs
 Like D³ on Facebook
Subscribe to podcasts via iTunes or RSS


Comments (0)

Skip to main content