Thin vs Rich vs Smart Clients

Tomorrow (2/7) I will be delivering the keynote address at VSLive in San Francisco.  My talk will highlight the incredible momentum behind .NET and focus on Connected Systems – especially Smart Clients and Visual Studio Team System.


I don’t want to go into the details of my talk here.


But given all the recent write-up that I have seen around Smart Clients, I thought I will jump into the fray and state my views.  I a simple kind of guy – to me taking the best of the web client world and the best of the rich client world and marrying them together results in a smart client.  To drill down further, take the lower total cost of ownership and the ease of deployment of the web client world and combine that with a great connectedness (online and offline) experience, a rich user experience and leveraging the local computing resources is what I call a smart client. 


I do believe that different scenarios call for different kinds of clients.  With ASP.NET 2.0 in VS 2005, we continue to invest heavily for people who want to do web development.  However, As people become more and more mobile, I do think that people want uninterrupted access to applications and data no matter where they are and what devices they have access to.  To enable this, you need a smarter client than what the web client can give you.


The release of Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 will usher in a new era of simplified Smart Client application that can be easily deployed using the ClickOnce technology.


At the Microsoft Office System Developer’s Conference last week, Bill Gates announced plans for Visual Studio Tools for Office 2005 (VSTO 2005) -- a member of the Microsoft Visual Studio product family that enables .NET developers to build custom applications using Microsoft Excel 2003, Microsoft Word 2003 and Microsoft InfoPath 2003. VSTO 2005 brings the security, ease of application deployment and developer productivity of Microsoft Visual Studio and the .NET Framework to business solutions using Microsoft Office System as a development platform.


Between Visual Studio, the .NET framework, Visual Studio Tools for Office and Microsoft Office, we provide a comprehensive set of tools and platform technologies that enable you to write smart client applications easily.  You can also visit the Smart Client Development Center in MSDN for more details.


I would love to hear from you on what you think about Smart Clients.



Comments (4)

  1. Asher says:

    Will there be a live webcast or recorded one for those who can’t attend VS Live?

  2. Here is the video of Soma’s VSLive keynote; the Smart Client demo starts at 40:17 in the video here:

  3. M says:


    How different are smart clients from the JNLP clients?


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