WPF and ISVs – a quick look back, and a call to action

Much has been written about the Windows Presentation Foundation and the opportunities it enables by bringing designers together with developers to produce truly differentiated user experiences.  Through the ISV programs we offer, our team has been engaging ISVs in this discussion for the last 18 months or so, and work some of these organizations have undertaken with this technology is pretty amazing.

What's been the most surprising to me, though, is the way in which WPF can transform applications that you wouldn't typically think are candidates to benefit from "design" or an "enhanced user experience".  Counter to my expectations of the ISVs I've worked with, the most "conservative" have been the earliest adopters of WPF, and they apps they're bringing to market are going to take a quantum leap forward from their current incarnations.  It's as if I've witnessed the UX version of the "Negroponte flop" unfolding before my eyes.

I mention this because opportunity is once again knocking for adoption of this technology, and this time the knock is a bit louder and much more persistent.  If you had previously considered WPF but put off adoption until the technology matured a bit, it might be a good time to re-evaluate, especially since:

  • The framework technology itself has been in production since November 2006

  • The next generation development and design tools (Visual Studio "Orcas" and Expression "Blend") are in public beta (as per previous postings on to this blog

  • The list of 3rd party controls available for WPF continues to grow

  • We just announced a cross-platform, cross-browser product based on this technology - it's called Silverlight, and it opens a world of additional possibilities for ISVs

  • We're right on the threshold of MIX 07, which usually portends even more WPF related announcements

As you've probably guessed, these technologies are a personal favorite of mine, and I'll be digging into them here a bit over the coming weeks.  I'll also post some success stories from ISVs that have made the choice to adopt WPF (and are pleased with their decision.)

Now, if I could just convince our boss to come up with some good WPF-related giveaways...  🙂

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