The Birth of the Web vNext

Todd Snyder / Thursday, March 6, 2008
I have seen the future and it’s in the clouds. The day I have been waiting for more than a decade has finally arrived. Yesterday at Mix 08 conference Microsoft rolled out its vision for the next web revolution. In a nutshell the vision centers on using the web as a communication hub where all kinds of rich devices (PC, Media Centers, Phones, Games Consoles, etc…) interact with each other using services hosted in the clouds.
Some would argue that this is not a revolution at all and just Microsoft’s marketing engine capitalizing on the Web 2.0 trend.  But, in reality the technologies we are using today (Web Browsers, HTML, JavaScript, HTTP, Etc…) are out dated and have been Macgyverized (w/ scotch tape and bubble gum) together into a platform that barely scratches the surface on what is needed to power the next revolution.  Don’t get wrong these technologies have served us well and most likely be with us for the foreseeable future. But the time has come to start thinking out of the box and to stop allowing the limitation of these technologies to hinder our innovations.
In my opinion there are three things at the heart of this new revolution: Great User Experience, Empowering Devices, and Ubiquitous Services.  Let’s examine each of these:
Great User Experience – This is much more than just how fancy the UI looks. It’s about the user’s overall experience using an application. This includes how easy the application is to use, how it performs, how reliable it is, and how effectively it solves a business problem/need.
Empowering Devices – Today the web is everywhere. I can view a web page from my desktop, PDA, Phone etc… This is great but unfortunately today’s technologies are pretty limited and force us to use a common denominator approach. What is really needed is a solution that allows to harness the power of each device and its unique capabilities to offer the best possible user experience.
Ubiquitous Services – The boundaries between customers, partners, and business are getting grayer every day. The application we will be building tomorrow will need to rely heavily on pluggable, versatile, and reliable architectures that allow multi parties to collaborate inside and outside of an enterprise.
In order to make all of this possible we need a new generation of software/technologies and a new set of design patterns to effectively meet the needs of customers today and tomorrow. During the MIX keynote Ray Ozzie, Scott Guthrie & company discussed several key technologies including:  Microsoft Software + Service initiative, Silverlight 2.0, ASP.Net 3.5 Extensions, and SQL Server Data Services. Couple these new technologies with what we already have available today:  .Net 3.5 (WPF, WCF, and WF), BizTalk, and SharePoint 2007 and we a rich platform that will help us power the next Web generation. Welcome to the Web vNext are you ready?
Here are some references to learn more about Microsoft vision for next generation web.

·         Microsoft SaaS Services

·         Microsoft Software-plus-Services Blueprints

·         Silverlight Blueprint for SharePoint

·         BizTalk in the Clouds

·         SQL Server Data Services - SDSS - New version of LitwareHR

·          Infragistics UX