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Microsoft Moved My Cheese Again and I Don't Really Care to Find It

With Window 8 and Metro around the corner, in the past I would find myself much more excited.

Over the years Microsoft has not only moved my cheese, they have also quite often eaten it.

I used to stay tuned into what Microsoft was saying about its direction, but over the last year or so their attitude of keeping things hush hush until the last second has disconnected me from them. Now I find I am rather enjoying not being tuned in.

I have been finding life much easier not pushing Microsoft down people's throats and a lot less disappointing. If I never experience the level of anguish Silverlight, Workflow, UML, MSF, DSL, and DNA caused me again, I will probably have 5 to 10 years added to my life.

With Window 8 and Metro around the corner, in the past I would find myself much more excited. Truthfully, I am not. I want to be, but Microsoft has put such a bad taste in my mouth, I just don't want to follow them down another road to nowhere. Sure, I downloaded it the second it was available and started playing with it, but I am not putting any real energy into thinking about its potential. I have done that way too many times over the years to know Microsoft's bleeding edge will drain you like a Vampire.

My title on my resume and blog has been changed from .NET Software Architect to just Software Architect for several months now. Officially I am currently filling the role of an Enterprise Architect, but my passions are Software Process Engineering and Software Architecture, so that is primarily what I spend my free time learning more about.

With a major Java project on the horizon I have been burying myself in getting familiar with the Java world. I find I like the freedom that comes with it. Sure Oracle is at the top of the food chain, but there are a lot more options in Java especially the ability to choose your IDE. There are a lot more open source tools that are mature in the Java world too.

I do a lot with SharePoint custom development, but with the downfall of Silverlight I don't have much interest in that. I saw Silverlight as the answer to the horrible web part programming model. I have yet to see anyone write SharePoint web parts that aren't spaghetti code. Every major web part implementation I have seen has been a big ball of mud, and I have seen a lot. I moved to Silverlight for web parts as soon as I could. It was a great programming model.

Microsoft continues to play the top secret game with regards to Silverlight so rumors of lack of browser support in the next year or two are being allowed to flourish. I am not willing to tell customers they should spend a year or two investing in Silverlight just so they can start over when they finally start reaching maturity. So for now, because of Silverlight, SharePoint custom development is off my list of recommendations as well.

I am back to square one with regards to recommending internal enterprise applications be implemented with WPF for now, and then XAML for Windows on Windows 8. No more browser context to have to worry about except for the external applications that will be ASP.NET or MVC. If I get to control the requirements for the users desktops of the external applications, they will also be done with WPF and XAML for Windows. I have not been a fan of browser applications and that isn't going to change with HTML5. They are still going to be big balls of mud architectures implemented with a quagmire of spaghetti code.

I do think Metro will do well on phones and slates, but I also think they are just as lost as ever when it comes to direction with their development platform. Too many cooks in the kitchen have taken what could have been a great platform for development and added way too many ingredients then tried to cover them up with more ingredients without telling us. I think Metro will mainly do well because a lot of people have a lot invested in Microsoft and those people need it to do well. They will invest in it with blinders on and that perceived success will be interpreted as a success.

I am not the only one missing cheese. Right now I feel Microsoft is still desperately searching for the cheese that Steve Jobs has been eating up for the past several years.

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Tad Anderson has been doing Software Architecture for 18 years and Enterprise Architecture for the past few.