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This is a bold statement... and completely counter to the direction in which everyone in the market, including Microsoft itself, seems to be moving -- which is of course HTML5 as a universal app platform for both mobile and desktop.
Apple and Google have for a long time been staunch proponents of HTML5 as the only long-term answer for mobile apps. But now both Microsoft and Adobe, who were heavily invested in anti-HTML5 strategies, have thrown in the towel and lined up behind HTML5
Microsoft's share of the mobile computing market is tiny. Even it if grows strongly (which is uncertain), app developers will still need be restricted to a small minority of hardware devices if they limit themselves to Windows 8. Whereas with HTML5, they
can address all of them (including Windows 8 tablets).
Which is why Microsoft has made HTML5 central to its Metro strategy. They know they can't win this one, and they know that the dominance of HTML5 is inevitable.
Of course it's true that the Microsoft dev tools will be a good way to develop HTML5 apps -- but by no means the only way, and not necessarily the best.
Developing native WPF apps for Windows 8 platforms (which is what you seem to be suggesting) would be a BIG step backwards.
Agree with Paul Caplin.
Regardless of whether "one rules all" in banking, something I don't believe can happen - too many firms have senior managers using mobile platforms from non-MS ecosystems - there are two changes that mean the idea that "closed" approaches like WPF, and Silverlight
can survive, is flawed:
1. The days that enterprise technology drove the market, and everything was fine as long as it was a windows PC, are over, its the consumer/personal market, and its likely not to be a windows based PC, probably not even a windows based anything. This means
a variety of evolving platforms need to be coped with. Developing for each platform is not sustainable, but the expectations of the user is now being set by the internet, so rich delivery environments are needed to keep up with UX demands. HTML5 might not
there is going to be volatility - the days of the Wintel empire are over and its very unlikely to ever strike back to have anywhere that level of control. MS realised this in its decisions to de-emphasise its proprietary platform and move to a standards based
2. The sort of applications used internally in banks look positively neanderthal compared to the ones that firms give to their clients, who of course have a variety of target platforms (see above), and the past idea that you told the client what they had
to use these days loses you the client. Also the employee has expectations of what good apps look like from their personal life. There is a need to reengineer how internal services are delivered to bring them up to date, as well as ensure new apps meet the
benchmark, and rather than do an entire parallel effort for internal and external, logic would indicate that you use the same artifacts for internal as well as external development - logic doesn't always win, but there are significant cost savings to be made
in "do it once use many times". Using HTML5 allows firms to get away from platform UX specific development in a way that WPF etc could never do.
This post is more about my faith in the Windows ecosystem as a whole as the number one choice in banking rather than WPF or Silverlight being more or less adopted in future. I think that the whole HTML5 vs native argument, while valid, isn't really what
this post is about.
Be that as it may, I think you have to consider the fact that most of the financial industry has only just started the move to Windows 7 after taking 2 years to get those plans going. Its likely they will continue down the Windows 7 path for the rest of
this year into next, and then assume the same latency on Windows 8 - so we are talking 2014-15 before you see any mass. So the benefits of a Windows 8 ecosystem is going to be staccato.
That's a very interesting point, personally I feel that this time around there's something more compelling about Windows 8. More specifically - Surface and Smart Glass and the MS ecosystem that will put Windows 8 tablets in the hands of consumers. Will that
transfer to the corporate space? I think it will. However I do agree that the case for Windows 8 replacing Windows 7 on desktops is not as compelling since many of the Windows 8 features are intended for tablets. So I would tend to agree with your reasoning
but only as far as desktops are concerned. I know I will certainly be replacing my tablet and laptop with a single Windows 8 Surface device because i'm fed up of having to switch and synchronise my work. Question is, do others feel the same? And if they do,
will the reality be good enough not to want to dig out the old IPad again? I'm looking forward to finding out.
Many have already bought iPads/iPhones and probably won't change horses easily - many companies dropped their resistance to iPhones and I know of others where they provide support to iPads, so the horse may have bolted, especially in senior management. As
we are all aware financial firms are becoming engaged in a war around the mobile device, and the standard mantra is "develop for iOS first, then Android, then maybe...."
The big question is whether IT really has any control over the direction at all, the long rearguard action on Windows and Blackberries has not won them any more fans in a lot of firms - and they don't have that many to start with!
You seem to have control over your choices, as I do, but the vast majority don't, but quite honestly the array of tools out there make keeping synch across multiple platforms no really an issue, and with more of the available solutions becoming cloud enabled
(certainly externally and private clouds are now growing) is the platform as important as it was?