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Bill Gates talks about WPF/E (Jon Udell’s PDC Interview)

October 7, 2005

This is an excerpt from Jon Udell’s interview of Bill Gates at PDC. Its almost a month old but the information is still good. This excerpt brought to you today by the word pervasiveness.

JU: So a few people in the audience spontaneously commented when they saw the light version of the presentation framework, I heard the words "Flash competitor" in the audience. Do you think that’s a fair observation? And do you think that that’s potentially a vehicle for getting Avalon interfaces onto not just devices but non-Windows desktops? To extend the reach of Avalon that way?

BG: From a technology point of view, what the Windows Presentation Foundation/Everywhere thing does — I think it was called Jolt internally. It overlaps what Flash does a lot. Now, I don’t think anybody makes money selling lightweight presentation capability onto phones and devices and stuff like that. We’re making this thing free, we’re making it pervasive. I don’t think anybody’s business model is you get a bunch of royalties for a little presentation runtime. So there’ll certainly be lots of devices in the world that are going to have Flash and they’re going to have this WPF/E — which they say they’re going to rename, but that’s the best they could do for now — there’ll be lots of devices that have both of those, but they don’t conflict with each other. It’s not like a device maker say — oh my god, do I pick Flash, do I pick WPF/E? You can have both of those things and they co-exist easily. They’re not even that big.

JU: And it’s a portable runtime at this point, so is it something that conceivably takes XAML apps to a Mac desktop or a Linux desktop? Is that a scenario?

BG: The Mac is one of the targets that we explicitly talked about, so yes. Now it’s not 100 percent of XAML, we need to be clear on that. But the portion of XAML we’ve picked here will be everywhere. Absolutely everywhere. And it has to be. You’ve got to have, for at least reading, and even some level of animation, you’ve got to have pervasiveness. And will there be multiple things that fit into that niche? Probably. Because it’s not that hard to carry multiple…you as a user don’t even know when you’re seeing something that’s WPF/E versus Flash versus whatever. It just works.

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