Microsoft announced today that that they would be shutting down their Popfly simplified Silverlight programming tooling project:
We want to thank everyone who registered for and used Popfly. We’ve been fortunate enough to see all the innovative mashups, Web pages, and games you’ve created since we launched Popfly two years ago and it’s been a pleasure to watch the spirit of creativity flow through a growing Popfly community over the life of the product.
Unfortunately, on August 24, 2009 the Popfly service will be discontinued and all sites, references, and resources will be taken down. At that time, your access to your Popfly account, including any games and mashups that you have created, will be discontinued.
Popfly seems to have never found an audience presumably because there is a point beyond which you cannot simplify programming if you want to produce something useful.
Microsoft had promised that Visual Studio 2008 (codename “Orcas”) would be released in 2007 and now the date is sometime this month:
BARCELONA, Spain — Nov. 5, 2007 — Today, during the keynote address at Microsoft TechEd Developers 2007, S. “Soma” Somasegar, corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft Corp., announced that Microsoft will release Visual Studio 2008 and the .NET Framework 3.5 by the end of November 2007.
Microsoft has made available a high level overview of the Visual Studio 2008 features, but I like to think of it as the first tool release with complete Vista support including the Cider visual designer.
Additionally Microsoft also announced:
This week is the Web 2.0 summit in San Francisco and the technology companies are trotting out their best stuff to wow the cognoscenti. Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer was there touting Microsoft’ Web 2.0 credentials and the big news was the inauguration of the public beta of Popfly, Microsoft’s mashup programming package for social networks which had been announced in restricted alpha in May.
Yesterday, the popular Facebook social networking Web site officially launched the Facebook Platform which allows 3rd parties to write applications which will be available to Facebook users. Among the 70 companies developing programs and/or tools for the platform is Microsoft as Joshua Allen explains:
People using Popfly can now drag-drop to create in-browser mashups that use Facebook friends, photos, and events. Since it’s using Popfly, the Facebook mashups can also include existing Popfly blocks, for example mashing up your Facebook friends list with XBox 360 gamer tags.
And for developers, we’ve created a Facebook developer’s toolkit to enable you to code against Facebook with any of our programming languages. The toolkit includes components, controls, and samples for both web development and client development. Especially check out the fully-functional sample using WPF and LINQ to make a 3D rolodex.
You can download the toolkit and Visual Studio Express both for free starting now.
Seems a reasonable way to bring in new prospects for Microsoft’s development tools.