Shouting into the void about Microsoft and Blazor

We had a dev team meeting yesterday and I said something disparaging about Blazor. My manager responded with “well, Microsoft is the second biggest company in the world” with the implication that the Microsoft Way must be The Right Way. And everybody sort of nodded.

Since I can’t shout at my manager and teammates, I’ll just shout into the void here.

Amazon and Linux (and a horde of other suppliers such as Digital Ocean and Netlify) are squeezing Microsoft on the back-end.

Javascript and the Web (Google’s Angular; Facebook’s React) are squeezing Microsoft on the front-end.

MS has axed IE/Edge development and capitulated to Google (although I’m sure nobody would word it that way, probably for good reason). Mobile Microsoft is non-existent (Surface notwithstanding).

Microsoft’s only real play is to get WPF onto browsers via web assembly and Blazor. And to continue to offer “business value” a la IBM. That’s really an enterprise solution.

And they know it. So that’s what they’re doing, as hard as they can. They’ve really been caught flat-footed by this whole “web” thing, the same as IBM got caught flat-footed by this whole “TCP/IP” thing (remember LU 6.2?). They have really been locked into the desktop/Windows OS for years, and I’m sure it’s yet another example of large corporations unable to change culture quickly.

If they try to go back to their old methods of anti-competitive practices and dictating to/fooling customers, they’ll be dead. I think a lot of decision-makers aren’t standing for that nonsense any more. Linux cloud instances are half the price of Windows instances, and that money talks loudly.

Is the future WPF, served from Linux onto WASM? Maybe. Will Microsoft try to charge money for that? Will customers pay for it? Maybe (it’ll have to be worth the price). Will Azure surpass AWS? Maybe, if the Blazor solution is strong enough (because Microsoft will, of course, try to use Blazor to push Azure), but I doubt it.

Everything* can be compiled to WASM, so, apart from Javascript frameworks, who else has a UI story that can be an alternative to Microsoft Blazor? Well, JavaFX (ha). And… Google Dart?

Plus whatever those wild-eyed open-source hippies come up with.

*Well, except maybe C++, since it’s probably got dependencies on all sorts of close-to-the-metal libraries like DirectX or OpenGL or the network stack or some such.

(Also, WTF, $300/year to let me put a footnotes plugin in my site?)

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