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Personally, I'm still "hanging-on" to WinForms, which I think will last me a while, given my current (lack of) software development activities.
I resemble that remark!
I have installed Win8 onto my primary machine and am studying Metro development (XAML) but I'm anything but convinced that I'll ultimately go in that direction. I am, frankly, beginning to tire of all this constant retooling.
If only, instead of WPF, MS could have ramped-up the graphic-model in WinForms, implemented some combination of the letters "M," "V," and "C," there, improved the facilities for binding between objects. But, isn't it typical of the software business that the "Titans" (Apple, MS, even Adobe) are always in a feature race, and always want to make the "next great thing," rather than do a valve-job, and restoration, on the ancient jalopies, no matter how widely they are used ?
We can dream, can't we?
Still ... our Winforms expertise isn't going to become irrelevant for quite some time. No, we may not be out on the "bleeding edge" but, OTOH, a nice quiet job keeping a legacy system running isn't bad either. I'm keeping a system going that pays millions of people a paycheck. I'm not extremely busy but I'm paid well to do it and it's nice to know it's needed.
Is it that recently they have become more financially driven or has it always
been like that?
They have always been like that. Remember the times when they decided that we all should move on to Win32 and killed DOS and 16 bit Windows? At least it took them a few years back then and they did not change their minds now and then. All they did since Vista was just trial and error without much of a plan behind it. If Windows 8 (hopefully) turns out to be a failure, they will quickly jump in yet another direction. That's why I don't intend to bet any time, effort or money on them anymore.
I can see why you would get upset about most of them but Live Messenger?
Don't tell me you didn't see that one coming?
The moment they bought Skype it was obvious that one of the 2 would have to go (why maintain and support 2 chat programs) and the fact that they keep Skype is only natural since skype has a paying service (and more members I think).
Anyway that's the progress of software I guess, new stuff replaces old stuff and sometimes new stuff just doesn't cut it and gets phased out quickly.
The last couple years I find that it's no longer learning the new stuff that comes out but also trying to identify what is actually worth learning as to not lose time on some new shiny software only to find that by the time you actually know it well enough to use it, it has been dropped.
Like most companies, only a few of Microsoft's product lines are profitable. Like most companies, Microsoft doesn't like spending money on things that don't generate a profit and thus tinker with them (and change the name to pretend they did more), change them into something else entirely (sometimes keeping the name) or drop them. Unfortunately, there are products, such as CE, which could have been profitable had they not been so badly bungled. Likewise, there are some products that worked just fine and already had sunk costs, which are cancelled, generally due to a lack of vision of those in charge. The worse for me are products which are just fine, but companies change them anyway (like when food companies change the recipes of successful products.)
It's the wind of changes... i believe they're trying to get a hold in some emerging markets (Surface, cough, Windows Phone 8, cough) and supporting old stuff, will distract them from that purpose , what i personally dislike is that having the opportunity to have one plataform (WinRT or the .NET Framework) to support all their plataforms (Windows 8, Phone, Xbox, whatever), they just simply play with several variants that are akin but not alike.
...and one of the two companies is an arse and it's not HTC.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, waging all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt