A rumor popped up near the end of last week that Microsoft would be announcing a new markup language for building web applications, comparable to Mozilla’s XUL. Today Microsoft made good on the rumor with a few bits and pieces from the distant Windows Longhorn release at its Professional Developer’s Conference in Los Angeles.
Specifically, it would appear that this new Application Markup Language (XAML) works in concert with a subsystem code-named Avalon in both a web and operating system environment (see paragraph above figure 2). XAML is XML, according to Microsoft, which brings the desktop to the web, and the web to the desktop in a way we have yet to experience on a large scale.
Which sounds exactly like XUL to a lot of people. While competition is good, concerns have been voiced that Microsoft’s XAML brings us back to 1997, and the browser wars of the era, with Mozilla (and Safari) going head-to-head against the Microsoft juggernaut.
Is XAML planned to become an open standard, or another proprietary nail in the coffin of the open web? That ball is in Microsoft’s court, and we’ve got a 3 year long wait until Longhorn. Let’s get some answers sooner than that.
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