This Just In: AJAX Is Important
"Microsoft is really the only company that spans the continuum, from the simplest Web client through he smartest client," said Fitzgerald. [Microsoft Watch]
"We just needed the clever name" – like Ajax, Fitzgerald said, to explain the various things that developers have been able to do for almost a decade with Microsoft technologies. [Microsoft Watch]
Using Atlas, developers will be able to write Ajax apps that contain pre-written code to smooth over technical distinctions between Web browsers, and debug those apps with Microsoft-branded tools, says Charles Fitzgerald, a general manager at Microsoft. Using Ajax today, he says, "is a little bit of a hack." [Information Week]
Here is what I think:
- Microsoft invented the technologies now called AJAX, but moved away from browser based clients in favor of Windows based clients (Smart, Rich, Thick, Fat or otherwise).
- The world of web development is quickly moving toward AJAX-style development. Microsoft is late and needs to make some mindshare.
- Microsoft is a development tool vendor. They sell tools to make development easier, therefore, current AJAX development must be hard (rocket scientists need only apply) and messy.
Seems to me that many AJAX toolkits already exist. Many web applications are incorporating AJAX very quickly. Examples of AJAX range from simple enhancements to full blown applications, implemented by mere mortals.
This move does not seem in sync with Microsoft's .NET/WebForms/Smart Client agenda. Therefore, I question whether their heart is in the initiative. On the other hand, Microsoft's new RSS initiative (also connected to Fitzgerald) seems inline with current company agendas and has good backing inside and outside the company.