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Looking Backwards: Next Generation Web Services

It is New Year's Eve, which is a great time to look back. I recently had a discussion with a few people about an interesting topic. Have you heard of Next Generation Web Services (NGWS)? If you search for Next Generation Web Services, you'll find a number of results, but if you want to see one of the first uses of this term, then go to and search for it there. Interestingly, when I just did this, I landed on the .NET Framework page ( You'll see on that page, that NGWS was an original name for the .NET Framework prior to its release. I had the pleasure of working with Christoph Wille and several people at Microsoft to product the first book on the C# programming language, Presenting C#, which published in July of 2000 over a decade ago. It published just in time to make it to the beta announcement that summer in Orlando, Florida. One of the challenges of that book was getting Microsoft to nail down the name of the framework that would be used with C#. You'll find that they settled on NGWS. For several days, as we put final touches on the book, I recall conversations with Microsoft o whether the name would be COM++, NGWS, or some other name. They settled on NGWS only to change it once again a few days later -- but after the book had gone to the printer. While the .NET Framework has retained its name since July of 2000, the framework itself has changed quite a bit in the past decade. Not only has it increased on size and scope, it has split into a number of focused platforms targeting embedded systems, mobile systems, and more. As we move into 2012, it will be interesting to see how the .NET Framework continues to evolve. With the release of public betas for Windows 8 and a push for a paradigm change to Metro-styled applications, it seems like we could be headed for the next generation of applications and services. While these aren't like to be built on anything called NGWS, the question will be how much of the .NET Framework will be used for these. HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS gain value, but it does seem like .NET is here to be used as well.

What Tools are Developers Using?

The Developer's Toolkit is an infographic that shows the top tools being used by developers. The information based in this infographic is based on a survey of 500 developers around the world that was conducted by BestVendor. More importantly, this survey targeted developers in companies with less than 100 people.

Windows 8 Developer Preview - Have You Downloaded It?

At Microsoft Build, Microsoft released a developer preview of Windows 8. There are a variety of pre-beta downloads you can grab today if you want to check out the preview of Windows today. In addition to including the next version of Windows, you also get a chance to see Visual Studio 11 Express for Windows 8 Developer Preview.

Other Projects by Our Authors

Lots of different people have written for Codeguru,, and our other sites. It is great to see some of these writers expand their efforts into books and other project.

Touch Screen without a Touchable Screen

A larger clickpad could make it possible to use multi-touch without having a multi-touch screen. This embedded video below shows the Synaptics ClickPad experience on Windows 8. In many scenarios, this approach makes a lot more sense than touching the screen itself. For example, I have to stretch to touch my screen. My keyboard, is "at my finger tips!"

Is Windows 8 Apple's Chance?

I wrote most of this blog entry prior to the news of Steve Job's passing and thus held off posting it. Jobs made a huge impact on the computing industry and his impact will continue to be felt for a long time. His work with Pixar and NeXT computing were amazing and they pale next to what he did with Apple. I remember looking over a coworker's shoulder at a demo of the Next system and thinking it was very cool. That was back in the days when we were also seeing demos of things like new versions of OS/2 and having a different reaction.

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