If I was building a new .NET line of business application for an enterprise I would genuinely struggle to pick a UI technology. I don’t consider myself an expert in any particular UI tech, but if I had to choose my area of expertise I’d go for WPF.
So if WPF is a sub-optimal choice, what else is there? Well, there’s WinForms… fast development, not the prettiest UI and not always the best to deal with to make sure the business logic stays in a testable place. It’s a viable option but is it going to survive the 20 year lifespan? Possibly not if the Windows 8 change is a pointer to the future.
So where does that leave us? It leaves us looking for an easy-to-development, quick to deploy UI technology on the .NET stack.
It leaves us looking for Silverlight. That’s right, Microsoft’s forgotten child.
Quick and easy for both development and deployment it was an excellent choice for in-house applications. But Microsoft’s silence on it over the past 2 years(?) means that it’s effectively dead. It always was going to struggle against HTML+JS for the battle on the web, but for in-house development surely it still has a massive role to play?