Welcome to my new blog, I intend to wax on about all things client and user experience related -  with a heavy bend towards the Microsoft smart client stack in LOB application scenarios. 

About me: Mark Feinholz.  I work in the Developer & Platform Evangelism group at Microsoft – and spend my time with large ISV’s engaged in early adoption projects.  I spent 2+ years working with early adopter customers on Windows Forms 2.0, now I focus all of my time on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF).  I’ve been developing software in one form or another for 20 years this summer (wow, that just hit me).

Now that Ajax platforms are showing up that are enabling an entirely new generation of HTML-based user experiences (without having to have a PhD in Java Script and DHTML) – I’m constantly hearing the question:  “So if I can now get a rich, interactive experience with Ajax, why exactly do we need smart clients again?”

I’m going to spend some time in the coming weeks talking about why smart client, and why the browser, what does it mean to be a ‘web application’, what does ‘reach’ mean (to the software publisher as well as to the user), what does ‘rich’ mean, what is so frickin cool about WPF and why it changes everything... and more stuff like that.

I’m going to try and keep the posts on a higher level discussion of different client technologies and where they all fit in – at least for now.  It could be I’ll jump into talking about how to twiddle the WPF bits every now and then, but not at first.  

Of course, the standard disclaimer, this is me talking, not Microsoft.  I am interested in your feedback; I want to get more in touch with the communities opinions on these sometimes very religious topics.

If you’re reading and you care, send me an email (markfe@microsoft.com) or post a comment and let me know what you think.

We'll start with the next post and take a shot at explaining what a smart client is.