Wednesday November 8th, 2017: Azure and Mobile Applications – the perfect pair


(Dave Evans) #1

Christos Matskas joins us to talk about Logic Apps, Functions, Notification Hubs and more for your mobile app.

Details: https://www.meetup.com/Birmingham-Xamarin-Mobile-Cross-Platform-User-Group/events/238234923/


(Andy Wootton) #2

It weakens the appeal of Xamarin for me if it works better with Azure than with other service providers. Is that the case or am I reading too much into the heading?

I wouldn’t want to help Microsoft rebuild a monopoly based on services rather than products, any more than I would Apple, Google, Amazon or Canonical. I don’t use FOSS for the free beer but for the freedom of choice. IBM made the transition from monopolist to open standards advocate very successfully. I’d like to see Microsoft do the same. I think they are perfectly capable of winning in a free market, even if they play fairly.


(Dave Evans) #3

It’s not like that. Xamarin will work equally well with any back-end provider or service. The way I do stuff, it’s all REST anyway and I deliberately have no strong coupling between client and server.

It’s about the tooling - now that Xamarin is part of Microsoft it is easier to spin up Azure services and do end-to-end debugging from within the IDE. So it’s easier to prototype, and for Enterprise developers it would be a way to get functionality quickly.


(Andy Wootton) #4

Yes, that’s what I mean. Just as it ‘became easier’ to use Word rather than Wordperfect, and Excel rather than Lotus 1-2-3, and IE rather than Netscape, even though none of them were the best products. They integrated better, because Microsoft didn’t support connections to competitors products and legally protected their interfaces from competitors.

I’m not saying Azure isn’t the best product. I don’t know. I just like Microsoft better when they play nicely. They do sometimes but then they fall back to old habits so I can’t trust them, until it’s easier just to have nothing to do with them. They have to decide whether to be an IBM mainframe with MVS or an RS/6000 with AIX.


(Jon) #5

That’s a really interesting point. It makes me think that design decisions are sometimes made for semi-justifiable emotional reasons rather than exclusively technical ones. I’d add that this is not necessarily wrong - the likes of Microsoft will certainly have lost a lot of potential followers of their tech who will never be sure if their (ahem, alleged) anti-competitive practices have come to an end.

I mean, I enjoy software engineering, and I’d learn .net or Azure if it was the only way I could put food on the table with my tech skills. But I wonder if I feel like I am acquiescing to a corporate bully if I go in that direction, even if they’re now spotless. Oddly, I think exactly the same about Google, and they used to be regarded as a cheeky young upstart.


(Andy Wootton) #6

As Microsoft were the cheeky young upstarts when they outmanoeuvred IBM to sell MS-DOS to their competitors and slash PC prices for customers, while killing the Unix workstation market in the process.

I’ve also worked in enough large companies to know a company doesn’t have an opinion. There will be competing internal factions, fighting to shape the company in their own image. There will be Open idealists trying to change the company and wizened old market executives whispering in accountants’ ears that they could double profits within 3 months and it’s what Bill would do.


(Dave Evans) #7

I just spent 2 days at Microsoft’s Future Decoded conference down in London. We live in interesting times.

Fascinating to see what has changed dramatically and what is the same as always…


(Jon) #8

Which category would this sort of thing fall under? :rofl:


(Andy Wootton) #9

Isn’t that a sad little boy, desperately trying to cling to the top of the tree to show how big he is?

I like Bill Gates a lot more since he realised he had enough money and there were better ways to prove that than how many toys you have.


(Dave Evans) #10

Had a long discussion about his after HydraHack last night with @sil - I think the consensus was that that the attitude at the top of microsoft has changed dramatically for the better. The people doing the work are sensible and have the right intentions as they pretty much always have been. But in the middle there is still a “big wall of blancmange” that hasn’t changed.