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DesktopWeb FormText   direction change (again)Fri, 05 May 2006 16:29:58 GMT # 

been full bore on MCE for more than a year now. well ... it's time to change things up. at least my confidence is high enough for developing on that platform to walk away for a bit. but what is next?

the plan, from over a year ago, is that i would be moving into telematics right now. the problem with moving into this space is the initial hardware hurdle. not to mention my car isn't in great shape right now. so i'm in a holding pattern. i'm watching hybrid cars, not so much for gas savings, but for super quiet cabs to handle speech recognition. also wanting solid state storage to improve. Origami devices look compelling in this space too, but i might wait for v2. plus SAPI 5.3 with Vista needs to at least make it to Beta 2. [related] somebody please tell me that that the WinFX SDK is not being help up by the Vista delays! at least all the pillars have made it to go live ... but are they going to stay there for 7+ months?

another (unexpected) idea was to move into game development. kind of came to this from 2 directions : looking at Direct3D for advanced visualization for applications (e.g. WorldWind) and from reading about AI (which is a perfect fit for games). this would be fun, but i'm not excited about the little i've heard about the game industry. sounds like longer hours and lower wages ... yuck. that still leaves casual games, but i totally lack the artistic ability and would suck at game design in general too. my current stance is to only consider experimenting with developing non-standard games (e.g. /cameraFlow). this is also in a holding pattern until the XBox 360 can run managed code ... and i get the keys to develop for it

also considered past tech concentrations. 1) i started out on the web during the bubble. no kidding, i actually used to like the web. but i see Web 2.0 as a bunch of piecemail crap. can't imagine that developers are really liking that space, other than for the money being there. so this is on hold until the Semantic Web, or the current web standards get a proper redesign. 2) web services are following the same path as the visual web. POX has the advantage of being simple, but is seriously lacking for advanced scenarios. and the advanced stuff is the only bits i find interesting. my main disappoint with web services is that UDDI and standard schemas never caught hold. guess that i'm waiting for that to revive, or semantic web services. long live hailstorm! 3) the Tablet PC has become a highly valuable development tool. i use it all the time, but am not compelled to develop new apps for it. the SDK just hasn't offered up anything new for a while. the form factor for Origami gets me excited again, but the v1 devices have brought me down. also waiting for Vista to bring new full sized slates to the market. 4) Compact Framework v2 has added some nice functionality, but not enough for me to dive back in. i am keeping a look out for the Micro Framework (SPOT). the slow adoption of high speed networks are also holding me back a bit ... but its getting better. 5) location. is there ever going to be a new location server? and i'd like to see VirtualEarth provide an API to support non-web apps (e.g. /veWorldWind). 6) Speech has the momentum right now. a new Speech Server beta is in the works and SAPI 5.3 is coming with Vista. both of those have me excited. does Vista still have a natural language processing namespace? but i still need MS to outline its plans for multimodal with IE7 and mobile devices. MS also needs to get a programmable version of SAPI to WindowsMobile devices. 7) AI. i definitely want to revisit using AI for application development. talk about a rabbit hole. would love for MS research to start providing some low level building blocks. e.g. get us a managed wrapper over OpenCV, or how about a generic neural network / genetic algorithm class library.

also techs i've never concentrated on. 1) Biztalk. there is a local user group starting up, so i'll at least take a look at it. 2) SqlServer. of course i've used databases before, even designed some simple ones ... but i just know the basics. storing and retrieving data is just so boring to me. i know there is money here, but if i made this jump it would probably suck the joy of programming right out of me. 3) Grid computing. this would be fun, but collecting the amount of hardware to do something interesting doesn't fit a minamilist lifestyle. 4) RFID. isn't MS working on an RFID platform? thought this was supposed to go to beta last thanksgiving ... i want to hear more about this. and i want a dev kit.

... what am i missing? what other technologies / platforms / verticals should i be considering?

so that was my thought process. i definitely see Speech apps starting to consume more of my spare time. but i haven't committed to it yet. because there is another (unmentioned) late entry which i'm going to try and kick around too. accidentally picked up a # its prerequisites from previous projects. anyway, it's got me excited too. plus it'll be a challenge. right now i'm in the process of collecting learning material, seeing what has already been done, and seeing where i can put a foot in. at least i 'think' i can already recreate some of the existing (intro) stuff