Mike goes to FOWA (Part 1)

#define FOWA “Future of Web Apps”

One of those “early starts” for me today as it’s time to get up at 4.15 to head off down to London for “Future of Web Apps“. I needed to be in Docklands by about 9am and it turns out that I could get a train ticket which was going to cost a minimum of £230 for 2nd class or I could fly which was going to cost half the price and get there a lot quicker.

Aside: Someone needs to sort out train pricing – it’s gone nuts. What is “Virgin Business Class” and what can it possibly provide that makes a 1st class return ticket to London cost £376 ? For US folks, that’s about $750 to do a 360 mile round trip and, trust me, 1st class isn’t quite what it sounds like. These days “1st Class” means that you’re pretty much guaranteed to get to sit down and that you’ll have laptop power and perhaps a free tea.

I thought I might do a bit of reportage and write-up “Future of Web Apps” as I’ve never been to one before so it might be interesting to write up what it’s like.

I’m not there to speak. In fact, I suspect that we’re not on the agenda although I heard that we do have a “mini session” or two where Mike is going to talk about IE8, Silverlight or something like that.

I got a request to do one of these “mini sessions” that would suit the “Future of Web Apps” audience. I had a little think about this and decided that I’d go with a session called;

“The Future of Web Apps is Windows Presentation Foundation”

This went down (as you’d expect) like a lead balloon so I didn’t get asked to do my “mini session” 🙂

Now, to be fair, I knew that and just wanted to try and put on a topic that would drive out some reaction. I mean, if you’re going to put together or attend a conference called “Future of Web Apps” and do some future-gazing then you need to be willing to accept that the one thing that we can be certain of in “the future” is change and it’s unlikely that we’ll all be sitting at NetBooks in 10 years time running browsers. I hope not, anyway.

Even today, I see a bunch of web apps that are nothing to do with browsers but do connect into a fabric of web services. XBox 360 and XBox Live would be good examples as would be applications like iPhoto on the Mac.

So, I’m curious to see how much of FOWA is about these kinds of applications and how much of it takes a narrower view of the web as “Some presentation tier that involves a web browser”.

We’ll see. If I get to see any of the sessions then I’ll report back here. From a quick scan of the agenda I might try and attend some sessions;

“The Future of News”

“Languages Don’t Scale”

“The Future of Enterprise Web Apps”

“How the Future of Mobile is Going to Change Everything”

“Bringing Internet Television to the Masses”

That’s enough for Day 1 – I’ll “report back” if I manage to attend any of these. If you’re at FOWA ( and you’re reading this blog? ) pop by and say hello.