Papa's Got a Brand New Mag

You'll probably notice a different face at the top of this column. It's no longer Mike Desmond's handsome mug, but my far inferior one. Mike did an amazing job with VSM, and I'll do my best to pick up where he left off. I look forward to getting to know you; interactions with readers have always been one of the best parts of my job, and your feedback -- both positive and negative -- can only help the magazine get better.

Mine isn't the only new face you'll find in these pages this month. I'm giddy to introduce our new columnist, John Papa. He'll be familiar to many of you, especially developers who write Web-based applications. Papa is a senior technical evangelist for Microsoft (the title "Evangelist" never ceases to tickle me), the author of 10 books and 70-plus articles (many for MSDN Magazine, for which he wrote the Data Points column a few years back), and a go-to guy for XML, Silverlight, Windows Presentation Foundation, C#, .NET, SQL Server, HTML5 and more. Basically, if it's Internet or mobile, Papa has it covered.

His arrival couldn't have come at a more crucial time. The Microsoft BUILD conference is this month, and it could be historically important. Rarely has the Redmond gang been faced with the kind of challenges presented by smartphones, tablets, mobile apps and the "post-PC era" that Steve Jobs recently predicted was on its way (I think Jobs is wrong, but he still carries the biggest bullhorn in the business).

Still, Microsoft needs to answer the questions its developers have -- questions like "What's happening to Silverlight?"; "Is HTML5/JavaScript/XAML really the future?"; "What exactly is 'Windows 8,' and how do I prepare for it?" How Microsoft answers these inquiries will help shape its future.

What do you think the future holds for you and your dev environment? Tell me at

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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