Jul 17

Microsoft Popfly is a set of online visual tools for novice programmers and end-users to build Web pages, applications and games.  This was Microsoft’s attempt to bring programming to the masses, similar to Hypercard on the Macintosh, or the original Visual Basic on Windows before it became a real (complicated) object-oriented language under .NET.

But this fly lived for only two years.  Microsoft has just announced that on August 24, 2009, the Popfly service will be discontinued and all sites, references, and resources will be taken down.  At that time, access to your Popfly account, including any games and mashups that you have created, will be discontinued.

However, Microsoft says it is “still very much dedicated to helping you express your creativity and pursuing a path to software development” and thus offers you some alternatives.  If you’re interested in refining your skills in Web applications, visit Microsoft Web Platform Installer.  For those interested in programming on the Xbox, then visit Microsoft XNA or Microsoft Kodu.  And for those who are interested in Windows programming, visit Microsoft Express.

Unfortunately, any investment you have made in the Microsoft Popfly development platform has been a waste of time.  The lesson here is that proprietary development environments are a risky bet, even when backed by a major company such as Microsoft.

Popfly Website

P.S. – Speaking of flies, did you see Ninja President Obama kill a fly during a national TV interview?

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Article published on July 17, 2009

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