Since we released the first version of our Windows Forms UI controls we've received quite a lot of questions about our plans for WPF. Basically the questions revolve around the following:
- Is Telerik going to offer products for WPF?
- When will they be public?
- What controls will be included?
Most of you probably know the answer to the first question and is an unequivocal “Yes”! Even though there are some misconceptions that WPF is good only for displaying cool things on the sides of a rotating cube, we believe that even in its current form it offers a lot to build upon. WPF is a great platform and as being such it inevitably brings great value both for developers and end users. Developers can now concentrate on the business logic of the application while designers can unleash their imagination and create very appealing UIs with Expression Blend. On the other side the end users can enjoy a whole new experience which is very hard to bring with the traditional WinForms instruments. Even though our Windows Forms UI controls offer many unique features that you can find in WPF, they have to deal with the limitations of GDI+ and you cannot enjoy the same interactivity. With so many potential benefits for both our customers and end-users we just can't miss the opportunity to get creative and add a WPF product line to our portfolio.
The second important question is "When we shall release the first version of these controls?". Without being too secretive, the best answer I can give at this point is: this year. I know that this information is not enough but there're few steps which we have to make before we commit ourselves to a more precise roadmap for the WPF controls. Writing software is never the hard part if you have a passion for it. The difficult part comes when you have to update it and support it and that is why we are approaching WPF very carefully. For us, and for other vendors, WPF represents our big bet for years to come. Unlike others, we are more cautious to start development as we are still not comfortable to architect our next generation products on a platform that may change in its next releases just as Atlas changed with every release until it morphed into the official release of ASP.NET AJAX. Apart from our concern not to roll out something that might turn out to be bad legacy in the future, our second major point is that we want to ensure that all of our new developments do not affect adversely any of our existing customers.
Our goal for 2007 is to release a CTP, then collect some feedback and then make the necessary changes based on feedback. We'll also need to conform with each beta release of VS Orcas and Expression Blend. Even if we have some firm plans about what and when we're going to release, everything we release will be labeled as Beta until both Visual Studio Orcas and Expression Blend ship out.
As for the last good question "What controls we'll include in our WPF suite?" I would have to once again give ambiguous information: You'd better wait for the first CTP. We've always been listening carefully to our customers' requests and feedback and we'll continue to work the same way. What we’ve learned is that one of the worst things you can do is to overpromise and underdeliver and unfortunately this happens quite often when you venture into a new territory.
To recap, we are already working on WPF and you can have assurance that Telerik will come up with a compelling WPF offering in the near future and you will be able to once again rely on Telerik for interface development. If you would like to see a specific control in the first CTP of the WPF controls don't hesitate to contact us. We will be very happy to involve your input from the very early stage of development. Share your specific needs for WPF controls and we will do our best to deliver them.