Will Microsoft Get Into Intentional Programming? - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Applications
Commentary
7/26/2007
12:10 PM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Will Microsoft Get Into Intentional Programming?

At Microsoft's annual Financial Analyst Meeting this morning, chairman Bill Gates said he wants to "make programming easy for information workers and professionals." It's possible Gates is talking about intentional programming, a method that allows subject matter experts like insurance adjusters or doctors to describe what they want programs to do as part of the development process.

At Microsoft's annual Financial Analyst Meeting this morning, chairman Bill Gates said he wants to "make programming easy for information workers and professionals." It's possible Gates is talking about intentional programming, a method that allows subject matter experts like insurance adjusters or doctors to describe what they want programs to do as part of the development process."The vision of a broad community of developers was very key to all of our platform work," Gates said in his kick-off. "We have been raising this semantic level with things like LINQ. We can go to levels even beyond that." LINQ is a new, easier way to refer to data in a database. He said that part of the Office, SharePoint and Windows platforms going forward will be to let people write simpler applications.

Clearly, this is some hazy talking, with few details. There's always been a goal to let the everyman write applications, and we are starting to see that realization in small ways with things like PopFly and other Web mash-up tools. Still, Gates' comments sounded eerily familiar. Earlier this week, I spoke with space tourist and former Microsoft exec Charles Simonyi about what he's been up to, including his company Intentional Software, which he left Microsoft to found.

Here's how Simonyi described intentional programming: "The traditional model is oriented toward the computer. You are describing a program that will run on a computer, but what's missing is what the problem is. In intentional programming, you focus on what the problem is, not necessarily oriented toward the computer. It involves the subject matter experts, be it an insurance plan offering or a very complex aerospace system. When you have a description of the problem, through a generative approach, you connect that problem system with generative software."

Sounds a lot like what Gates was talking about, doesn't it? Simonyi's Intentional Software is still a very young company, and intentional programming is a very young model. But one of the reasons Simonyi left Microsoft is because he didn't think he could try the ideas of intentional programming out from within Microsoft. As the company and idea grows in status, he just might. This could easily be a long-term path for Microsoft.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll