John Montgomery has a post entitled I’m Missing Something Here where he expresses similar sentiments to those expressed by Charles Fitzgerald in the C|Net article Will AJAX help Google Clean Up? on the increased hype around using DHTML and server callbacks (aka AJAX) for building web sites. Both senior Microsoft developer evangelists seemed to be saying "AJAX sucks, use .NET instead". Specifically

John Montgomery: "I’m not sure if AJAX is an amazing transformational technology, or simply the pinnacle of what you can do with Javascript. Nor am I sure that I wouldn’t have been better off writing a ClickOnce Windows Forms app for most of what I was doing."

Charles Fitzgerald: "It's a little depressing that developers are just now wrapping their heads around these things we shipped in the late 20th century. But XAML is in a whole other class. This other stuff is very kludgy, very hard to debug. We've seen some pretty impressive hacks, but if you look at what XAML starts to solve, it's a major, major step up."

The words attributed to Charles Fitzgerald are taken from a news article so they shouldn't be taken as verbatim statements though I assume that C|Net captured his sentiments accurately.

What the Microsoft evangelists are forgetting is that the Web is about reach. AJAX is about attempting to build rich internet applications while preserving the reach and zero deployment costs of the Web. It smacks of completely not understanding the problem space to suggest that sites like or should be using Winforms or XAML/Avalon instead of exploring AJAX.

I suspect it is a weird sort of tunnel vision. Spending so much time talking to developers building intranet applications makes some people believe that this is the same as web development. It isn't.