Years ago, before Mozilla took off and developed XUL, and XML was still new and began generating a lot of buzz, there was some question about the ultimate platform that we’d end up on, and XML was the foundation of it all. Everyone thought so at the time. I was involved in a project called XPL – XML Programming Language, the intention of which was to provide a base dialect for languages and a runtime – a Common Language Runtime. When the CLR was announce, and IL came out and I saw Visual Basic.NET and C# and JScript.Net I figured this would be what Microsoft would do -> Silverlight.
Not that I knew how they’d go about doing it, but I wrote an email to my cousin years ago saying Microsoft would dominate the browser again via XML as the interface language, instead of HTML, but by leveraging a dialect that they can create that merges the Windows Desktop with the Web. XAML.
There is little doubt in many people’s minds, I am sure, that Microsoft planned this long ago, but lest the Mozilla/Firefox/XUL guys come claiming to have thought of it first: you didn’t. You just did it first. Microsoft has been planning this since XML and the CLR were coined I think, and JScript.NET is the first case in point.