Microsoft’s demonstration of Windows 8, the next-generation operating system, at the D9 conference has put the third party Microsoft Windows developers in uncertainty about the development platform.

At D9, Microsoft showed that a new web standard-based development platform may be deployed with a touch-centric user interface which is an evolved version of what is on Windows Phone 7. The company did not make a mention of either Silverlight or .NET, though Silverlight is used as the development platform in Windows Phone 7.

The Silverlight and .Net developers are afraid the Microsoft team may regard their skills as legacy technology.

“My biggest fear coming into Windows 8 was that, as a mostly WPF+.NET developer, was that they would shift everything to Silverlight and leave the FULL platform (can you write a Visual Studio in Silverlight? Of course not, not designed for that) in the dust. To my utter shock, they did something much, much, much worse,” a developer told tech analyst Tim Anderson.

While Microsoft officials have stated that the new Windows would also support applications written for older icon-driven versions of Windows, some developers have wondered if their desktop applications will still get the same support from Microsoft in the years to come.

Al Hilwa, an analyst with IDC, said, I think developers are justified in feeling that there needs to be more clear strategic guidance on this.

At best I can tell, .Net continues to be a strategic approach to build apps, but clearly for Windows 8, they are also building on HTML5, he told PC World.