Microsoft might be up to something that would really boost programmer productivity. What took them so long? I suppose the tools are maturing, I bet Open Source has been of tremendous help, programmer productivity tools are getting so much better.
Anyway, Microsoft appears to be incubating something that is long overdue: a tool that makes it possible to design and build web application coherently ignoring the front-end/back-end chams, then deal with component deployment on web tiers much later. The potential productivity gains are obvious, this could herald a small revolution on its own. With all manners of aspect orientation and dynamic scripting languages available, this is clearly the next logical evolutionary step.
At first, specialist front-end developers might look at this with suspicion, but the model is definitely sound. At some point the hype will kick in. Check it out: http://labs.live.com/volta