Monday, May 20, 2013

Where are we Headed with .NET? It's Anyone's Guess

Now here is an interesting piece of information that over the years I have not been up on or too familiar with: 'Future Predictions of .NET and the Microsoft Stack'. The main reasons for this are many: new to development, not a part of the insiders industry, didn't understand why this important, etc..

Most of us have the tools we or our employer has set forth in front of us and just blindly use them. C# + Windows Forms, ASP.NET MVC + C#, VB.NET + WebForms, etc. It's just some combination that someone years before we got on the project decided, and one punches in daily and continues to use them. My interest being completely invested in this .NET community is to at least listen to the 'road map' of our tool set, even if the 'road map' is somewhat unofficial. My recommendation is to come out of the .NET cave and be aware of some of this too.

You might wonder, "why is this important to me?" Well that I can at least answer. You don't want to be the next guy/gal that is pleading to use the next 'Silverlight' for your mega company only to find it abandoned a few years later. None of us could have really know this (about the demise of Silverlight) a few years ago, but those of us that saw the writing on the wall early on and were not in the camp 'crossing our fingers and holding our breath' waiting for Silverlight 6, were ahead of the game. Being a little knowledgeable about this information can be helpful.

In the last year or so and especially with the advent of Windows 8 and WinRT, I've seen a LOT of buzz around "What's Microsoft doing?", "What's the future of .NET?", "What is the future of technology 'X' that our company has invested in so greatly?"

I can speak somewhat intelligently on the actual use of certain technologies and my thought on how viable they are today and in the future, but this information is based on my experience and purely speculative. I have no real ties into anyone 'in the know' at Microsoft. My information comes in the form of blog posts by the well known in our community (not being paid to promote so they can be more truthful) and in the form of conferences, events, magazine and online articles too. Therefore I find this information filling a void in some of my current knowledge.

It also seems to be more of a topic of interest in the last several weeks with a few articles on this very subject. At DotNetConf there was a session that Scott Hanselman hosted about .NET Open Source and it appeared there was a lot of unhappy folks in this community. I can't gauge well the sentiment as I am not a huge OS community contributor and therefore don't have much in the way of an opinion, but there are plenty that do.

I'm trying to immerse myself into this line of knowledge and discussion that has been going on and have a few interesting links to provide that are worth reading. From pissed off Silverlight and XNA developers, to talk of .NET being obsolete, I can't help but perk up my ears. So to let those that know better than I provide insight, please check out the following information on this topic:

A perspective: developers vs Microsoft

Where Is .NET Headed?

BUILD 2013, Windows 8.1, and Microsoft's Deep-Tech Team: Hopeful News for Devs

dotNetConf - .NET Open Source Panel

The Microsoft Transition and How It Will Affect You

Like the rest reading this, I'm curious to hear the word at the Build conference this year. Let's see...

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