The Microsoft .NET Framework is about ten years old (at least using a bit of rounding and working from the date it was first announced), and so as we approach the end of this decade, one expert chose to consider whether it’s lived up to Microsoft’s expectations. The answer mostly seems to be “a mixed bag.”
Tim Anderson noted yesterday, “If the goal of .NET was to see off Java, it was at least partially successful. . . . [E]nterprise Java became mired in complexity, making .NET an easy sell as a more productive alternative. C# has steadily grown in popularity, and is now the first choice for most Windows development. ASP.NET has been a popular business web framework. The common language runtime has proved robust and flexible.”
But at the same time, “The ‘building block services’ idea fell flat on its face . . . at PDC in 2001 where Microsoft pushed its HailStorm idea the company was unable to sell the idea of itself as a universal service provider. Two years later, at the PDC 2003 where it announced the ‘Three Pillars of Longhorn’ Microsoft attempted to deliver a version of Windows with a .NET user interface, and that too failed and had to be hurriedly replaced with what became Windows Vista.”
So, moving forward, developers may not want to bet the figurative farm on .NET. It hasn’t had enough wins – or even been adopted to a significant degree by Microsoft itself – to be guaranteed a place in the spotlight for the next decade.