Believe it or not, my first programming language as a computer professional was Microsoft Visual Basic. I worked with version 4, then 5, then 6. That was around 1995 or so. Kind of dates my age a bit, but nonetheless, I thought it was a great programming language.
And back then, Java was starting to build in popularity. And if you compared VB to Java, you clearly saw the differences. Java was truly Object Oriented. It was a real programming language. And that's what I wanted to program in. Because it ran on any operating system, not just Windows.
And even back then, I wondered why Microsoft didn't port VB to other operating systems. Why didn't they have a Microsoft Virtual Machine similar to Java Virtual Machine? Because they were proprietary. And they had enough market share.
So you could create a procedure in VB, then convert it to a Function, then move all the functions to a Class, and bundle the Classes into a DLL, then put the DLL in Distributed DLL. And that could be called from a new web language called Microsoft ASP. I worked as an ASP developer for years, yet it wasn't Object Oriented.
Next was .net. An entirely new IDE, new languages and the thing was, they had a language called Visual Basic.net. Yet if you looked under the covers, the name was the same, and that was about it. Because now it was Object Oriented and Microsoft said you must now learn this or else, no choice here. Visual Basic was soon deprecated and they removed much of the knowledge base off the internet and there was no turning back. Yet .net was still proprietary.
And now, November 2014, Microsoft has finally succumb to opening up the .net languages to Open Source. And it will run on most operating systems. Because of the new CEO, the changes had to come to compete with up and coming languages. Or loose market share.
Was it a good choice? You betcha. I think it should have happened decades ago, better late than never tho. The Cloud is now the operating system, and Mobile is the new PC, and if you want to compete in the new era, you have to let the programmers use your development software, it's basic supply and demand. Give the languages to the masses, so they can host on your Azure platform and you clean up on all the paid services.
You see, Microsoft was late to the Reporting / Data world back in the mid 1990's when Seagate Crystal Reports was the only game in town.
Then they missed the boat on the Internet and had to play catchup.
Now Open Source is forcing .net to run on any platform as Open Source software.
I've worked as a Microsoft Developer for close to 20 years and I still believe they are as strong as ever. I wouldn't count them out just yet. They've got Windows, Office, .net, Azure, Gaming, HDInsight, Machine Learning, SQL Server, SharePoint, PowerBI, Office365, etc.
I'm just trying to keep up with all the changes, which never end. I see this latest change as a win. Better late than never.
Here's a prior post: Microsoft's Data Centric World View
One more: #Microsoft #MSBI Offerings Tough to Beat
Here's the article on the latest news...