Microsoft has once again managed to deliver a powerful computing platform and at the same time confuse the shit out of the market. This is typical Microsoft. It is also partly just the nature of the beast. I will leave the technical details of .NET to one of the many excellent tomes available in the marketplace. Besides, describing .NET is not nearly as important as recognizing that if you live in the Microsoft universe then this is incredibly important technology. Learn it. Use it. Or risk being left behind.
.NET is Microsoft’s competitive response to Java and J2EE. Microsoft has once again bet the farm. Microsoft’s competitive response to Java and J2EE is bold. It is so bold that they weighed the consequences of pissing off a large number of their customers and decided to move forward anyway. They had no choice! Microsoft’s COM based technology was long in the tooth. They rode this horse just about as far as it could go. Competing against Java and J2EE with COM was bound to be a losing proposition. Java and J2EE had too much momentum for Microsoft to be able to hold back the market with a quasi broken infrastructure offering. Their only hope was to invent their way out.
So what did they do? They decided that if you can’t beat ‘em, out innovate ‘em. C# and .NET are as good, if not better, than Java and J2EE. Love Bill or hate Bill .NET is nothing short of a brilliant response! Microsoft has once again leveled the playing field. That said (as mentioned previously) there are no winner takes all scenarios this time. Both offerings will continue to be viable for the foreseeable future and beyond.