Tuesday, August 23, 2011

.Net - 10th Anniversary

It was in June, 2000 that Bill Gates proclaimed the dawn of the new Internet and, with it, the
announcement of one platform to rule them all - .Net. Ten years later
Ten years ago, Microsoft
announced its vision for a unified programming environment to support next-generation applications. 
Finally releasing the framework 2.5 years later in .Net 1.1, Microsoft started down a road that (for
better or worse) changed the Windows development paradigm to allow multiple flavors of languages,
but one "engine" at runtime.  

With their announcement of Microsoft .Net 4, this article takes a look back at the road that
got us here.

"What is .NET?" Ballmer said. ".NET represents a set, an environment, a programming infrastructure
that supports the next generation of the Internet as a platform. ... It is also, though, and Bill [Gates]
made the analogy, I think, with Windows here pretty well for its day, .NET is also a user environment,
a set of fundamental user services that live on the client, in the server, in the cloud, that are consistent
with and build off that programming model. So, it's both a user experience and a set of developer
experiences, that's the conceptual description of what is .NET."

It's interesting that we are listening about the word "cloud", all the way back in 2000 before cloud
computing was a commonly discussed set of technologies. But in the decade since then, it was really
Google and Amazon that became the poster child vendors for the evolution of the Internet and cloud
computing services for businesses and developers.

Microsoft's cloud vision, and .NET in particular, relies on Windows, of course, whereas much of the rest
of the cloud computing world is based on open source technologies such as Linux and Xen virtualization.

.NET's first release occurred on Feb. 13, 2002, a year and a half after it was announced, and the latest
version - .NET Framework 4 - was released just two months ago.

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