Gates Announces Visual Studio.NET
SAN FRANCISCO, FEB 13, 2002: In February 2000, Steve Ballmer, Microsoft's CEO, stood before the VSLIVE conference audience in San Francisco and said "developers matter to Microsoft."
Today Bill Gates, Microsoft's co-founder and Chief Software Architect, brought the big-dollar Microsoft marketing machine to VSLIVE once again to drive home that point by announcing the retail shipment of Visual Studio.NET and the .NET Framework, and a few developer's toolkits.
Oh, OK. He also brought a few of the stars in the Microsoft-centric world up on the San Francisco Marriott stage too. Grady Booch, for instance, was invited on stage at one point. Oh, and a couple of high-school kids that wowed the 1500 developers in attendance with an app they built for their school. Hey, isn't that how Bill Gates got his start?
Also announced was that Borland, IBM, Groove Networks, SAP, and Macromedia will be supporting the .NET platform.
Microsoft's job this morning was convince developers to dump Java and switch to .NET. Gates didn't hold back. During his keynote they held a live coder contest (a play on the Iron Chef TV show). Trooped out customers from Loreal to Merrill Lynch and announced benchmarks that show that .NET runs fast.
The main theme was that .NET lets you program better , easier, and faster. "[.NET] is a new approach to programming," Gates says. The high-school kids from Monte Vista High School in Danville drove home the point that Visual Studio.NET is easy to use.
During demos we saw how much easier Visual Studio.NET and associated .NET toolkits from Autodesk and other manufacturers was to use than older Visual Studios.
Reading weblogs over the past two days, I see that many people get the .NET confused. For instance, one of the common myths is that you need to build Passport into any .NET application. Not true.
It's easy to confuse what .NET is since Microsoft hasn't been clear at all times either. Today they were showing off the development platform (evidence: I didn't see Passport in any of the demos in the first hour).
Grady Booch was up on stage showing how .NET's inheritance works and how he could use a wizard to apply a design pattern to a new class he built up on stage. Again, the theme "with .NET you can write quality code fast."
Tim Huckaby, one of the competitors in the "Iron Developer" conference showed how he wrote a mobile-phone app in 50 lines of code in less than an hour.
Did Gates get the message home? One co-founder of a major .NET component vendor, who wanted to remain anonymous, told me after the keynote "the Merrill Lynch demo was interesting, but it isn't shipping yet. Give me a call when they have 75 million users and can tell me how it stood up to the challenge."