The move away from .Net could kill Microsoft

Developers are increasingly worried that software giant Microsoft is cooling on its .Net platform.

Redmond has been giving developers mixed messages on the .Net platform as  talk has been hotting up on Windows 8. Now it seems that Vole is not interested in .Net any more.

Microsoft appears dead keen on running HTML5 and JavaScript as its main application development tools for Windows 8 and this leaves .Net effectively high and dry.

Part of this move to HTML5 and JavaScript is the PR value. It is showing the world that Microsoft is on top of things and that it can still be cutting edge.

So far it has been writing off the fears of developers as being anti-progressive. Indications are that it believes those who do not follow its visions are dinosaurs who do not want to learn another skill set.

However, it does not appear to have thought where this technology will lead it. And it is a place where Vole really does not want to be.

By ignoring .Net,   Microsoft effectively will downplay the proprietary software which made it what it is.

Mike James over at Iprogrammer said that .Net was particularly clever. Before it existed, Windows was pants and used a rubbish API that only worked with C or C++. Using .Net brought Windows smack up to date. C# might have been pretty crude when it started, but now it is pretty sophisticated.

It also had room to move.

The .Net graphics system rewrote the Windows windowing mechanism using the DirectX 3D graphics engine. WPF was expected to replace the underlying Windows API to produce a new super-object oriented Windows. Now it is toast with WPF seen as soon to be scrapped technology.

But there is another reason why Microsoft is crazy on dumping .Net. There are a huge number of apps which run on it and a big base of skilled developers to write more.

However, there is little for HTML5/JavaScript app infrastructure – the technology is too new to have much sorted out for it. Windows 8 could come out and there will be little that can run on it. Given that Windows’ market dominance depends on the fact that most of the world’s software runs on it, this is suicide.

Microsoft seems to have learnt something from the fact that it could not get Silverlight the recognition it wanted. Vole wanted Silverlight to be Windows in a browser and James said that it was there. The only problem was that it was not platform independent and Flash was.

But this is where Microsoft is crazy. It never has been platform-independent and that is how it made money. If the whole HTML/JavaScript thing takes off then you can run any Windows software which runs a browser.

James says bluntly that if the future of Windows apps is HTML5/JavaScript then Windows has no future.