Sharing the Joy of Software/Delphi in the .NET world

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Is .NET causing the Big Sucking Sounds around Win32?

Jake has a good view of the current state of development and resources at Borland, third party component makers and IT in general. I do think that a lot of time and resources are being put into developing against .NET and older technologies are suffering. Now the effort may be OK for the long term but will this cause harm to current Win32 development? Maybe the following items are possible effects from all this: 1. The best of the best are transitioning to .NET. Not bad for the long term career but that leaves a big void for all the Win32 development still in progress and left to be done. 2. There is still not a lot of good knowledge of .NET in the developer community. I think it usually takes 3-5 years for the core of the development world to get up to speed with a new technology. I have seen it with XML and Win32 and seeing it now with .NET. So that means that most of the projects that are in progress or about to start (now that the economy is warming up again) are going to possibly take longer, go over budget and/or not be of the quality that the end users expect. There is also the effect on the still growing but unstable economy from using new technology but that is another essay. 3. The tools to develop Win32 software will gradually start lagging behind .NET tools for fixes. This will hurt productivity for a while but will be a good thing for long term. The big issue is that there is a huge difference in vision between the developers who make the tools and those that make the solutions. The tool makers are looking at what hopefully will be producing revenue 12-18 months down the road while the solution makers are trying to look from 6 to 12 months. 4. The .NET landscape is still moving. I know that ASP.NET will be safe going forward but the current WinForm .NET may change with Longhorn and current code will have to be changed or replaced with the future WinForm techniques. So all the current effort in .NET may not be valid at some time in the future. Good for developers and consultants but bad for the people who paid and are using the software. So in the end we are going through a very big transition from one platform to another. This happened when we all moved from Win311 to Win9X/NT and all went well. I am sure that there are smart people leading the .NET movement and also there are smart people that are going to build businesses to fill in the void that the market leaders are causing. I call this The Continual Churn. There is not enough money anymore in the old markets to keep pace with the high expectations for very large companies and Wall street have so they are moving to the new frontiers and have the cash reserves to migrate there. The old markets should be OK and smaller companies that can live on the smaller revenues will do just fine.


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