Exciting Times for .NET

Exciting Times for .NET

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buildphotoLast week I had the pleasure of speaking at //build/ which is the premiere developer event of the year for Microsoft. As I mentioned in the rollup yesterday, yours truly spoke in the Office & SharePoint developer track. According to the tweets and feedback afterwards, my session went really well. You can watch it here: Developing Office 365 Cloud Business Apps.

Although the Office team did have presence at //build/, it was definitely dominated by Windows, Azure and .NET. As a long-time .NET developer, it was an amazing and electric vibe! As an employee, it was far better than any morale event I’ve ever been to. It was awesome seeing all the positive reactions to our announcements. There was a lot of love given to us .NET developers, and at the same time cross-platform development permeated the hallways.

The larger team that I work for in Visual Studio is responsible for a ton of Visual Studio tools (as you probably know from my posts here), but our team is also responsible for the core .NET framework, CLR, and Managed Languages (VB, C#, F#) among a lot of other things. Boy! Did .NET and languages make a big splash at //build/.

WP_20140403_002The second day keynote featured the legendary Anders Hejlsberg where he published “Roslyn” (the .NET Compiler Platform) onto CodePlex live and announced the open sourcing of the project. The applause was deafening in the overflow room I was standing in. (Yes there were many overflowed overflow rooms.)

This highlights the change of attitude across all our teams to really embrace open source and cross-platform development in the “New Microsoft”.

As a Visual Studio user, you can install a preview into VS2013 that will switch you to the Roslyn compiler to get the new language features as well as IDE enhancements that Dustin and Mads showed off at their (overflowed) session. Also check out these related Channel 9 interviews.

I also encourage you to read Matt’s post about how you can get started and really understand what you can do with Roslyn: Taking a tour of Roslyn.

imageThat’s not all for .NET by a long shot.

Did you know that there are 1.8 billion active installs of .NET and 6 million .NET developers in the world? Yep, we’re committed to it.

Soma posted about The .NET Foundation and .NET Platform Innovation that we are building upon. The .NET foundation is the steward of a growing collection of open source technologies for .NET, maintained by MS Open Tech, who are our partners in this endeavor. Besides the Roslyn project, .NET foundation includes many active .NET projects that we will be contributing to with the community. This includes a big partnership with Xamarin for building cross-platform native mobile apps.

Another big announcement for .NET was the .NET Native Preview, which offers you the performance of C++ with the productivity of C#. The preview release enables you to build Windows Store apps which start up to 60% faster and have a much smaller memory footprint. We will continue to expand native compilation for the range of .NET applications in the future. Read all about it on the .NET Team blog: Announcing .NET Native Preview

Also released as part of the next generation of .NET was another preview of RyuJIT (CTP3), an improved JIT compiler, now with SIMD support. If that sentence doesn’t make sense, read Immo’s post where he explains it all extremely well, even to us mortals: The JIT finally proposed. JIT and SIMD are getting married.

Jay & Habib both had some good sessions and Channel9 interviews with other members of the team on our .NET innovations that you should also check out.

But wait there’s more! So… much… more…

Here’s some more awesome things for .NET developers to bite into. 

Of course there is so much more to explore. Check out Channel 9 for all the //build/ content.

You asked for it, you got it. .NET Native, Open, and Cross-platform.

Of course there are a lot of other amazing parts of the Visual Studio team – and we have a ton of amazing partners doing amazing things all across the company. I am very proud to work for this amazing place. (Yes I know I said amazing four times.) Check out the Visual Studio team blog, & Brian Harry’s blog for more Visual Studio goodies.

I have to be honest, the weeks leading up to //build/ had many of us running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to organize all of the release timings with the sessions and keynotes, marketing and PR, web site & blogs publishing, etc. We had so many fabulous releases though and it was amazing to see it all come together. It was definitely worth all the hard work and I couldn’t be more proud of what the team has accomplished.

It’s an absolutely exciting time to be a .NET developer.


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  • Visual Studio Magazine's review reported that some MS presenters even uttered the 'S' word (SilverLight) *gasp*.

  • No doubt about this. .NET till rocks on development world! ;)

  • More positive comments: I watched //BUILD/ live and was absolutely surprised by both SIMD and .NET Native (the latter was pure gravy). I work on graphics applications written for .NET, so stuff like SIMD has been on my radar for some time. I'm absolutely excited :)

  • Well it is petty nothing about why you killed Silverlight


  • Gotta ask, what about vb? Is it time to transition to c# ?

  • Hi Fredrik,

    The Future of C# session also included VB and so does the Roslyn OSS project. I encourage you to check them out.

    Session: channel9.msdn.com/.../2-577

    Project: http://roslyn.codeplex.com/



  • Hi Beth. I have an old question for you. I am trying to insert a few comboboxes within a datarepeater that would serve as drop-down "list of values" for users to pick from. When multiple records appear within multiple datarepeater item templates on the same form from a databound MS-Access database, the comboboxes all have the first record information. Question is whether comboboxes work well within datarepeater? If so, am I missing something? I realize this is a very old topic and you probably have moved way beyond this topic but you seem to be the only person, nationally, or perhaps in the world, that actually could respond to my inquiry. Much Thanks!

  • @Donavan - I haven't looked at the data repeater in years, but IIRC comboboxes are not supported in them. You probably want to ask your question in the Winforms forum. I believe folks in there have answered datarepeater questions there: social.msdn.microsoft.com/.../home

  • Thank You! Beth for responding to an age old question. I am happy for you that you have moved beyond the days of working with datarepeaters, comboboxes, and such. It can be frustrating when you are looking for assistance with program issues. I accessed the MSDN social blog site and queried datarepeater/comboboxes issues. This rendered 11,500+ comments of which the first several pages didn't address the two object at the same time. That's a lot of fishing around for answers to programming issues. Your earlier articles were well thought out and beneficial, even to this day. Much gratitude to you. Hope your A's are off to a good start this year.

  • @Poppy_Oliver -  A's are doing great so far! Thanks for the comment :-)

  • Beth, to finish my dilemma with DataRepeaters and ComboBoxes, after noble attempts to try to make them work together, I decided to abandon ComboBoxes and used right-mouse click pop-up menus as a source of assistance for users. Perhaps not as eloquent but works. My Detroit Tigers are doing ok w/ a new manager and w/o Prince Fielder. Wasn't it the Tigers that knocked the A's out of the playoffs the last two years? Sorry about that  :)

  • It is impressive to see that in the May 2014 Tiobe index of programming popularity VB6 has overtaken C# to become the fifth most popular programming language.

    C# has fallen to 6th.

    VB.Net is 11th.

    That makes VB6 Microsoft's most popular programming language.


  • The vote for an updated VB6 programming language on the Microsoft VisualStudio UserVoice site has reached 7000.


    VB6 - Microsoft's most popular programming language (Tiobe index, May 2014)

  • How can use these new features in VS2013 when VS2015 publishes? Will you be able to send another Update package for that? Or detailled info to tell us how to apply them on VS2013?

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