S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
It is amazing how time flies when you are having fun. The journey is more important than the destination and it has been a great journey so far. This month marked my first anniversary in the Developer Division at Microsoft. I want to take this opportunity to share my thoughts about our accomplishments during this past year and highlight the challenges and opportunities ahead of us.
Now is by far the most exciting period in the history of the Developer Division and I am glad to be a part of this. We are finishing up the work to deliver the best Visual Studio and .NET Framework ever, in 2005. The introduction of Express SKUs for beginning programmers and Visual Studio Team System at the enterprise level in Visual Studio 2005 is absolutely going to be fantastic in terms of solving real customer problems, enabling a broader base of our customers to use our tools and driving satisfaction in a significant way. Programming to the .NET Framework has realized phenomenal growth this past year, as Forrester and Gartner reported that .NET is winning in the enterprise and is being adopted by majority of developers. Developers targeting mobile devices are excited at the improved, high performance, integrated devices support in Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Compact Framework 2.0.
We took customer connection to a new level this year. In addition to the teams stepping up our engagement and interaction with the community, there were two key accomplishments:
We shipped Visual Studio 2005 Beta 1 (including Japanese version), Beta 1 refresh and a number of CTP releases.
2004 saw Gartner move the .NET Framework into their magic quadrant for enterprise application servers, recognizing the improvements that we've made in terms of enterprise scalability, security and reliability in .NET. Forrester confirmed our internal data that .NET is the preferred development framework for majority of the developers and signaled to the world - The .NET Framework is clearly enterprise ready.
It has also been a great year with our Visual Studio Industry Partner (VSIP) Program. The developer tools industry is flourishing around our products suite as a platform on which to grow their business. The momentum we had at TechEd (with CompuWare, Borland and Avicode demonstrating their VSTS integration) continues to be strong. Over the last 12 months the VSIP program has grown from 175 partners to 217. Recent signings have included eBay/PayPal, Oracle, Sybase and WebMethods.