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.Net-> Why .Net?

Why .NET?
I will propose why developers like yourself should care about .NET, even if you are not planning to move to .NET. There certainly is a lot of marketing goo oozing around about .NET, but let's skip the goo and talk about the technical aspects. Specifically, I will discuss why .NET is important to developers.
Why not Java?
This article is not a tirade or attack on Java. In general, this article is targeted at Win32 developers and not Java developers. But the question still arises, Why .NET instead of Java? I will only summarize my view on this in this article. In another future article, I shall compare .NET and Java and prognosticate on the future.
Java is an established platform with its own merits. This article merely states my reasons why I think .NET is important. I have only referenced the Java platform when a contrast or specific difference existed that I felt was of particular importance.
.NET is superior to Java as a platform in many areas, while Java is superior in others. The key difference though is that .NET will close the gap in the future with little need for change, while Java cannot close the gaps without a major redesign into something quite different than it is now.
Some advantages that .NET has over Java are:
  • Java is not just a platform, but a language. .NET is language independent. Adopting .NET does not force you to adopt a single, or even specific language. .NET can even support the Java language, and J# is very close to Java.
  • Language interoperability.
  • .NET can coexist with and even integrate with existing Win32 code.
  • Moving to Java from Win32 is a complete paradigm shift. Moving to .NET is a more natural path for Win32 developers.
Reasons for .NET
"It's big, and it's Microsoft.". If I had a Euro for every time I heard that.... While this may be true, it's not a valid reason to move to .NET. You can paint the word Microsoft on a big jet. That does not mean people will eagerly sign up for a flight. In fact, you should be skeptical about .NET, but let's examine some tangible reasons why .NET is important to you.
Though while not a technical reason, this is still a reason to learn .NET. Microsoft is spending a lot of money on marketing .NET, and wooing companies to move to it. Many managers responsible for such decisions are not very technical, but do trust Microsoft. They will move to .NET purely on the basis that Microsoft tells them it is the only future, and when they see their competitors move to .NET.
When companies move, they of course need developers. Learning .NET now assures your future as an employable developer, and gives you a head start and more experience than other developers who wait to learn it at the last minute.