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Empowering You wrote:
Empowering (can I call you Em for short?),
> Well, as I said, I'm here to learn. If you read my xml-dev response
> that talked about how I ended up deciding on .NET, you'll understand how
> I got here. I figure if I'm going to commit to .NET, I'll have less
> problems if I do things using Visual Studio.NET and technologies
> Microsoft supports, trying to choose the best ones they support and the
> most industry standard ones - like XML.
Indeed, if you choose to pursue your profession entirely within the
Microsoft sandbox, and it pays the bills, you're entirely within your
rights. It is however as I said unfortunate. A lot of the interesting
innovation happens outside that sandbox. In my experience virtually
every big interesting business app these days ends up having
cross-vendor and cross-architecture components; which is probably the
main reason that XML is getting traction; Microsoft's cheerleading,
while welcome, is really a sideshow.
The notion that "I'll have less trouble using ... technologies Microsoft
supports" is works locally but globally very unsound, monocultures and
monopolies are in the big picture bad for business. I actually think
.NET is pretty sound architecturally and has some clever things in it;
the two main problems that face it are:
- Microsoft hasn't figured out the business model - how does .NET
increase their market share in non-desktop market segments?
- Many potential customers who would benefit from things in .NET
suffer from a fear that using .NET will mean Microsoft lock-in and
they will end up stuck with enterprise software licensing costs
that work like the XP licensing terms. CFOs have pots of boiling
oil on the ready for anyone who commits them to any more technology
deals with that kind of cost structure.