Windows 8 and the Future of .NET

Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system is definitely going to include more support for HTML and JavaScript. Official press releases coming out of Microsoft regarding Windows 8 development include little mention of the role .NET technologies will play in the future of the operating system and, by extension, Microsoft itself. It feels like .NET might be under threat of slipping into irrelevance. Some may believe this as fact, but that outcome is definitely not a predetermined foregone conclusion. Microsoft’s decision to include more integration and support for HTML and JavaScript is not the same as ignoring .NET developers and the skills they’ve acquired and put to use working to develop efficient software solutions for businesses.

Microsoft will keep .NET developers relevant thanks to their long-term investment in the cloud computing platform, Azure. The Microsoft cloud computing service is deeply integrated with .NET technologies so developers should remain in demand as Microsoft steers more and more resources towards virtualization and mobile computing. Azure and .NET is the way Microsoft will answer the question of providing mobile solutions for businesses and consumers.

Microsoft will have some obstacles to overcome if they want to maintain the momentum already acquired by .NET and the dedicated developers building apps to satisfy a wide variety of business needs. Windows Azure has a lot of serious competition in the cloud computing field from industry giant Amazon. Amazon has a head start on Microsoft but they are hoping to make up ground quickly. Microsoft and .NET developers still have an advantage which can be found in powerful integration tools like Visual Studio. But Microsoft has seen much of their significance in mobile devices and web development dissolve into Apple’s already sizeable share of the mobile computing market.

Windows 8 will help move Microsoft from the bottom of the pack to a spot where they can once again compete for industry influence in the mobile world. Java and HTML will play a larger and larger role in the development of mobile apps and mobile devices which are moving toward touch-based user interfaces, but .NET will remain an important role as the framework on which the cloud computing service for those same apps and devices will run.

The uproar over Microsoft’s failure to include .NET technologies in the future of Windows 8 has revealed an appreciation for the platform that had been largely understated prior to the release of Windows 8. With the role of .NET being reduced and rumors swirling regarding its future, just remember that .NET only becomes less relevant if it doesn’t adapt. Microsoft has added functionality between HTML/JAVA and.NET, but .NET isn’t going anywhere.