Microsoft reaches out beyond .Net

Microsoft reaches out beyond .Net

Summary: The software giant has announced the .Net Framework Developer Center portal to help educate non-.Net developers in its technologies

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In order to support non-.Net developers working in mixed-platform environments, Microsoft has announced its .Net Framework Developer Center web portal.

Officially live since its soft launch in July, the site brings together existing content in a format designed to be accessible to software engineers with experience in non-Microsoft platforms, frameworks and languages, such as PHP, Java, JSP and ColdFusion. With few developers working in a single-platform environment throughout their entire career, Microsoft says the site will help boost interoperability throughout the industry.

The .Net Framework Developer Center features a five-step plan to help developers get a basic grounding in .Net, along with a selection of links to articles, books and tutorials, some of which are drawn from the Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) and some of which are independent. The .Net Framework itself, including Asp.Net web-development technology, is available free alongside the Express edition of Visual Studio.

Core to the ideology behind a resource of this kind, according to Microsoft, is the belief that many developers don't realise that the entire .Net Framework, and specific versions of the Visual Studio IDE and compilers, are free to download and use commercially.

At the same time, critics suggest that the resource has been designed to promote Microsoft technologies to an as-yet untapped audience.

"Building a greater understanding of .Net inherently boosts interoperability and allows developers to assess technology choices from a broader base. The focus isn't so much on 'winning over' developers to .Net, but rather adding a string to their bow, making sure that they're aware that .Net development can be free and helping to dispel myths and fears," said Ian Moulster, product manager for the .Net platform at Microsoft UK. "Of course, getting more people on the .Net platform is a good thing for us, but we recognise that, for many individuals, this will be an additional skill rather than a replacement."

At this early stage Microsoft is not soliciting direct feedback from users. But, over time, Microsoft says it will focus on building relationships with developers who request specific help and want to engage at a deeper level. 

Topics: Apps, Software Development

Adrian Bridgwater

About Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater a freelance journalist specialising in cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects of software engineering and project management.

Adrian is a regular blogger with ZDNet.co.uk covering the application development landscape and the movers, shakers and start-ups that make the industry the vibrant place that it is.

His journalistic creed is to bring forward-thinking, impartial, technology editorial to a professional (and hobbyist) software audience around the world. His mission is to objectively inform, educate and challenge - and through this champion better coding capabilities and ultimately better software engineering.

Adrian has worked as a freelance technology journalist and public relations consultant for over fifteen years. His work has been published in various international publications including the Wall Street Journal, CNET.com, The Register, ComputerWeekly.com, BBC World Service magazines, Web Designer magazine, Silicon.com, the UAE’s Khaleej Times & ITP.net and SYS-CON’s Web Developer’s Journal. He has worked as technology editor for international travel & retail magazines and also produced annual technology industry review features for UK-based publishers ISC. Additionally, he has worked as a telecoms industry analyst for Business Monitor International.

In previous commercially focused roles, Adrian directed publicity work for clients including IBM, Microsoft, Compaq, Intel, Motorola, Computer Associates, Ascom, Infonet and RIM. Adrian has also conducted media training and consultancy programmes for companies including Sony-Ericsson, IBM, RIM and Kingston Technology.

He is also a published travel writer and has lived and worked abroad for 10 years in Tanzania, Australia, the United Arab Emirates, Italy and the United States.

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