Software engineer explains why he swore off .NET platform

Many open-source and cloud-based tools now offer a cheaper and more lightweight alternative to .NET, solutions provider says. However, are they ready for the enterprise?
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

In a new post, Ryan Bennett, corporate development consultant and founder of AtomicGarden, which provides software for web and mobile devices, says he is finding the Microsoft .NET framework too cumbersome and costly for his projects. 

Keyboard Photo by Joe McKendrick
Photo credit: Joe McKendrick

The .NET framework -- and associated Microsoft toolsets -- has been one of the leading choices within enterprises for well over a decade for web and service-oriented deployments. In various surveys I have been involved with, both the .NET framework and Java Platform, Enterprise Edition have dominated the enterprise scene.

However, Bennett says, many of the open-source and cloud-based tools now available offer a better and more lightweight alternative. Bennett's issues with .NET include "insane" licensing costs, "no focus on the user experience," and the fact that "ASP.NET platform features are always behind other platforms."

Even Mono -- the open-source implementation of .NET -- is falling behind the times, Bennett says. His rationale is summed up in his conclusion:

"I moved away from .NET primarily so I could use free and open platforms to rapidly develop, deploy, and market test products for myself and my clients. Modern open web platforms are easy to acquire, easy to configure, and easy to learn. They are on the leading edge of the web development industry and provide everything needed to create engaging user experiences on top of scalable and performant architectures. The largest web applications on the planet – Google, Facebook, Twitter – use free, open, non-Microsoft technology. And I do too."

Is Microsoft falling behind the open-source and cloud world in offering easy-to-deploy services and development environments?  Is the world moving beyond .NET? 

One respondent to Bennett's blog post already makes the point that "for every [ASP.NET Web Forms] abortion out there, there are equal amounts in PHP, Ruby and whatever else.... so now you’ve left .NET you’ll miss out on all the F# goodness that’s here and more coming. You’ll miss out on the innovations coming in Roslyn. You have to put up with laughably incomplete asynchrony stories in the stack you’ve adopted. You’ll have to put up with the hipster artsy fartsy community that don. Maybe that’s what you want though!"

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