Gates and Co. roll out Visual Studio .NET

FEBRUARY 13, 2002 -- Billing it as nothing less than the "most comprehensive development tool of all time," Microsoft Chief Software Architect Bill Gates today rolled out the long anticipated Visual Studio .NET software suite today at the VSLive! 2002 Conference in San Francisco.

The product represents a big counter attack on the part of Microsoft, which appeared to be playing "tools catch-up" after the invention of the Java language and architecture in the mid-'90s. Brief company support of Java ended in acrimonious lawsuits between Microsoft and Java's progenitor, Sun Microsystems. Visual Studio .NET offers a new software architecture, building on XML and SOAP, as well as the new Microsoft language known as C#, to create lighter, easier-to-produce distributed applications.

The package includes updates to such long-time Visual Studio language standbys as Visual Basic and Visual C++.

Visual Studio .NET will enable "the next big wave of developer opportunity," said Gates, "creating XML Web services that will soon become the basis for all major new software development."

"For Visual Basic programmers, it's a move up to full object-oriented programming," said Gates.

The rollout has been well orchestrated. Microsoft estimates that over 250,000 developers have already received training on .NET.

"Visual Studio .NET eases the task of building 'generation three' technologies such as Web services," said Tony Goodhew, Secretary General, .NET Marketing, Microsoft. Goodhew noted too that Microsoft has with this release created a graphical design environment for server-side components.

Goodhew did admit that binary protocols have their place, and that some developers may not switch to SOAP-based protocols immediately. "You should look at what components are needed to the job" before shifting computing methods, he said.

Said Federico Zoufaly, CTO at Costa Rica-based ArtinSoft, a firm focused on migration services and tools: ".NET is a big evolutionary step that integrates all Microsoft techs into one unified platform. This will simplify development."

For ADT's Special Report on .Net go to:

About the Author

Jack Vaughan is former Editor-at-Large at Application Development Trends magazine.