After about four months of working through some hard problems, I’ve begun to center our team on a few core work areas. Based a lot on the feedback you gave me through this blog, I narrowed it to three work areas:
We’re going to start by building on the momentum of the current Visual Studio Express products. With nearly 5 million downloads, and 600,000 unique registrants, these products have become more popular than we ever anticipated. Our first goal is to deliver an amazing release with the “Orcas” wave of Visual Studio by working with the partner teams and building some amazing content to surround the Express products.
The next task is to create a strong community of non-professional developers. There are around 27 million of them, so that’s no easy task. We’ll start by building on existing developer communities – both Microsoft and non-Microsoft – to create a strong network of communities, but our goal is to create a community phenomenon more like Myspace, YouTube, or Flickr – a place where people go to share and have fun. Creating this community is going to drive us to create a set of services for storing and sharing source code, ratings, comments, and for buying and selling software.
Finally, we see the need for a new kind of development experience for this customer – something where programming is fun and getting started is simple. We want to reach out to novices and intermediate hobbyist developers with support for the programming languages they already know. We want to offer a host of domain-specific frameworks and libraries that make it easy to create cool experiences with animations and rich graphics that cross online and offline scenarios as well as different devices, browsers, and applications.
It’s a pretty broad charter, but I think we can deliver on it. In fact, based on some of the prototypes we have already, I know we can.