5 years ago at the June 2000 PDC we told the world about .NET for the first time. It has been a long road with some strange detours but it is truly amazing to look back on this road. At the time I was a new program manager on the COM+ team. Our team spanned the gap between the world of the platform (in the Windows division) and the world of the server and tools division which was betting on .NET. At the time it may not have been obvious to the outside world but internally, not everyone believed that .NET would really work. There were many people who refused to bet on this technology at that stage and continued on the proven paths of Win32 and COM integration. As a result the Windows XP and Server 2003 platform APIs remain largely Win32 and COM based. What little .NET integration there is was developed by teams in the .NET framework.
This year we have finally seen the public unveiling of .NET fully baked into the platform and it is a beautiful site. Avalon, Indigo, Windows Workflow Foundation etc all are .NET through and through and this means that the future of .NET looks very bright indeed. 5 years ago there were many skeptics both internally and externally but today nobody doubts the fact that .NET is here to stay.
I’m going to have a great deal of fun learning about these technologies with you over the next year until they ship to a PC near you. I’ll be sharing my learning experiences here on the blog and through other forms such as my podcasts and webcasts. There is so much to know and so little time to do it. Stay tuned…this is going to be a wild ride.