This has been one of the most interesting weeks in the past ten years for the Microsoft ecosystem (and not only). The major announcements Microsoft made this week are proof of the fundamental changes the company is going through. Ten years ago, it would have been hard to believe that .NET, the core of the company's development platform, could one day become open-source and cross-platform. Not because of technological hurdles, but because of the mindset. The world has chaged since then, and Microsoft is changing too. The full announcement made by Scott Guthrie can be watched here.
With this major move Microsoft is practically re-inventing the .NET stack and injects new life and momentum into a technology that is almost fifteen years old. The mobile-first, cloud-first paradigm adopted by the company also means that they need to continue providing developers with platforms and tools that enable them to build great apps, cross-platform device experiences, and cloud services.
Throughout its history, Microsoft has put a lot of effort into creating developer platforms and tools that enable productive, efficient, and quick production of applications. The new world we live in brings new challanges and new realities. Microsoft needs to adapt to them, and, from what we see it does it very well. The numbers tell the story:
- More than 10,000 new Azure customers a week
- 1,200,000 SQL databases in Azure
- 350 million Azure Active Directory users
- More than 18 billion Azure Active Directory authentications/week
- More than 7 million downloads of Visual Studio 2013
- More than 2 million developers on Visual Studio Online
- More than 6 million .NET developers
And when it comes to Visual Studio, the next version of the development environment (Visual Studio 2015) will bring even more focus on some core areas for Microsoft
- Cross-platform mobile apps (using both HTML/Cordova and C#/Xamarin)
- Cloud-based experiences
- Operational agility with DevOps
I'm very happy to see these developments which reinforce my belief that Microsoft is becoming very successfull in reinventing itself as a mobile-first, cloud-first player.