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Unlike most .NET supporters, I don't think .NET is the greatest thing since sliced bread. It is a pretty good thing though. Just because Microsoft comes up with something doesn't instantly make it "BAD". .NET brings an entire set of easy to use and fully capable APIs along with countless different languages can use those APIs to create OS agnostic (but perhaps limited to x86 and x64) applications. Sure .NET is slower than native code in most cases and sure it uses more resources than native code in most places. But the rapid application development it allows for while simultaneously supporting such diversity has not really been achieved with much else.
From a corporate standpoint .NET is a fantastic platform for in house development. Development time is crucial so the RAD is a huge plus. And with the advent of Mono most .NET applications can be easily deployed to Windows and Linux servers both 32 and 64 bit all with a single build.
Silverlight / Moonlight simply brings this same environment to a browser.
While there are countless situations where .NET is simply not an appropriate choice, the same can be said for virtually any other software development technology.
No, coming from Microsoft doesn't make it bad from a technical point. It makes it bad because Microsoft is openly campaigning against the Linux platform. There is NO patent protection in using their platform. FOSS is better off steering clear of this technology. Adobe on the other hand, is opening the specs on their products so that GPL'd versions (Gnash and others) will actually work right without having to reverse engineer everything. There are also opening up their development tools to Linux. When Microsoft actually starts working with open standards and file formats, then it will be time to consider their technology.
There is NO patent protection in using their platform.
If I understand it correctly (and I very well may not), the patent protection was one of the big things in the Novell-Microsoft agreement. It was essentially an agreement of patent and lawsuit protection between both parties. Perhaps I could be wrong but that was my understanding of it after reading it. Edited 2008-05-15 15:18 UTC
MS has opened the specs of the .Net CLR, C#, and Silverlight. In fact, MS has been helping the Mono guys do Moonlight, with docs, support, etc.
I get as mad as anyone at Microsoft for their business tactics, and some of their software being crap, and not being totally customer focused. But some software MS does is very good, and MS isn't always evil. So a little level headed balance is in order.
Always proceed with caution when dealing with MS tech compatibility. But don't reject it outright.
"It makes it bad because Microsoft is openly campaigning
against the Linux platform."
It is bad for vulnerable people to patent FUD.
Is bad for people with an anti-ms agenta.
But is fine for:
People who knows patent FUD is just that, FUD.
People who wants functionality and have a life.
So, there is your answer.
You have heard of Java, right?
Java is just Java, while .NET gives you C#, VB.NET (ick), IronPython, IronRuby, F#, RPL, Boo, and Nermle to name a few. While there are a small number of languages that target java bytecode (groovy for one), it's nowhere near as many as .NET.
Sounds like Java, what are the major differences between both?