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Metro Doesn't Mean the Immediate Death of .NET

iStock 000013987544XSmallWith the advent of Microsoft Metro, it's easy to think that .NET and its related technologies are now dead, but that would be a mistake says Todd Anglin, Chief Technology Evangelist at Telerik, an applications and content management company.

It would be easy to think otherwise of course, with all kinds of stories flying around last week in the wake of Microsoft's Build Conference, where it was pushing Metro hard. This lead to stories along the lines of Silverlight is dead, dead, dead, but is it?

Anglin isn't so sure. He says, you shouldn't dismantle your .NET development team just yet. While he acknowledges that Metro is a new way of developing Microsoft applications, he suggests that it might be more of gradual change than a wholesale overnight shift. "Enterprises need only be concerned with this new approach if A) they are planning to upgrade to Windows 8, or B) if they want to target the new Windows 8 tablets that will largely drive the early adoption of Metro and WinRT (Windows Runtime)," he wrote in an email.

In fact, when I asked Anglin if developers should be thinking about abandoning .NET, he responded with an unequivocal "no" since .Net has not even reached the end of its development life. "Microsoft is continuing to evolve .NET, with .NET 4.5 coming sometime in the Windows 8 timeframe, and .NET will continue to power the world of app development that is not specifically targeting Windows 8 Metro," he said.

Anglin went onto say that while it was easy to think that .Net had taken a back seat to Metro because it was not a major focus of The Build Conference, it remains one of the best ways to develop Windows software for Windows XP through Windows 7.

What's more, Anglin believes that programmers who have been trained to use .Net will be able to leverage those skills when it comes to learning Metro. "For developers, Windows Runtime, Metro, and Windows 8 are all evolutionary changes. The skills they have and use today will very naturally translate to building the new style of apps Microsoft is proposing," he wrote.

He added, that in the short term developers can continue to develop with already established technologies, like Silverlight and WPF, and if the market opportunity justifies writing specifically to Metro-style Windows 8, developers can quickly make the transition.

So while the hype cycle might have been in full gear last week during the Build Conference, and it might have been easy to conclude .NET was passe, industry experts like Anglin see it as a more transitional change.

No need to panic, but you should at the very least, be looking ahead and making your plans for the future, especially if you are a Microsoft-centric shop.
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