Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Microsoft wants YOU...

... to code in their languages. In an effort to gain some market share from the amateur developer world, Microsoft is courting students with their free offering of many major Microsoft development tools including Visual Studio 2008, Expression Studio, and XNA Game Studio. With tools like Eclipse and other free IDE's, users have little incentive for using Microsoft's Visual Studio for anything outside of .NET development. As Microsoft sees the world of development opening up, perhaps they are seeing their development audience migrating toward tools that embrace open rather than exclusivity.

Is this Microsoft's attempt at becoming more "open"? Will we see student's flocking to download Visual Studio or Expression Studio for development? I've used Visual Studio as the primary development tool through most of college and at work from time to time. I certainly see the value in having it, but is this enough to steal users away from Eclipse and other open/free IDE's?


Harry Chen said...

> I certainly see the value in
> having it, but is this enough to
> steal users away from Eclipse
> and other open/free IDE's?

Probably not. But, I think the software development world is large enough to accommodate a variety of development environments and tools. Neither Eclipse or Visual Studio can provide a "one shoe fits all" solution.

Andrew said...

In re to Dr. Chen, it would be for me, as I cant stand Eclipse. Granted, I'm much more inclined to use a flat text editor over an IDE anyways, but I remember using visual studio years back and being able to cope, but Eclipse just does a lot of really annoying things that end up hampering my workflow.

Harry Chen said...

I wonder how many people still program Java using Emacs or vi without running it inside an IDE?

Back in the days, I used Emacs + Ant to write and build Java programs. These days I think Eclipse + Maven is far more efficient. I can't live without syntax highlight and auto-complete etc.

What do you use?

Sarah Stanger said...

I use Eclipse now, but I was a vim user before that. I still use vim for simpler projects.

I keep meaning to download the vi plugin for Eclipse. To me that would be the best of both worlds.

Andrew said...

I'm using this text editor for mac called textmate, which does all the syntax highlighting stuff and has some auto-insert code commands, but the view is more like just a simple texteditor like wordpad. I dont like that IDEs have so much bloat to them when I really only want to use a couple of the features, and I feel like it sort of pushes me into working in a very specific way. I just want to be able to write my code down the way that I want to, which is why i typically get annoyed by the auto-insertion of code bits. Having a term window open with a feature-complete text editor just works a little nicer for me.

Wes said...

TextMate is a fantastic editor. The snippet system is wonderful for code editing, but often I miss completion pop-up when I can't remember the specific snippet I'm looking for. The other thing Eclipse provides that I constantly miss in TextMate is identifier highlighting. Being able to select a variable and then see it highlighted in the entire file is extremely helpful. Still, I end up using TM for almost all of my editing, code or otherwise, because its quick and small and has never crashed on me.