back to article Are you an IT pro? It's no longer safe to bet your career on Microsoft

Is Microsoft still a safe bet for the IT pro? In a word: No. As an IT worker, you have to gamble on which technology will keep you fed and housed over the coming years. For a really long time that has been Microsoft, but you don’t get paid on the past. Instead you need to peer into an uncertain future. The Windows 8 launch …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    duh

    Microsoft is on the way out. Once people realise that all this time they could have had better, theyre going to be pretty upset.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: duh

      That's funny, 92% market share of desktop OSes. Hardly call that on the way out?

      1. Dominic Connor, Quant Headhunter

        Re: duh, 92% of desktop O/S

        Yes, MS own the desktop and a shedload of servers, why should you or I care ?

        The thing that drives your pay and even whether you have a job is supply and demand, not the absolute number.

        In the UK, US etc almost everyone who will ever have a desktop computer already has one and given 93% market share MS can't really grow in that area.

        People are gaining skills and bits of paper in Windows every day, which means that there will be excess supply of skills if the MS product set goes into any sort of decline.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: duh, 92% of desktop O/S

          Perhaps because that's 93 % & 40-50 % of "the" industry the people you are addressing are looking to work in. Suggesting an avoidance of a certain technology because of a potential over supply or under supply is naive in extremis. You learn skills and add value to those skills through your understanding of needs.

          The same people gaining "bits of paper" are gaining the same bits of paper in other areas too. As such, experience matters. It's a vocational career, and that means experience will always matter more than certifications.

          It's why we in the industry largely laugh (when we're not in tears) at the garbage that come of of the MBA set/ Analyst set/ PHB's etc.

          No doubt you have some time at the coal face, but your advice is not correct for those new or middling in the industry. In fact, it seems very off kilter.

        2. h4rm0ny

          Re: duh, 92% of desktop O/S

          I note the use of the word "if" in your last sentence there. Whilst it's not about absolute numbers as you point out, nor is it entirely about the delta. The fact that Microsoft products are ubiquitous means that there is a steady turn over of opportunities regardless of whether it rises or falls. For developers in the UK and USA, by far the largest factor in availability of opportunities is the coming online of India and other nations. Something that both increases the size of the market, but also impacts on local developers due to pay differentials between countries.

      2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: duh

        if they weren't backed into a corner, would they have completely sidelined the interface they've been working on since, well since they gave it the name Windows?

        If someone has the curiousity to wonder why it's called Windows (yeah I know, unusual for anyone to have curiosity these days) what are we going to tell them? Urrm a tile looks kinda like a window? its a joke

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: duh

          "if they weren't backed into a corner, would they have completely sidelined the interface they've been working on since, well since they gave it the name Windows?"

          You have an unusual definition of the word "completely" seeing as the Desktop is still there and all the programs that were working on Windows 7 are still usable in Win 8 in the same way on any desktop machine.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: duh

        "That's funny, 92% market share of desktop OSes. Hardly call that on the way out?"

        ..like the desktop?

      5. AlbertH
        FAIL

        Re: duh

        92% of the desktop market? maybe in the USA, but NOWHERE else! Also <1% of web servers, 0% of HPC servers, 0% of DNS servers, routers or anything else that matters....

        If Windows is the answer, you're asking the wrong question!

        1. meno

          Re: duh

          I don't know what market share Windows Server HPC has in different markets, but it's certainly a lot more than 0%.

          As a vendor selling enterprise software to very large organizations (global banks), we choose windows HPC because their IT depts like windows servers - certainly more than Linux servers. Can't see that changing in the next 5 years.

          As HPC creeps out of labs and IT-specialist companies and into business, the market share for windows HPC (a specialized version of their windows server OS) is increasing and will increase. It isn't cutting-edge, but most IT work (and pay) isn't at the bleeding edge.

    2. Toastan Buttar
      FAIL

      SRSLY?

      "Good scripts, the ones you are proud of, have Ifs and loops and other constructs that mean even a scripting ace will need time to make any sense of them and will be reluctant to change them."

      A 'scripting ace', like a C++ ace, would have no fear in modifying another's work (if it made good sense in the grand scheme of things).

      A script without Ifs and Loops is normally known as a Batch File. I mean.....SRSLY???

  2. Bob Vistakin
    Linux

    And the public *still* hasn't really seen Win 8

    The shitstorm when it does will be in a whole different league to Vista.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: And the public *still* hasn't really seen Win 8

      A bit like GNOME 3 then?

      1. Silverburn

        Re: And the public *still* hasn't really seen Win 8

        Apart from Joe Punter has never heard of gnome. Chances are, he's probably never even heard of UNIX/Linux either. He probably only even has a vague notion of what a "server" is, other than that's where his files and emails are.

        He cruises into Comet (ha, ha!) or PC World and he sees Windows boxes or Apples. To him, that's the entire PC/IT market.

  3. NomNomNom

    this is irrelevant. everyone said microsoft was dead with vista. now I am using windows 7. from what I've sensed (using various magics) windows has a better development platform than any other.

  4. wyatt

    Ok, so if Silverlight is on the way out and HTML5 requires a browser that can read it, what do people program in that customers with older OS/Browsers can still use? I take there are more popular web tools to use, moving people further away from MS?

    1. Nick Ryan Silver badge

      "what do people program in that customers with older OS/Browsers can still use?"

      How about industry standard HTML? It's worked for years (with the exception of ****ing idiots who insist on putting in IE only "features") and is the underpinning behind the additional features available in HTML5. A good HTML5 website (application) will still be usable in browsers that do not support all of the new features - a bad one will crap itself and be unusable... if the application is still usable but not quite optimal then that is much better than not usable at all. In any case, having compatibility like this allows the application to support the required accessibility laws and guidelines.

    2. NomNomNom

      what i do is just target whatever browser *I* use (it's MY website) and put out a message box saying "sorry you must use Internet Explorer 6.1 to view this website". This also reduces traffic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "target whatever browser *I* use (it's MY website) "

        You're the IT Manager at [a million candidate companies] aren't you?

      2. Silverburn
        FAIL

        @ NomNom

        "sorry you must use Internet Explorer 6.1 to view this website". This also reduces traffic.

        a) If your site only advocates using a Swiss Cheese browser, I'd steer clear of it too. To my mind, there is only one reason you could possibly want me to use IE6...

        b) You do know IE 6 is dead, right?

        c) You wrote a site for yourself? Why bother with a website at all then?

    3. sisk

      "Ok, so if Silverlight is on the way out and HTML5 requires a browser that can read it, what do people program in that customers with older OS/Browsers can still use?"

      AJAX when I can, Flash when I have to. I work for an organization that's not moving off IE8 for at least another 3 years. That's when we finally get to cycle out the last of our XP machines (I didn't set the policy so don't blame me).

  5. Bernard

    I think technology lock-in will keep Microsoft on top for a while yet

    IT people don't like windows (usually) but know how to use it.

    Non-IT people don't really know anything else exists, and would grind to a halt without it.

    That's why microsoft continue to be so valuable despite screwing so much up. Once you're the only platform most people know how to use it takes years of substandard delivery before you get shifted out.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft mindset article

    I've developed scripts on all the popular operating systems but it's only when I got into shell scripting on Linux/UNIX that I got into good habits, like saving scripts to repositories and heavily commenting code.

    Both of the above are in the person writing the scripts best interests, I developed the habit after writing lots of very similar scripts for file transfer for one client, 6 months down the line when they come back to have something rejigged and you look at it and think "what the hell was I drinking the night before I wrote this" or "that' s an early version I totally rewrote this ...now where is the decent version?".

    Most Microsoft developers have Sourcesafe lying around if nothing else, most of the problems with Microsoft only sites is the cultures never been learned

    These days I tend to also copy scripts to something like Google Drive so I have access to them whichever machine you are on, most of the cloud storage can be used as poor mans repositories, though of course versioning etc is all manual

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft mindset article

      Sourcesafe is probably why those Windows guys don't use source control.

      Worst piece of frack I've ever had the misfortune to use, as it punishes you for trying to use it - and we've even had an RC broken by Sourcesafe. So we threw it away.

      I now use GIT for "unofficial" projects, as you can make a repo anywhere that you have read/write access to and it does 90% of what's useful.

      No reason why everyone shouldn't use it for their "personal" projects, even if you never upload the repo to anywhere it can still save your bacon.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft mindset article

        As I said "Sourcesafe lying around if nothing else", Sourcesafe is pants and yes GIT,or SVN with say tortoise on Windows and other tools are better but it's better than absolutely nothing which is what a lot of Microsoft only shops have (talking support scripting rather than development here)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Microsoft mindset article

        "Sourcesafe is probably why those Windows guys don't use source control."

        Indeed, "Microsoft Sourcesafe" may actually be the biggest IT oxymoron since "Microsoft Works". Given that there are faster and safer alternatives that are free, you'd be mad to trust your source to the darned thing.

      3. Number6

        SourceUnsafe

        I had the misfortune to work somewhere that used SourceSafe once. We (i.e. the people who had to use version control) finally managed to persuade the sysadmin to set us up with a Linux box on which I had admin rights. I installed CVS and found a lovely script that would check every revision of every file out of SourceSafe and into CVS complete with the log entries, effectively replicating the entire history. Bliss! Left it running over a weekend and we never had a repository-induced snafu after that.

  7. Mark Allread

    The entire article reads like it's wishful thinking

    "Developers face the problem that MS doesn’t love them anymore, seeing us as disloyal peasants, best expressed when Visual Studio Express was intentionally crippled to produce only Metro (or No-tro, or whatever it’s called) apps."

    These poor developers all got their own online Visual Team System server last week, for source control and agile project management for.. free. They could also get a year's windows phone developer account for a mere $8 too.

    End users tend to like Windows 8. It's technical people that think people won't like it. Windows 8 will be big and Metro will become ubiquitous and people will start to enjoy that the apps they buy work on their phone, their tablet, their PC.

    1. Lennart Sorensen
      Alert

      Re: The entire article reads like it's wishful thinking

      Everything I have seen so far shows end users do NOT like Windows 8's new interface. It is confusing and unproductive and very unintuitive.

      I think people were a bit too harsh on Vista, but Windows 8 is getting exactly what it deserves so far.

      1. Mark Allread
        Happy

        Re: The entire article reads like it's wishful thinking

        I've read loads of reports of people who love the Window 8 UI, so I guess you need to read a bit more. Personally I like it too. I have it at home and I miss it when I'm at work.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Stay sharp on 'nix

    You'll be looking at good long term career.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Stay sharp on 'nix

      Yup. Back in 1996, a colleague told me to get shot of all my Unix books, since Windows NT was the future. I stuck with Unix (Solaris and then Linux, with some BSD in between) and I'm damn glad I did. Recently spent a couple of months with Windows 7 on the desktop, and I was amused at what a mess it is from performance, usability and productivity perspectives.

  9. Eddie Edwards
    Coffee/keyboard

    lolwut

    "Apple has almost no presence in ... music creation"

    I've heard estimates that 80% of professional ProTools installs are on Mac. What are you basing this on?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: lolwut

      Every studio I've been in for the last ten years has a Mac as the main tool, usually running Logic. Take Miloco for instance (http://www.miloco.co.uk/), even their massive studios like Assault & Battery 2 are basically a sound room and a Mac.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: lolwut

        I can tell you've never built a studio.

        "Google offices are basically a screen and keyboard." ;)

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    One of the best things to consider is not being a Fandroid, iTard or WinPhoney.

    That is, don't be a fanboy and cloud your vision. Bias towards any particular technology is not an attractive thing for an employer and your lack of experience on alternative technologies can make you the first person to be out of the door if your company gets taken over or there is a significant change in your company.

    I know Linux/Unix/OSX and Windows. I always objectively look at the merit in anything as well as the negatives. So many other people are so biased towards certain technologies it is unreal.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The future is the server and you should be technology and vendor independent

    No shit Sherlock!

    Anyone with more than a passing interest in IT knows this.

    1. N2

      Re: The future is the server and you should be technology and vendor independent

      And very independent of those that try & kick you in the bollox.

  12. Carl
    Devil

    "adapt or die"

    Yep. "Adapt or Die".

    These sage words were uttered to me (I'm a UNIX/FOSS guy) a few years ago by a Microsoft developer when I dared express my preferred environment.

    Looks like those words were right.

    I hope he took heed.

  13. Annihilator Silver badge
    Joke

    Good one!

    "Gone are the days when the users neither knew nor cared if their email client was Notes or Exchange... now they do care and they do blame you for choosing Notes."

    Oh come on, users have always hated sysadmins for inflicting Notes on them.

    1. Dominic Connor, Quant Headhunter

      Re: Good one! -Notes

      Yes, you're right I got my tense wrong, I've hated Lotus Notes since 1993, I believe I was the first person to write a negative review of it, I was quite proud of the sentence "eskimos have 24 words for snow, Notes has that many 'please wait' icons for the same reason".

      MS chooses not to kill Notes for reasons never made clear to me.

      The reason I thought of Notes hatred being common is that so many users now have experience of Outlook that they are incredulous that Notes was actually chosen on purpose and not out of spite or revenge.

      MS chooses not to include Outlook in consumer bundles of MS Office, if it did so then the pressure to ditch Notes would become unbearable.

      1. Martin 37

        Re: Good one! -Notes

        We all know that Notes is a distributed database system that does email as a side effect. I think the Y2K killed off most Notes installations?

      2. TchmilFan

        Re: Good one! -Notes

        Back in the days of the still not quite standard £2000 286, I was in on a secret squirrel manufacturer-only Notes test*. Instantly hated it with a passion.

        *That's what they told us, anyway. Ooh, may have been '92

        > MS chooses not to include Outlook in consumer bundles of MS Office, if it did so then the pressure to ditch Notes would become unbearable.

        Er, because of all those home users buying Notes?

        1. Annihilator Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Good one! -Notes

          "Er, because of all those home users buying Notes?"

          Na, Outlook Express was usually forced on home users. Choice between Notes and OE, isn't much of a choice.

  14. TheresaJayne
    Unhappy

    Microsoft really doesnt like developers

    A few months ago a dev i know wrote an article about using Cloudy TFS to do Windows Azure Continuous build and unit testing, however it used Cerebrata Cmd Widgets and some other 3rd party tools, Microsoft contacted them and said "this looks great can we publish it on the Microsoft MSDN Newsletter" So they said yes and then had to rework the article to remove any and ALL references to InteliJ Resharper, CmdLets and some other stuff.

    So they certainly don't like developers using their brains and doing something else.

  15. jason 7
    Unhappy

    So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

    ....with a straight face?

    No?

    Okay so another pointless bandwagon chasing article then form another tech journo who like many in their arena doesn't need any tech more advanced than a tablet to do their oh so demanding job on?

    Must be hard work having to think unoriginal crap up while sitting in Starbucks all day.

    1. Dominic Connor, Quant Headhunter

      Re: So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

      Actually Jason, I've spent most of the last couple of days writing C++ code to parse semi-structured data.

      I don't have a tablet partly because you can't code on the bloody things, but also because when I broke mine I couldn't think of why I wold pay money to get another.

      Also I prefer the coffee in Pret a Manger.

      Thank you for your feedback, please enjoy the mundane Java coding that occupies your life.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

        C++ to parse "semi-structured" data? You must be a masochist. Try using something like Perl instead.

        1. h4rm0ny

          Re: So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

          "C++ to parse "semi-structured" data? You must be a masochist. "

          He's willing to wade into the pigsty and argue with all of us zealots, fanboys and general nutters. I'm going with masochist.

          (Nice article, btw, even if I disagreed with several parts).

          1. Dominic Connor, Quant Headhunter

            Re: So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

            No, not a masochist a C++ dev turned headhunter trying to bring order to a database of people.

            OK, yes, alright a masochist, you got me,

            i'm quite happy to be disagreed with, the point of what our beloved editor calls "The Connor Cycle of Career Despair" is to get ITPros thinking constructively about their careers, being 100% would have been nice but unrealistic for me.

        2. Annihilator Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

          "C++ to parse "semi-structured" data? You must be a masochist. Try using something like Perl instead."

          Depends what you need it to do. I'm hoping and assuming that if he is doing it in C++ he's relying heavily on Flex++ or similar.

      2. jason 7
        Facepalm

        Re: So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

        Coding? Christ why would anyone do that? More exciting this to do.

        1. Christopher Rogers
          Trollface

          Re: So can anyone suggest a realistic alternative....

          I take it this is your guide on how to look like a tit on The Register's comments page then.

  16. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Mark Allread
      Happy

      Re: Shifting languages / platforms

      Mate, your comment is so full of factual inaccuracies that I honestly haven't the inclination to put you straight on them, largely because I highly suspect you won't be interested in hearing.

      1. Glyph

        what did he miss?

        The post seemed fairly accurate, except that as much as I would have liked to stick to c++ and python, there have always been cases where I had to learn/use each of the deprecated technologies he mentioned with the exception of silverlight. This due to customer constraints usually, or because I was adding stuff to an existing code base, or using a hardware vendor's driver/api that was locked into MS' previous paradigm.

        But how can you argue with the rest of the post? MS definetly moved people towards each of the technologies listed, and then tried to ditch them as fast as possible. As a developer I have to be ready to learn whatever I need to learn to get the job done, but as a project manager I should pick something that does what I need *and* has a reasonable chance of being supported for the lifetime of the project. For example something like c++ and QT, or python and tkinter if speed isn't an issue, or any one of a half dozen vendor/community supported and portable frameworks that don't get dumped on the heap after a couple years.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: what did he miss?

          He seemed serious about Java on servers. (snicker)

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    2. serendipity

      Re: Shifting languages / platforms

      "NET as a platform is also encumbered with submarine patents."

      Yeah right. Let me put things right for you; As an MS hater what you really wanted to say was "I hate that .Net runs on Linux under Mono!" - there you go, fixed it for you :-)

      "In contrast, if you learned C/C++ / python / java (Java excels as a serverside language / platform, so no need to hit with me "Java is slow" and other out of date, noob myths) : if you learned those languages and platforms, then your skills will have accumulated and be even more relevant in the future than they are today."

      I partly agree with you but learning any modern programming language (MS or not) will stand you in good stead - it will make it easier to pick up whatever new language/framework comes along - even in the none MS world things can change rapidly. And today's hot ticket language can rapidly fall out of fashion. So there are no guarantees.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Shifting languages / platforms

        "I hate that .Net runs on Linux under Mono!" - there you go, fixed it for you :-)

        Each and every time I come across someone saying this I realize that

        (a) he/she has never ever actually tried to move a non trivial UI app from Windows to run on Mono (hint: unless you use Qt or other cross platform toolkit it will not work, period, but then when using another UI toolkit you'll lose all the VS helpers) Hey, and good luck with all the native COM stuff you're interacting with from .Net.

        (b) he/she is not aware that almost no one actually uses Mono in a serious production live site. Check http://www.mono-project.com/Companies_Using_Mono and see if you can spot something familiar. Yes, Wikipedia is there for text indexing, and SourceGear uses Mono to say that their product runs on non Windows platforms. Seems that Mono is only useful in a few corner cases, not a platform as widespread such as... erm .NET from Microsoft?

        If you're an MS hater you actually encourage people using .Net to try Mono. It is the best way for someone to experience in its own skin how bad proprietary languages and standards lock-in are. After that they realize that it is either Windows forever for them (keeping up of course with the MS arbitrary product roadmaps) or time to break away and rewrite everything (at a cost that very few are ready to pay) So it is Windows forever in practice, but now you understand why instead of thinking that MS haters are out to ruin your day.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Shifting languages / platforms

          Simply untrue.

          (a) It may look like shit (especially on Mac OS X), but applications that rely on System.Windows.Forms work adequately. Yes, there's the odd hole in the implementation, but the most common issue is that you actually need to bother installing the Mono System.Windows.Forms library.

          (b) Client-side, Mono is (at least) big in the gaming space. Unity (and all Unity-based games) use Mono as the scripting engine, as does Sadville (server-side; they dumped their VM because Mono was faster) and I guess SpaceChem and a few other cross-platform indie games are worth mentioning because they're entirely written in C#.

          Several of the most popular applications on various mobile platforms use MonoDroid or MonoTouch, a few of which are listed at http://xamarin.com/apps.

          Mono used to be crap, but it's come on in leaps and bounds over the last decade. It's a real contender now. Lots of ASP.net components are tested against it. Mono is the .NET answer to cross-platform compatibility, and the .NET community takes it pretty seriously - and Ubuntu even ships modern versions of Mono these days.

          I'd also like to point out that Wikipedia is quite a well-known project...

          1. This post has been deleted by a moderator

            1. h4rm0ny

              Re: Shifting languages / platforms

              "Linux distros should not be using it, it's controversial due to patents, and it is not needed by most. It can always be an option in the repos for those that want it. Personally I always uninstall Mono."

              Same here. Increasingly programs are designed to be web-based. Therefore cross-platform compatability can matter a lot less than it used to. It doesn't matter to the client whether your program is running in PHP, ASP or Python. When you do want to write something cross-platform, Python is a lovely language.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Shifting languages / platforms

            Simply uninformed

            (a) If it looks like shit, it is shit. Don't even try to start to explain why, Java on the client died for the very same reasons. And it's not only the odd hole in the implementation, it is also all the COM machinery used around that is not available outside Windows.

            (b) True, but flawed. Using the scripting engine is not using Mono. Would be like counting all Gecko based browser as Firefox users. Indie games are minority.

            Not saying that is not possible to use Mono as a cross platform environment, or that it has not improved over the years. But by using your analogy, Vuze is written in Java and an immensely popular desktop application so Java is a success on the desktop and a viable alternative? So yes, Wikipedia may be using Mono, but that is not enough to qualify it as a success.

            Mono is niche, for a few reasons. And Mono's existence is not a valid argument to say that there are .Net alternatives in other platforms because outside a few uses it is not practical. Maybe in a few years this changes.

    3. Number6
      Linux

      Re: Shifting languages / platforms

      I discovered, having written some stuff in C#, that (a) it will run on Linux using Mono, (b) it runs like a snail on valium when I do that, and (c) pretty much every C# class I used has an equivalent in Qt. Program re-written in C++ with Qt, with almost a 1:1 mapping from the original, it runs like greased lightning and I ported it back to Windows where it outperforms the C# original.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worst post on the reg?

    I feel Dominic Connor was refraining from using terms like "windoze" in this article.

    It's all well and good to point out flaws in MS programming languages, but this can be done with any language.

    I'm yet to find a better programming language than ASP.net MVC to get a model driven site up really quickly.

    Also, he never really points out his ideal alternative.

    Most probably another "we should always use java" noob.

  18. tehwabbit

    Please...

    ..can I have the 10mins of my life back I spent reading this terrible article?

    1. Anonymous IV

      Re: Please...

      Remember that the article was written by the IT equivalent of an estate agent.

  19. vic 4

    slow death of VB.NET

    Didn't even notice that it was even alive in the first place.

    1. serendipity

      Re: slow death of VB.NET

      your loss then as VB.Net is 99% like C# but with nicer syntax - unless you like squiggly brackets and semi-colons that is :-)

      1. BlueGreen

        Re: slow death of VB.NET - @serendipity

        So, honest question, does VB now support generics, closures and lambdas?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: slow death of VB.NET - @serendipity

          Yep. Generics since they were introduced into the .NET framework, and lambda functions certainly are present though the syntax looks dodgy.

          Even has async/await and that.

  20. amanfromarse

    I don't care how much it pays, I can't think of anything worse than banging out server scripts using Powershell, Cygwin, or anything else, for the rest of my working days.

  21. jerkyflexoff
    Trollface

    All that I seem to be reading here is a Linux, Apple and Microsoft pissing match.

    Apples for the 60 %dummies out there,

    Linux for the 2% Hardore

    Windows for everyone else.

    I see it hard to believe windows going anywhere in a hurry, it is at the heart of all business. they way things are financially, people are not going to be jumping quick to the alternative,... which is?

  22. url

    "The Windows 8 launch was remarkably stealthy compared to the good old days when it was an event on an Apple scale. "

    What now?

    I'm in SE Asia and I can't watch any TV channel without an adm or (more commonly) multiple ads in the same rotations at the premium spots (i.e. first and last) without seeing a surface ad.

    so yeah, i'm really sure the rest of your article is worth reading.

    how about you get out off the mis-onformed train, take the connection at informed, and ride with the rest of us - you fucking muppet.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Surface is not the same as Windows 8

      Heck, the orderable Surface hardware being advertised doesn't even run Windows 8, it runs Windows 8 RT instead, the almost-but-not-quite* TIFKAM-only, Windows App Store front end.

      Win8RT is to Win8 what iOS is to OSX, except that you can run Win8RT apps under Win8.

      Those ads are for Microsoft's iPad/Nexus/Note, and just like those there's almost no mention of the OS.

      * Its stripped-down version of Office uses the desktop, nothing else is allowed to. Presumably a tacit admission that TIFKAM simply isn't suitable for non-trivial applications.

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Surface is not the same as Windows 8

        "Win8RT is to Win8 what iOS is to OSX, except that you can run Win8RT apps under Win8."

        WinRT is a lot more fully-featured than iOS from what I've seen. For one easy example, can you run a multiple windowed Office suite on iOS?

        "Its stripped-down version of Office uses the desktop, nothing else is allowed to. Presumably a tacit admission that TIFKAM simply isn't suitable for non-trivial applications"

        IE can still run on the Desktop, as does file manager, control panel, the vastly improved Task Manager... As to "non-trivial applications", is a browser non-trivial? An email client? Probably there will be a MUI version of Office one day, but re-coding the whole thing to run that way must be an epic task.

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge

          Re: Surface is not the same as Windows 8

          IE isn't a desktop app in Win8RT.

          It is under Win8 (x86)

          Also you're an astroturfer, so I hope you got paid for that post.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Surface is not the same as Windows 8

            "IE isn't a desktop app in Win8RT."

            I'm literally running IE on a SurfaceRT right now. Check your facts before trying to correct someone.

            "Also you're an astroturfer, so I hope you got paid for that post."

            No, I'm not. False accusations as a way of discrediting someone's argument (particularly when it's a factual argument that can be checked and found that I am right), is a pretty poor means of conducting yourself.

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Would rather work on MS stuff than become a 10 a penny iOS developer!!

  24. IJC
    Facepalm

    Really?

    Anyone can post speculative nonsense. The basic rule of the game has always been and always will be keep your skills relevant to a sizeable chunk of the market. It really doesn't matter which technology as long as you are willing to change and adapt. If you can't change and adapt you're in the wrong business to start with.

    1. jason 7
      Devil

      Re: Really?

      Like all these IT Pros struggling to get to grips with Windows 8 then?

      Even my old dad can use it......

  25. Wintermute
    Happy

    This is a great article.

    It reads like something the BOFH would write.

  26. Martin 37

    WTF is Integrity Constraint?

    It has too much? Too little? What are you trying to say?

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    nice anecdote

    Moral of the story: When your employer picks up a new tech, jump at it.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Megaphone

    Career change? - the future is web shaped.

    IT Pro's could conceivably move into web development.

    If predictions and trends turn out to be on the money, Saas driven by web technology is the direction the industry is headed.

    It's almost a full circle back to the days of the 'dumb terminal', where the computing power was derived from the mainframe.

    The similarities are there to be examined. The 'cloud' is the mainframe, the web browser is the 'dumb terminal'

    Google are pushing a massive stake in the ground when it comes to web based applications.

    Online email is hardly new, but online 'office' style applications certainly are.

    Imagine a future when your 'mainframe' (the cloud) is serving your entire companies office software requirements. Need to upgrade the entire companies office suite? Do it once, in the cloud.

    Microsoft's business model is dying, slowly, but still dying.

    The idea of purchasing multiple licenses of an office suite and having to install and maintain it on hundreds of computer hard drives will become an archaic concept.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      Re: Career change? - the future is web shaped.

      ... and take it that big step further ...

      The 'dumb terminal' is just a shell - initiate a network connection which streams a simple 'window manager' - a web browser.

      Say goodbye to the idea of a local hard drive based operating system completely.

    2. Unlimited

      "Google are pushing" "purchasing multiple licenses" "archaic concept"

      Google apps for business charges per user.

    3. KroSha

      Re: Career change? - the future is web shaped.

      I'm starting to seriously consider moving my skill set to storage and networks. I think desktops will be declining rather significantly over the next 10 years.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Career change? - the future is web shaped.

      IT Pro's could conceivably move into web development.

      If predictions and trends turn out to be on the money, Saas driven by web technology is the direction the industry is headed.

      It's almost a full circle back to the days of the 'dumb terminal', where the computing power was derived from the mainframe.

      The similarities are there to be examined. The 'cloud' is the mainframe, the web browser is the 'dumb terminal'

      Google are pushing a massive stake in the ground when it comes to web based applications.

      Online email is hardly new, but online 'office' style applications certainly are.

      Imagine a future when your 'mainframe' (the cloud) is serving your entire companies office software requirements. Need to upgrade the entire companies office suite? Do it once, in the cloud.

      Microsoft's business model is dying, slowly, but still dying."

      You do realise that MS have been pushing SaaS, the cloud and everything else you mention (in some cases for years) don't you?

      "Google are pushing a massive stake in the ground when it comes to web based applications."

      As are Microsoft, should you care to look.

  29. Christian Berger

    Another article from the Windows "Bubble"

    Somehow Windows "professionals" seem to be inside a strange world where e-mail servers are somehow complex pieces of software, and .net is portable.

    Seriously, if you still believe such things, go to your local library and get a book called "The Art of Unix Programming" from Eric S. Raymond and read it. If you understand that book, you might slowly understand why the rest of the world stayed with Unix or moved towards it. You might even understand why those "advanced features" of Powershell are essentially useless. You might even be able to find which pieces of software are crap and which are properly designed.

    1. h4rm0ny

      Re: Another article from the Windows "Bubble"

      Didn't we just do this dance in the last article's comments section with you trying to find all sorts of reasons why Powershell was inferior and Windows was rubbish? Having cut my teeth on HP UNIX 11 over a decade ago and been working on Unix or Linux platforms of one kind or another pretty much ever since, I find it rather patronising to be told that if I look at UNIX I "might even understand why those advanced features of Power Shell are essentially useless." Seeing as on Monday you didn't even understand some of the features of Power Shell and were commenting that it was rubbish even then, you seem to have merely made up your mind and now adopted the position that maybe it can do some new things, but they're rubbish so you're still right.

      I've used Bash and I've used Bourne before it and have been doing so for a long time. Power Shell has taken that and built on it with some nice new ideas as well. Maybe a couple of years down the line Linux will take some of the features Windows has brought in and incorporate them, just as MS have built on the design ideas of Bash. It's called progress. And your patronizing comment on how if we read more about Unix we'd value that progress less, is pretty much insulting to the principles that made UNIX what it is.

  30. Tim Almond
    FAIL

    Inaccurate

    "Developers face the problem that MS doesn’t love them anymore, seeing us as disloyal peasants, best expressed when Visual Studio Express was intentionally crippled to produce only Metro (or No-tro, or whatever it’s called) apps."

    You're 5 months out of date. Microsoft relented on that and have a version for Windows 8 and for Windows desktop. Because they... errr... listened to those "disloyal peasants".

    Personally, as an ASP.NET/C#/SQL/XAML developer, the one thing that I'll always credit Microsoft for is that they love developers. I got a free day covering Azure, days like the DDD days, free evenings with pizza going over technologies, Microsoft people on Twitter and blogs who are happy to talk about stuff.

    And honestly, ASP.NET MVC is a dynamite development platform. Nothing comes close for building a solid web application.

  31. jake Silver badge

    Duh.

    Since when was it a good idea to bet the farm on any "cutting edge" anything?

    Folks who buy into this kind of marketing are, in my mind, unemployable.

  32. Nigel 11
    Alert

    Be platform-independant

    Surprised no real mention of platform-independent coding. I'd have thought Python, Qt or WxWidgets for GUI, other platform-independant libraries deserve a mention. Even Java, if Oracle don't (accidentally?) kill it by getting it banned from every business PC as a security nightmare.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As always

    Unix, Windows, Linux.....same arguments....how much of your budget will go towards retraining users of windows at home that Linux at work is the better option, hell even my 11 year old's school teaches them office.

    your skillset is as relevant as the latest trend, as with clothes, something else comes along eventually and yes, i know lots of out-of-work Unix admins and scripters because they thnk they are still worth twice the going rate of everyone else, adapt and survive until the next big wave of technology.

  34. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Dominic Connor, Quant Headhunter

      Portable C++ ?

      C++ code may or may not be portable, but C++ *skills* are portable, if you trouble yourself to learn STL and Boost like I say.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Windows

    What I'd like to see is a new Windows which starts with an NT codebase like XP or Windows 7, and then modularizes everything. And I do mean everything; it should only take a dozen or so small-to-medium-sized files to boot into Safe Mode, with everything else loading after. Like old Windows and 'NIX boxes, it would have a command line "core", but it would be 64-bit and fully featured like the DOS of old (and the Linux of today). Due to it's modular nature, you could upgrade individual pieces of the OS with different vendors' software easily; or even "better" editions of Microsoft's own.

    For ease of sales, MS would still sell boxed and OEM copies in particular configurations (Home, Workstation, Server, etc.), but this new approach would also let them digitally sell custom .isos of the OS specified to that company or vendor. Why include Media Player on a business machine when your company writes it's own media software? Your business is international, but the home office only uses, say, 3 languages, so why pay for 50? And so on.

    And, again, being modular, a company or individual could always pay to upgrade a particular piece of the OS they might want later. It'd let MS become the service company it dreams of being, without screwing up the few good things it's always done (being consistent, for starters). This would have an added bonus of ending Service Pack headaches as you'd only need to patch the pieces installed on your system; rather then how it is now, where a Firefox or Chrome user still needs to keep IE updated 'cause of it's hooks into the rest of the OS.

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