Microsoft Hits a New Programming Note

Will C# lead Microsoft to e-commerce dominance?

4 min read

Languages are a big deal for Microsoft Corp. Indeed, the company was founded on one, MS Basic, which preceded Windows and even the MS-DOS operating system. Later, Microsoft developed Visual Basic, which soon became the most popular Windows programming language around. That popularity was no surprise: Microsoft's willingness to supply developers with high-quality tools to make writing software for its platforms as easy as possible has always been part of its strategy for market dominance.

So, when the Redmond, Wash., software giant rolls out a new language, it's a big deal for everyone else, too: programmers, corporate information technology departments, and, ultimately, even ordinary consumers. Now developers are checking out the new C# (pronounced "C sharp") language, which appears to have been designed to give Windows a strong place in the world of e-commerce as part of Microsoft's .NET Web services initiative. But whether or not the company can leverage its foothold to let it control this new market, as it currently controls desktop computing, remains to be seen.

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Why Functional Programming Should Be the Future of Software Development

It’s hard to learn, but your code will produce fewer nasty surprises

11 min read
A plate of spaghetti made from code
Shira Inbar

You’d expectthe longest and most costly phase in the lifecycle of a software product to be the initial development of the system, when all those great features are first imagined and then created. In fact, the hardest part comes later, during the maintenance phase. That’s when programmers pay the price for the shortcuts they took during development.

So why did they take shortcuts? Maybe they didn’t realize that they were cutting any corners. Only when their code was deployed and exercised by a lot of users did its hidden flaws come to light. And maybe the developers were rushed. Time-to-market pressures would almost guarantee that their software will contain more bugs than it would otherwise.

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